MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The city of Memphis is getting the green light to fight both poverty and crime. It's all thanks to a $2.6 million federal grant to create "greenways." The focus will be on distressed neighborhoods like in Binghampton. Part of the planning is to extend the Shelby Farms Greenline at Tillman to Overton Park and residents loved the idea.
"It'll give folks something to do with their time, go on their bike, and go on the green trail, and ride around the city,” said resident Bobby Massey.
Massey lives in front of the greenline in Binghampton. He uses it everyday, whether it's with his kids or his puppy.
“They love it. They come out here and they love to play on it," Massey told abc24.com.
Since the Shelby Farms Greenline was built Massey said crime is down. He believes an addition to the Greenline would certainly be a plus. Twenty-five organizations including Shelby, Memphis, and West Memphis government agencies are part of this greenway planning. They're focusing on "distressed" neighborhoods that have blight and high crime.
"Northern Desoto County, all of Shelby County, the western portion of Fayette County, and most of West Memphis all qualify to be part of the greenline planning," said Paul Young, Administrator of the Office of Sustainability for Memphis and Shelby County.
The federal grant will allow engineers to plan for greenways and create a region-wide network of greenspace areas. Mayor A C Wharton is a big supporter.
“We are behind the pack when it comes to sustainability but we are catching up," said Wharton.
Massey hopes the plans will come soon so everyone can enjoy the new change. The planning process will take about three years to complete. From there, agencies will come up with a new price tag of how much the actual construction will cost.