Greentrees Civic Association

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Welcome to Greentrees CA!

The Greentrees Civic Association was formed in the mid 1970s to represent the newly developed subdivision of Greentrees. One of its early presidents was Juvenile Court Judge Kenneth Turner, one of the "pioneer" homeowners in the neighborhood. In its early days, the Association had only five officers.

As the neighborhood become almost completely developed in the late 1970s, the Association had become rather dormant and it was felt a more active Association was needed to represent the interests of the residents and the integrity of the neighborhood. Under the leadership of Jim Ledbetter, a newly elected president, publication of a newsletter by the Association's secretary, Carolyn McNeal, was begun, as well as the establishment of a network of Block Captains, residents of each street or street section who are the grassroots of the neighborhood's communication system. The Association also began publication of a neighborhood directory, with a new logo designed by Richard Holley of Happi Stores. The Association dues were $10 annually and were only raised to $25 annually in 1996.

Some of the residents who have served as president of the Association include:

Judge Kenneth Turner
Jo Murphy
Jim Ledbetter
O. Norris Avey
Sharon Solomito
Mary Frances Wheeler
Carolyn McNeal Garner
John Vegezzi
Walt Creamer
Carol Arkin
Marshall Morris
Bonnie Ragland

During the early years, a Greentrees Ball was held for neighbors and their guests once a year in what is now the Adams Mark Hotel. Beginning with Mr. Ledbetter's presidency, new By-laws were written to add more officers as a means of reaching and involving more residents. It was during this time that the beautification of Kirby Parkway between Poplar Pike and Messick Road was begun.

During the last 10 years, the Association's newsletter was expanded to quarterly publication, additional changes to the By-laws were adopted, improvements to Kirby Parkway were continued, new and updated directories were provided, and the cleanup and promotion of Holmes Park was begun. That five-year-long project was completed in October 1999, and the Association sponsored an official park opening by inviting the daughters of Judge Holmes and their families to attend. The Association also initiated an annual tour of the neighborhood's most outstanding gardens, as well as adopting a Yard-Of-The-Month competition to recognize and reward homeowners whose yards present pleasing "curb appeal."

Greentrees Association Goals and Objectives

The Association's By-laws included the following five objectives:

1. "To promote and protect the common interest of the property owners and residents of the subdivision."

Officers of the Association have, over the years, met with city officials to successfully prevent the elimination of the tree-lined median on Kirby Parkway. The construction of a segment of the parkway south of Greentrees continues to be a source of concern to the Association and efforts are ongoing to prevent the elimination of on street parking for our Kirby Parkway residents. The Association members voted overwhelmingly to support Friends of Shelby Farms in their efforts to defeat the proposed construction of a major highway through Shelby Farms, which our residents fear would not only threaten the park, but could revive efforts to extend Kirby Parkway through Shelby Farms. Our members have worked with Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division to protect and preserve the underground wiring system for the subdivision, one of the first such projects to be tried in a Memphis residential neighborhood. The Association continues to advise government officials of the neighborhood's positions on development of vacant property adjacent to Greentrees in order to preserve the residential nature of the area, as well as to lobby city officials for street traffic signs and signals to make our streets safer, prevent truck traffic and curb speeding.

2. "To provide a forum for residents to exchange ideas and interests having a commonality to the residents of Greentrees."

Prior to 1997, the Association held quarterly membership meetings to which all homeowners in the subdivision were invited, regardless of membership in the Association. Meetings are held at the Church of the Holy Spirit, whose pastors have been enthusiastic Association members and supporters and who live in the neighborhood. All residents are notified of the meetings via the Association's newsletter. The By-laws were amended in December 1996, to limit general membership meetings to twice annually, but other meetings have been called when events affecting the neighborhood necessitate such a gathering. The 13-member Executive Board meets quarterly to administer the Association's ongoing projects and neighborhood business. Association committees include the Garden Tour, Yard-of-the-Month, Park and Parkway, which meet as necessary to accomplish their objectives.

3. "To maintain, protect, and enhance the Subdivision and to promote a sense of community pride."

The Association's most continuous efforts in this regard focus on the maintenance and beautification of the Kirby Parkway median. In conjunction with the Greentrees Garden Club, Association funds and the labor of many of its residents have been devoted to planting trees and appropriate plantings on the parkway, expending approximately $8,000 to $l0,000 annually having the median mowed, cleaned and weeded on a regular basis and attempting to keep the area free of litter deposited by the commuters who drive the parkway each day. In the fall of 1996, a horticultural service was engaged to begin a weed eradication program and advise on the replacement and maintenance of the trees in the median in order to achieve a canopy effect as the trees mature. The city's Parks Department has been helpful in providing street sweeping and other assistance in our efforts to beautify the street. 

The association initiated the effort to develop Holmes Park, a small wooded area at the corner of Hickory Crest Drive and Messick Road. The property had been used for years as a dumping ground for construction debris and yard waste, despite efforts by Greentrees volunteers to keep it clean. Guy and Malra Treece, Greentrees residents, drafted a proposal for a Community Development Grant, which was approved for $8,000. This sum was used for the park sign and about $2,500 in plantings set out near the park's entrance by volunteer crews led by Ann Elliott, a master gardener and longtime Greentrees resident.

In 1999, the Association received another Community Development Grant, again written by the Treeces, this time to install a limited irrigation system at each end of Kirby Parkway and to install two signs, one at each end of the Parkway in our neighborhood, identifying the area as "Greentrees."

4. "To represent the Subdivision as a unified body in matters of concern to the residents."

Association officers have been active in participating in discussions forums regarding street and highway developments which impact on traffic flow in our neighborhood. Currently the Association is conducting discussions with the Tennessee Department of Transportation as the Memphis City Engineer's office in attempts to influence the design and construction of the Kirby Parkway extension between Messick and Quince Roads. 

The Association has taken positions, both for and against, on governmental and private enterprise proposals on which residents have expressed concern, including flooding, traffic problems, crime, and land development.

The Association membership in January 2000, voted unanimously to oppose a proposed planned development on vacant property at Messick and Kirby Roads and residents have been urged to write local governmental officials and to attend the public hearings to voice their opposition. Flyers have been distributed throughout the neighborhood by Association block captains notifying everyone of ongoing developments.

The Association also has a representative member on the Memphis Police Department's East Precinct Advisory Board, which meets monthly at the precinct station with the Precinct commander. Our representative keeps the precinct leadership advised of any crime problems or incidents in the neighborhood. Mr. Mark White, the Association's first vice president, serves as our representative on that board.

5. "To keep the residents informed of civic affairs and public and governmental issues that involve the Subdivision."

The Association's general membership meetings have been planned with guest speakers who can discuss issues of importance to the neighborhood. Speakers have included the city engineer, city councilmen, public works engineer, flood insurance expert, and police officers, including the East Precinct captain.

When the 1999 property appraisal notices were received, each Block Captain was asked to contact residents in their territory and gather information regarding changes in the home appraisals to share with residents who wished to contest their individual appraisals. The information was compiled for the entire subdivision from those residents who agreed to participate.

The Association's quarterly newsletter and interim flyers contain stories on issues affecting the neighborhood. In addition to our representative on the East Precinct Advisory Board, we have a resident who serves as a "clearinghouse" for lost and found pets in the neighborhood. Block captains keep the executive board advised of news and concerns in their respective areas and residents are encouraged to contact board members with any questions or concerns. The Association also distributes copies of the Neighborhood Directory to all newcomers and members.

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