Our first BlueCross Healthy Place is now open. Explore the $5.4 million revitalization of this historic Memphis park.
When we started our the BlueCross Healthy Places program initiative, we didn’t just want to build parks – we wanted to create amazing spaces for our neighbors.
Whitehaven residents had already shared their desire for improved resources in their local park, and we wanted to hear their ideas. Neighbors were allowed to vote on the elements they wanted to see in their park during a community meeting in April 2018. Students at Whitehaven Elementary also got the chance to contribute their ideas during a special planning day at their school. These community suggestions directly influenced the final design of the new park.
The foundation invested $5.4 million in the park’s redesign, including $4.5 million for its construction and $900,000 for its maintenance and care. Features in the new space include a pavilion for community gatherings, a splash pad, an accessible playground, a challenge course, a 40-yard dash and improved walking paths. The walking trail features fitness pods and play pockets, including a blacksmith shop that honors David Carnes, one of the first African-American landowners in the area and the park’s namesake.
On Aug. 10, 2019, representatives of BlueCross joined hundreds of Whitehaven residents, along with local elected officials, to celebrate the grand opening of the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park.
Our president and CEO JD Hickey, M.D. said, “Today is a new chapter for David Carnes Park, a site with a long, proud history. At BlueCross, we have a lot of good days serving the people of Tennessee, but today is truly special because we get to give this park back to the people of Whitehaven."