South City

Now open: Ribbon cutting ceremony held for new activity center at South City's Foote Park

What’s happening: Well, that was fast. It was only just before Thanksgiving when representatives from the City of Memphis and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of the BlueCross Healthy Place at Foote Park. Just a couple short months later and officials once again gathered at Foote Park, but this time to cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of the activity center there, which is now officially open to the public.

What they built: The BlueCross Healthy Place at Foote Park is an activity center with distinct play and fitness areas for Memphians aged 2 years old and up. Amenities include a large play area with accessible, poured-in-place surfacing; a Thrive fitness station; swing set; and freestanding play and climbing areas.

Why it’s important: “Foote Park at South City is undergoing a revitalization thanks to the Memphis Housing Authority and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “They have helped turn this underserved area into a place where residents can come together, and I look forward to seeing the new BlueCross Healthy Place become part of the fabric of this community.”

How it happened: The Memphis Housing Authority first applied for funding for the project in 2020. They would ultimately prove successful as the BlueCross Foundation invested $750,000 in the project, including $650,000 in construction costs and $100,000 in a maintenance fund for its ongoing care. This is the second such BlueCross Healthy Place installed in Memphis, with the first opening at David Carnes Park in 2019.

[Related: Read “Revamped Whitehaven park will be space for health, fun and neighborhood history” on High Ground News.]

What they’re saying: “We were excited about the opportunity to work with the Memphis Housing Authority to bring much-needed amenities to this re-emerging area of the city,” said Chelsea Johnson, director of the BlueCross Foundation. “We hope the new space will become a point of connection for local residents of all ages.”

Foote Park is located at 521 Vance Park Place in Memphis. Learn more about the BlueCross Health Place program online.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.