The Greensward in 2003
Memphians have been made increasingly aware in recent months of the ongoing strife between the Memphis Zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy and activist groups such as Get Off Our Lawn and Stop Hurting Overton Park. The battle, of course, is over a part of the park's “lawn” also known as the Greensward.
For the past several years, the Zoo has been using the Greensward for overflow parking on days when its paved lot is filled. This practice has led to protests, tree-plantings, tree uprootings, and lots of meetings of concerned citizens. The Zoo has remained steadfast in its commitment to parking on the Greensward and has been resistant to any alternative measures, and downplays any harmful effects on the Greensward that its parking policies have caused.
This week, John Slater, a member of Stop Hurting Overton Park, took it upon himself to utilize Google Earth's time-hop feature to show the changes in the park that have occurred over the past nine years. The images are rather startling — and make it quite clear that the Zoo's parking practices have grown more intrusive and more damaging to the Greensward.
See for yourself. For more details, see John Slater's Facebook post (scroll down).