March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 24

EQUITY
Park rangers in Memphis, Tennessee,
help park users experiencing
homelessness access vital social
services and resources.
When the Civic Commons Is Shelter
Navigating the intersection of parks and housing
By Amy Collier, CPRP
W
hen Memphis (Tennessee) Parks revived its park ranger program
in June of 2021, the goal was to increase safety in
the parks and improve in-person communication with park
users. Helping to facilitate housing opportunities and other
critical social resources was not necessarily part of the plan, but with meaningful
partnerships, Memphis park rangers continue to make an impact.
Reports from the first weeks of
park rangers in action showed the
most frequent calls to be issues of
parking violations, off-leash pets
and minor maintenance repairs.
As the new rangers became more
familiar with their park areas, they
also became more familiar with
regular park users. Many of the
rangers took notice that some park
users were camping in the park long
term. In the past, park users would
interact in passing with park maintenance
staff. The ranger role was
built for interaction, and the dynamic
between park users and parks staff
started to shift. Over time, the park
rangers began to connect with park
users, chatting on their regular visits
and sometimes stopping in multiple
times a week if weather conditions
were not ideal. These relationships
also made relocation requests possible.
For example, a ranger may need
to request a park user not to camp
in a pavilion or to vacate while a
park amenity was under construction.
While these requests were not
24 Parks & Recreation | MARCH 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
always met with ease, the growing
visibility of the park rangers coupled
with the interpersonal interactions
helped many rangers reach
their desired outcome. As relationships
grew, it became apparent that
campers in Memphis Parks needed
resources that park rangers could
not easily provide or even advise on.
A Change in State Law
As Memphis continued to grow
its park ranger program, new laws
addressing homelessness in public
spaces started to rumble in the Tennessee
legislature. On July 1, 2022,
Tennessee became the first state to
make it a felony offense to camp
on any public property. Violators
could face up to six years in prison
and the loss of voting rights. In the

March 2024 - Parks and Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2024 - Parks and Recreation

March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Intro
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover1
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover2
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 1
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 2
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 3
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 4
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 5
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 6
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 7
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 8
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 9
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 10
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 11
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 12
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 13
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 14
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 15
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 16
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March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 18
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 19
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 20
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 21
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 22
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 23
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 24
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 25
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 26
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 27
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 28
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 29
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 30
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 31
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 32
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 33
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 34
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 35
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 36
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 37
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 38
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 39
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 40
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 41
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 42
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 43
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 44
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 45
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 46
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 47
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 48
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 49
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 50
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 51
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 52
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 53
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 54
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 55
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - 56
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover3
March 2024 - Parks and Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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