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Court Square is a historic park that has existed at least since 1876, when the statue of Hebe was dedicated here. This small oasis in the middle of downtown office buildings also features a delightful gazebo and a bronze fountain. Court Square appeared in the movie The Firm as a backdrop for a meeting between Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, and in real life serves as a relaxing spot for local office workers and visitors alike, who enjoy watching the restored antique cars of the Main Street Trolley go by.
Tom Lee was an African-American living in Memphis who became a hero when he saved 32 people from a sinking steamboat in 1925. Even though he could not swim, he rowed a small boat into the strong currents of the Mississippi River to rescue the victims. Tommy Lee Park, stretches for a mile and half along the banks of the river, is dedicated to this hero and contains a monument to him. This is the site of several events throughout the year, including the Barbecue Contest, the Sunset Symphony concert at the end of May, and a Jazz Festival.
Overton Park is the home of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Memphis College of Art, and the Overton Park Municipal Golf Course. The park by itself is a lovely place to visit. There are trails for hiking and biking, tennis courts, a playground, picnic area, and huge, shady trees to relax under.The rainbow-painted amphitheater, once the location of concerts by Elvis Presley and ZZ Top, is now seldom used, but still a good place to sit and ponder the glories of music gone by.
Raccoons wander freely around this nature preserve and educational facility. The Lichterman family after whom the center is named willed their land to the city years ago, and portions of the block have since been developed into a shopping center, St. Francis Hospital and an apartment building. However, this 65-acre park still provides sanctuary for local wildlife. Children can see here how injured animals are treated and prepared for return to the wild. While the original Lichterman home that housed exhibits and administrative offices burned down a few years ago, most of the facility has been restored.
Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest in the country, spanning 4500 acres (1821 hectares). Come here to experience tranquility mingled with awe as you explore the great outdoors. The park is home to a herd of bison and many other species of animals. Though once a working farm, now it serves as a favorite recreational spot to many. So go ahead and ride, bike, hike, fish or row!