CGA Strategic Plan
Since 1966, the Central Gardens Association Board of Directors has worked to position the neighborhood as a premier historic residential district in the Mid-South. We created a strategic plan in 2016 with the assistance of neighbors, stakeholders and a generous donation from Renasant Bank. That plan was revised in 2022.
Over 500 neighbors had input into the 2016 plan either through listening sessions, online surveys or a stakeholder session. CGA thanks all of the neighbors who participated! For the full plan click here.
Progress on the Plan
The listening sessions and survey results provided a road map for the plan that concentrates on the neighborhood’s needs and residents’ quality of life. Main “pillars” of focus emerged and are defined here:
Green Spaces & Infrastructure- protect and enhance the historic nature and beauty of the neighborhood.
Community Building & Events- continue to build relationships among neighbors and groups within Central Gardens.
Midtown Relationships- develop relationships between our neighborhood and other neighborhoods, schools, retail and other organizations around common issues.
Communications - develops communications for the association within the neighborhood and outside of the neighborhood. This includes promoting all events and sharing community information relevant to Central Gardens.
Membership & Engagement - tasked with running the annual membership campaign, recruiting volunteers and monitoring board engagement and retention.
Not only did the board seek to learn where residents would prefer the Association target its focus, but we also recognized that if our focus were to change, our structure would need to be modified as well. Organizational changes include:
The creation of Pillar Leaders, one for each area of focus. These Pillar Leaders are now part of the Executive Committee
The development of a new format and calendar for board meetings. The board now meets six times a year (The Board meets every month with the exceptions of May and December) and each meeting is strategic in nature. The details of committee work now occur at the pillar level.
The creation of a decision matrix to help guide board decision-making. The decision matrix helps the board determine when to offer an official viewpoint, when to advocate on specific issues or when to simply educate or facilitate. This was a recommendation from our strategic plan facilitator.
We learned through the listening sessions that residents would like block-centered events that they can put on themselves, with some assistance and guidance from the Association.
Members of the Central Gardens board have been on hand at meetings where issues concerning Midtown have taken place.
Safety and Security
Neighborhood safety is a priority for Central Gardens residents.
Green Spaces and Infrastructure
To help improve our neighborhood infrastructure, CGA formed ad-hoc committees to engage neighbors for special projects. These projects may include connecting city support services to work on infrastructure problems like alleys, missing or damaged signs, graffiti, illegal dumping, weeds, potholes, missing or blocked drain covers, litter, missing street lights, etc.
Neighborhood Walkability & Pedestrian Evaluation
Volunteers are currently working on a walkability initiative, evaluating the condition of our sidewalks. This effort came out of the Listening Sessions and is a part of the 2016 Strategic Neighborhood Plan. To date, one-quarter of the neighborhood has been evaluated using a tool provided by Livable Memphis. Our committee is currently evaluating sidewalks.
Historic Landmarks Redo
The CGA Landmark's committee works closely with the Memphis Landmark’s Commission and is charged with addressing issues related to the neighborhood’s architectural heritage and design guidelines. The CGA Landmarks Committee recognized that our neighbors need more consultation on the front end when submitting an Appropriateness Application. This gives our neighbors more time to review and alter plans before they are reviewed formally by the Commission. See our new web page, located under "Resources" for how the committee can help you navigate the architectural guidelines and Memphis Landmarks Commission's Certificate of Appropriateness application. Also under Resources, you will see a link to "311 Direct" a simple way for neighbors to report problems to the city as well as code enforcement.