April 24, 2019

Memphis’ Next Great Attraction is a Multigenerational Park

Play is the New Tourism

More than 600,000 people visit Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee each year, making it the second most visited private residence in the United States. (Only the White House receives more visitors.) Soon, families who visit Graceland will have another destination to add to their itinerary while in the Memphis area: the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park. 

David Carnes Park in June 2018


David Carnes Park is a lovely green space in the Whitehaven community of Memphis - two miles from Elvis’s former home. It is a favorite place for families to gather, but a lack of modern, inclusive amenities for people of all ages and abilities makes it an underutilized part of Memphis' recreation landscape.

Rendering of BlueCross Healthy Place master plan at David Carnes Park


The new BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park will be a family recreation space unlike any place in the Memphis area. Designed to appeal to all ages, it features areas for play, fitness, and leisure throughout the nine-acre park. A multi-million dollar development, made possible by the generosity of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, it represents a significant investment in the health and wellness of the Memphis community and all who visit this historic city. 

Construction is underway to transform David Carnes Park into a BlueCross Healthy Place


Local resident Casina Chambers is excited about the BlueCross Healthy Place because it’s an opportunity for her family to be more active close to home. In an article on bettertennessee.com she stated,  “Kids should be kids, to have a place to get out and be active. They like to run and play and explore and just have fun. And for the adults, we have a lot of people with diabetes in Memphis who this fitness area could help.” Other Whitehaven residents like George Williams is impressed with all the amenities GameTime was able to bring to the park. “There’s really something for everyone,” said Williams. “There’s a giant playground for young children, a mini water park [splash pad], an obstacle course like ninja warrior, a soccer field, picnic tables, walking trails and an outdoor gym. It’s the closest thing to an amusement park in the whole city.”

Community meetings were held to identify what was most important to Whitehaven residents


GameTime designed the park with input and ideas from residents in the Whitehaven community. All of the activities and amenities were selected to promote physical activity, inclusiveness, and social interaction as part of the goals of the BlueCross Healthy Place program. Amenities like GameTime's Challenge Course appeal to children, teens, and adults and encourage people of all ages to be more active. The course includes nine obstacles and a precision timing system with a scoreboard. Friends and family can compete with one another to see who completes the course in the shortest amount of time. The course also includes a timed 40-yard dash. Next to the course is a THRIVE fitness system that includes 10 training stations for older children (ages 13+) and adults and there are other fitness stations installed along the walking trails. Together, these amenities create a complete outdoor gym for families.

Construction crews work on the Challenge Course at the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park


Separate play areas have been designed to appeal to all ages and abilities. There is a play structure for children ages 2 to 5 and another structure for ages 5 to 12. Both are accessible, inclusive designs with activities for every child. There are also freestanding swings, spinners, whirls, climbers and nets for lots of fun activity. The play area also features an inclusive see-saw called the RoxAll. It has four high back seats for people who need additional support and a center dish area at transfer height for people who use a mobility device. It's a wonderful and inclusive play activity that encourages social interaction during play.

The inclusive playground is nearly complete at the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park


GameTime's mission is to help build communities through play and recreation. With the support of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, the City of Memphis and the residents of the Whitehaven community, BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park is poised to be the premier recreation destination in Western Tennessee and the surrounding area. No other place in Memphis has the potential to attract people of all ages and abilities more effectively. No other park will have more amenities that appeal to such a wide range of users. This space will bring people together, remove barriers to better health and wellness and demonstrate Play Has No Limit®.

The new BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park will open in spring 2019.