MRPP MUD ISLAND: What Happened Here?
Local & National News | June 03, 2024
Coletta’s City Council testimony mirrored Duckett’s column, where Coletta stated $4M in Accelerate Memphis money had been spent by MRPP on 21 Mud Island…

Written By: Joe B Kent

What happened here on Mud Island? Well, not much. The above picture was taken on Sunday 6/2/24. Someone had written, in dust graffiti, “What Happened Here?” on a dilapidated Mud Island ticket booth window.

The Sunday trip to Mud Island follows Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP) 5/22/24 City Council budget testimony by MRPP CEO Carol Coletta, as well as a 5/19/24 Daily Memphian column by Greg Duckett. Duckett is Chair of the Greater Memphis Chamber Board of Directors and sits on the MRPP Board. Duckett’s column discusses MRPP’s approach to Mud Island, while touting 21 Mud Island upgrades having happened under MRPP since 2021 (Daily Memphian).

Coletta’s City Council testimony mirrored Duckett’s column, where Coletta stated $4M in Accelerate Memphis money had been spent by MRPP on 21 Mud Island projects (City Council). After a trip to Mud Island, one will find themselves in disbelief of Coletta and Duckett assertions regarding Mud Island spend. After all, everything other than the terminal bridge walk and river walk are closed, to include all public restrooms and museums.

The table below is a reproduction of the table presented at Memphis City Council on 5/22/24, where Coletta stated $4M had been allocated for Mud Island. Investigative trip findings are marked either with an “X” which means not complete, “Y” complete and “?” unsure. A conclusive estimate from the trip is that less than $500K has been spent on Mud Island. 

Commentary

Mud Island as a walking nature experience has significant upside potential. The landscaping keeps itself or is well kept. However, all public restrooms and museums are closed. There is no running water in the Riverwalk, the Gulf is filthy and the restrooms at the Amphitheatre have been destroyed. None of the escalators work anywhere in the park.
It's a stunning miss that MRPP prioritized none of the $4M for the Gateway to City Hall from Front Street Garage. How does anyone miss the Gateway itself? The entire Gateway facility is blighted with smashed out windows and trash. As far as trip hazards being remediated on the Riverwalk; not so. There are trip hazards everywhere.

And finally, I ran into a Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency official. He said the security camera does not work at the north gate. After his boat was stolen, they tried to access footage from the camera but were unable to and had to rely on footage from the Raymond James building. The TWRA official also noted that brush in the north gate area was out of control, blocking views of the river. 

Also, another unfortunate experience had to do with parking at the Front Street Mud Island Garage. If one must add time to their original purchase, MRPP will hit you with a single option $25 event parking charge.

Photo Evidence of 6/2/24 Mud Island Trip


Check the Facts


Daily Memphian. Opinion: The hurdles facing a Mud Island Amphitheater renovation by Gregory Duckett, 5/19/24. Opinion: The hurdles facing a Mud Island Amphitheater renovation - Click to View

Memphis City Council. MRPP 5/22/24 - Click to View

Learn more about Joe B Kent

Joe B Kent

Career and Workforce Development Consultant

Joe B Kent

Career and Workforce Development Consultant