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STORIES Graciousness and firm handshakes. Traditional values combined with forward-thinking vision. Fresh-cut lawns and concerts in the park and talk-to-your-neighbors-in-the-driveway southern charm. This is Germantown.



Dear friends, I’d like to introduce you to Germantown. Here, we realize that the connection between people and place is one of the strongest possible bonds. Your home is where you build your memories, experience the pleasures of daily life and plan for the future. I’m confident you’ll find that Germantown is the best place in this area for you to do those things. So take a look around. Spend some time. Experience life in Germantown. We hope you’ll stay with us and start to write your story here.
















LIFE, elevated.


“I love the sense of community. I get to see that up close and personal because of our community events. Each one is like a homecoming. Everyone knows each other. There’s a real hometown feel here.” — PAM BEASLEY, PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR



“It’s people’s love for the City that makes it so nice here,” says Megan Cathey.

Germantown demographics • Population: 40,123 • Average household income: $154,163 • Racial make-up: • Caucasian 81.81% • Asian 6.7% • African-American 5% • Family households: 78.2% • Median home value: $299,528 • Median age: 45.3 years • 98% over age 25 have a high school diploma • 66% have a bachelor’s degree or higher

Megan is a lifelong Memphis resident who recently moved to Germantown. Her sentiments paint an accurate picture of the way residents here feel. Bordering Memphis on the east, Germantown is a close-knit community with strong family ties. In fact, it’s not unusual to find multiple generations of families who live within a few blocks of one another. It’s also common to meet residents who have moved to the City from out of town — or even out of state — with no previous ties to the community. No matter where people come from, the impression of Germantown is the same. It feels like home.

In 2015, Forbes named Germantown one of the nation’s top ten small cities for working parents.


Pam Beasley is the City’s Parks and Recreation Director. She and her team put on more than 20 free public events a year. “Each event is like a homecoming,” she says. “Everyone knows each other. There’s a real hometown feel here.” It’s almost like Germantown itself is a silent member of every family, encouraging people to connect. The City has a special way of drawing people closer to one another, and closer to itself. Citizens volunteer on its boards and support its arts. They exercise on its greenway and play in its parks. Neighborhood cookouts are common. “People become so vested in Germantown, that once they move here, they don’t want to leave,” says Pam.

No wonder Germantown consistently appears on “best places to live” lists nationwide. Megan Cathey affirms each resident’s unusual sense of ownership in their fair city. “There’s so much pride in it being one of the best places to live. Everybody has a stake in it, and everybody feels responsible for keeping it that way.”

Nearby • The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art • Dixon Gallery & Gardens • Memphis Botanic Garden • Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum • Stax Museum of American Soul Music • The Blues Hall of Fame • The Memphis Zoo • Beale Street • Graceland • Shelby Farms Park • National Civil Rights Museum • Sun Studio • Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid • FedExForum and the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team

Annual community events • Germantown Charity Horse Show — One of the largest all-breed horse shows in the country; celebrated since 1947 • Family Fourth Celebration — Music, games, moon bounces and family fun followed by an amazing fireworks display • Pops in the Park — A free sunset concert from the Germantown Symphony at Municipal Park • Germantown Festival — Two days of family fun with nearly 400 booths featuring work by local artists and craftsmen • Fall Harvest Festival at the Farm — A fun way to celebrate fall with your little ones, complete with a scarecrow contest, hay maze and kiddie tractor pull • Germantown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting — Kick off the holiday season with Germantown’s festivities, complete with floats, marching bands and Santa Claus For a current list of events and activities, visit Germantown-TN.gov/goGermantown.

The Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum


The Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park

The Brooks Museum of Art


ARTS & CULTURE You can’t help but notice how the arts are savored and celebrated here. Germantown is a buzz of cultural activity. “My family and I are at GPAC all the time! The educational and community outreach programming available through GPAC is such an amazing resource. We deliberately bought our house in close proximity to GPAC, knowing that it would be an institution in our family!” — BETH BAIN MCCLAIN Germantown Performing Arts Center

The Germantown Charity Horse Show

Oaklawn Garden Story Pole

Live performance at GPAC


Apple Store at Saddle Creek



SHOPPING & DINING From burgers and barbecue to sushi and salads, Germantown’s restaurants cover the food spectrum. There are plenty of upscale clothing boutiques, unique home interiors shops and the only Apple Store in West Tennessee.

The Germantown Commissary

Nightlife at Southern Social

Walkable retail spaces

Residents also have plenty of healthy shopping options, including Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and a 100,000 square foot Kroger store.

Whole Foods

The Shops of Saddle Creek


Upscale shops


CITY meets




At Germantown’s Farm Park, doing a little of the labor gets you a share of the harvest. Jef Terry is the operations coordinator of the Bobby Lanier Farm Park in Germantown. He’s the park’s resident expert on sustainable gardening. He oversees everything related to the agricultural side of the farm, and he loves every minute of it. Why does he love it? “Because I like to eat!” he jokes. “And I’m eating a lot healthier these days.” And it’s no wonder. The Farm Park produces over 13,000 pounds of produce a year. “The watermelons help, of course,” he laughs. But a lot of the yield comes from the 50+ varieties of other fruits and vegetables that are shooting up in neat rows inside the garden’s chicken wire walls. Standing in the garden, you’d never guess you were in the heart of Germantown. The 10-acre park is surrounded by trees. Chickens cluck softly in their airy enclosure, scratching in the hay. A walking path — a recent Eagle Scout project — winds through the woods. For Jef, this is the perfect place to slow down in our fast-paced, tech-heavy world. “We need to slow down. Life is just going by so fast. We just need to find that quieter, slower, mellower pace.”

Fresh produce at the Germantown Farmers’ Market Facing page: Jef Terry at the community garden



Jef’s top tips Friends and families chatting at the Germantown Farmers’ Market

And his gardening method has a lot to do with that slower pace. “We’re gardening like my grandparents gardened, back before World War II. They were organic before it was popular.” But the method — and the activity — are certainly popular now. With Jef’s help, 60 Garden Association members keep the garden growing. They all spend two hours a week, planting, weeding and watering, and then they all split the harvest. And this year, for the first time, that harvest included honey from the farm’s six beehives. The Farm Park has become a center for education for people of all ages and backgrounds. From Master Gardeners to people who have never planted a seed, from school-aged kids to retirees, everyone seems to love the experience of working together and getting their hands dirty. And believe it or not, it’s healthy to get some dirt under your fingernails. Recently scientists have discovered that the microbes in soil protect against allergies, asthma and even depression.


The Farm Park has become a center for education for people of all ages and backgrounds.

1. Prepare your ground. 95% of your sweat and time in gardening should be dedicated to preparing the soil.

2. Get quality seeds, preferably from a local source. These varieties are the ones that grow best in this climate.

3. Make time for it. It’s a lot of

responsibility. Weeds will grow up in a few days if you leave it unattended.


Other perks of the park The Farm Park unites and enriches Germantown. People come for classes on sustainable living, beekeeping, soil building and organic pest control, just to name a few. A weekly summerevening farmers’ market gives folks the chance to buy local produce, enjoy live music, feast on food truck fare and watch cooking demonstrations. And the Harvest Moon Pavilion is a popular spot for banquets, weddings, meetings and retreats.

Sandy and Cris Watson, owners of Renaissance Farms

More than 50 varieties of produce grown on-site



Jef sees the park evolving into a “you-pick-it” style edible landscape for anyone who wants to come. His biggest goal for the park is to continue educating the public about sustainable agriculture and farming, and to connect people with nature and each other. “Communal gardening is sort of the future,” he says. “It’s very healing to be around other people.”

Family fun in the farmyard


Harvest Moon Pavilion for weddings and events

Germantown’s Farm Park — 2660 Cross Country Drive


PARKS & NATURE Parks and environmental recognition • Nationally Accredited Parks and Recreation Department • Audubon International Silver Signature Certification for Wolf River Boulevard • Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA, 26 consecutive years • TVA Platinum Sustainable Community

29 community parks covering 750 acres. Germantown is woven together by a canopy of trees. Community parks are interspersed throughout neighborhoods and shopping districts so that the whole city has a lush continuity.

There’s a park within approximately

½ mile

of every neighborhood.

Cameron Brown Park


“Both of my boys played football and my daughter cheered there. First touchdowns were scored on those fields. First back handsprings were sprung on those fields. But honestly, the most beautiful things to come from those fields have been the friendships and camaraderie of community.” — MICHELLE REYNOLDS JOHNS





parks to connect with nature

5. Everybody’s Tree House at Riverdale Park — Kids of all ages and abilities can experience nature through play, with an easy-to-access tree house, swings, slides and gliders.

Germantown is a Healthy Tennessee city.

4. Wolf River Nature Area — Learn and have fun at the same time, with 70 acres of walking paths, scenic overlooks and educational nature stations. 3. Johnson Road Park — From fishing to disc golf, this 58-acre park has everything you need for a day of family fun. 2. The Germantown Greenway — Walk, run or cycle through town as the parks system advances its vision for a 22-mile planned loop trail around the City. Major sections are already in place along the Wolf River and on the east side of the City. 1. Cameron Brown Park/Bob Hailey Athletic Complex — These adjoining parks make up 99 acres of sports fields, hiking trails, picnic sites, playgrounds and a three-acre lake. There’s something for everyone here.

Disc golf, corn hole, tennis or just going for a walk — there are plenty of opportunities to get moving.


The Germantown Country Club is an independent, upscale golf, tennis and recreation facility. It’s the four-time host of the U.S. Open golf tournament’s final qualifying rounds, and home of an annual United States Tennis Association tournament. Highlights: • Championship-caliber, awardwinning 18-hole golf course • Swimming pool • Tennis courts • Golf lessons, clinics and tournaments • Bar and grill • Seasonal family activities • Cooking classes • Fishing rodeo • Easter eggstravaganza • Halloween party • Breakfast with Santa The Germantown Country Club



SPORTS & RECREATION The Germantown Athletic Club started as a community center in 1990. Since then, it has evolved into a state-of-the-art fitness center, but it maintains its roots with an atmosphere of camaraderie and inclusion. Highlights: • Top-of-the-line cardio and weight-training machines • 90+ group fitness classes per week • Personal training • Racquetball courts • Indoor and outdoor pools • Hot tub and saunas • Splash park • Kids’ fitness programs • Newly renovated child care

Healthy Germantown is a City-sponsored initiative that makes living well a priority. Opportunities for group exercise, outdoor recreation and nutritious eating are everywhere. For more information about the program and the many clubs, events and resources available, visit HealthyGermantown.org.


Local schools





Letitia Sutherlen is a teacher and a mother, so she considers herself a pretty tough critic when it comes to schools. “I probably look at education with very harsh judgment because I know both sides of it. I’m a tough parent. I admit that I am. But when it’s good I know it’s good, and when it’s right I know it’s right.” And at Houston High School, it’s right. Letitia and her family, like a lot of Germantown residents, moved to Germantown for the schools. Her daughter has a learning disability, and her case manager, Katie Carter, has become like part of their family. “She’s developed a relationship with my daughter. She’s come to cheering events and plays at Germantown Community Theatre. Katie Carter has come to all of it. She goes above and beyond her call of duty.”

“I’ve found the high school to be accommodating, open to change, open to new ideas and open to doing what’s best for the individual student. They don’t say, ‘We’ve never done that before,’ or ‘This is the way we’ve always done it.’ I appreciate that as a parent and as an educator.” — LETITIA SUTHERLEN



Germantown Municipal School District • Dogwood Elementary (Grades K–5) • Farmington Elementary (Grades K–5) • Riverdale School (Grades K–8) • Houston Middle School (Grades 6–8) • Houston High School (Grades 9–12)

Houston High facts • Ranked 4th most challenging high school in Tennessee by the Washington Post • Ranked Shelby County’s #1 Public High School by the Memphis Business Journal • Graduating class offered over $34.9 million in scholarships in 2017 • Highest District ACT average in the state of Tennessee for the second consecutive year

Letitia says Houston High School gets a lot of credit for helping kids at the top, but they’re underrecognized for all the work they do with students who face learning challenges. “They do a fantastic job with both ends,” she says. Shanna Sparks, whose daughter attends Riverdale, has a similar story. She and her family also moved to Germantown for the schools, and she’s been impressed with Germantown’s transition to an independent school district. It’s obvious to her that the City’s leaders are invested in the success of these schools, and the children who attend them. Lisa Parker, Germantown School Board member, attended their informational night for kindergarten parents. “She wasn’t the speaker, she just wanted to be there,” Shanna says. She noticed Superintendent Jason Manuel at her daughter’s school, encouraging and engaging with students and teachers. Mayor Mike Palazzolo even came to spend time with one of the classes after they won a canned food drive. In the end, Shanna sums up most people’s overall experience with the Germantown Municipal School District with simply, “It’s been phenomenal.”

Other choices for education Shelby County Schools Germantown Elementary School, Germantown Middle School, and Germantown High School (an International Baccalaureate World School) are located within the city limits of Germantown, but are operated by Shelby County Schools. Germantown area private schools • Bodine School • Evangelical Christian School • Madonna Learning Center • Memphis Oral School for the Deaf • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School • Phoenix School • St. George’s Independent School Higher education nearby • Christian Brothers University • LeMoyne-Owen College • Rhodes College • Southern College of Optometry • Southwest Tennessee Community College • Union University Germantown • University of Memphis • University of Tennessee Health Science Center

More info Find out more about our schools at GMSDK12.org, scsk12.org and maisschools.com. 20


Houston High School



GERMANTOWN COMMUNITY LIBRARY On any given day, you could walk into the library and hear symphony musicians, see magic tricks or even pet a kangaroo. The library is so much more than a place to borrow books. It’s a place for learning through exploration. Its diverse programs enrich residents’ lives and help them engage with each other.

“There’s such a huge demand for our programs and services. It’s amazing to see how valuable the library is to the community.” — DANIEL PAGE, LIBRARY DIRECTOR

For children and teens: • Storytime sessions • Movie nights • Animal adventures • Computer game nights • Superhero nights • Live music

For adults: • Literacy programs • Computer classes • Books by mail for homebound seniors • Genealogy seminars • Group knitting and quilting • Gardening classes

For all ages: • 139,000+ print, audio, video and online materials • Mega chess, courtesy of Leadership Germantown • Book clubs • Arts and crafts • Book sales • Summer reading programs




The City of Germantown is enjoying dynamic growth right now. Construction continues on Thornwood, a new 19-acre mixed-use development project. It combines multigenerational housing, retail, restaurant and hotel space. TraVure, another mixed-use development, will soon serve as the corporate headquarters for MAA. It will feature retail shops and a new Hilton hotel. The City’s already-thriving medical corridor is booming, attracting providers that specialize in care for patients of all ages and healthcare needs. New leases are being signed before construction can even be completed, and existing businesses are growing. Baptist Rehabilitation has completed a $30 million expansion. Campbell Clinic is planning

Economic and leadership recognition

Thornwood mixed-use development

• AAA bond rating by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s • Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement, 34 consecutive years • U.S. Conference of Mayors Outstanding Achievement Award • Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence Achievement Award 2013 • TVA Platinum Sustainable Community

a 120,000 square foot expansion of its orthopedic practice. The West Clinic recently completed a $30 million renovation to their medical corridor site. And as part of their recent partnership with the University of Tennessee, they relocated the majority of their practice to Germantown. And EPIcenter Germantown, an innovative workspace for entrepreneurs and small businesses, opened in January of 2016. It features flexible workspace, Wi-Fi and a conference room. Members can rent space daily or monthly. Obviously, Germantown’s economy is booming, and the City’s leadership is harnessing that for the benefit of the community. But what’s guiding the growth?

Corporate headquarters nearby • FedEx • International Paper • ServiceMaster • ThyssenKrupp Elevator Manufacturing • West Fraser • Crew Training International • Orgill Inc. • MAA (Mid-America Apartments)



“We strongly believe that communities are about people first. Our long-range strategic plan is a direct product of more than 2,000 hours of work by more than 300 residents.” — PATRICK LAWTON, CITY ADMINISTRATOR

The residents. “We take a planned approach to growth here,” says Mayor Mike Palazzolo. “Our residents are engaged, and they participate in shaping the future of our City.” Developing the City’s long-range strategic plan gave residents the opportunity to do just that — to consider what they wanted for Germantown’s future, and to plan proactive steps to get there. The year-long planning process required residents to talk about challenges and opportunities, community values and how to ensure a vibrant future for the City. And it put participants’ collective wisdom and expertise to its best use, shaping innovative solutions to address sustainability. In addition to those involved in Germantown 2030 planning, nearly 200 residents serve on Germantown’s 21 commissions. “City commissions are involved in every aspect of our community, from City beautification to budget approval to historic preservation. There’s


a commission for every interest,” says City Administrator Patrick Lawton. What about all the residents not involved in committees? Their feedback is valued, too. Each year the City sends out an extensive survey asking everything from how safe residents feel to how satisfied they are with the taste, smell and pressure of Germantown’s water. The response is overwhelmingly positive. The City’s resident satisfaction level is superior to those of Apple and Ritz Carlton. “Not many cities survey. But how do you know where you’re going unless you ask the questions?” Lawton says. This focused, intentional way of doing things helps keep residents happy. “In Germantown we do things thoughtfully,” the Mayor says. “Like cooking good southern barbecue — it’s low and slow.”

Germantown Forward 2030 Steering Committee

Track progress Residents can monitor progress toward 2030 objectives online at Germantown-TN.gov/2030.


Protecting & serving


“There isn’t a bad place to live in Germantown. There’s not a bad street, there aren’t bad pockets, there aren’t bad areas. It’s a fact,” says one Germantown resident.

Germantown is consistently rated one of the safest cities in Tennessee and in the U.S. compared to cities of simiar size. So obviously the City’s doing something right. But what is it, exactly, that Germantown is doing to help citizens feel so secure? “Being proactive,” explains Chief of Police Richard Hall. More specifically, he might add, is providing a noticeable presence. In a recent survey, residents were asked to complete the sentence, “I know I’m in Germantown when…” Many of the responses were related to seeing a police presence and feeling safe. “When I’m out patrolling, I go down every single street in my district at least once. We have the privilege of being able to do that,” another officer explains. This makes for a strong connection with the people, and helps them feel comfortable communicating with first responders. “We can prevent crime because our citizens are so actively engaged,” Hall says.



Fire Chief John Selberg agrees, “Our citizens are our eyes and ears.” Resident Michelle Reynolds Johns is a perfect example. She noticed that her neighbors’ house caught on fire when they were out of town.

“The fire department was there immediately. They put the fire out, but also went in to salvage photo albums and valuables. They’re professionals with hearts for the people they protect.” Community interaction is key. That’s why Germantown police regularly attend homeowners association meetings, perform traffic duty at schools, and even do vacation checks when residents are out of town. It all serves to give Germantown residents confidence that they’ll get results. “I’ve called the police a couple of times because we live on a busy street and we’ve had issues with speeders. Both times they’ve come out and set up radar,” says Shanna Sparks, a Germantown resident. “It’s amazing that a phone call will actually make something happen.”

City services recognition • LEED Gold Certification for Fire Station 4 •T  ennessee Law Enforcement Accredited Police Department •G  FD awarded Class 1 rating by the Insurance Services Office




Police • Average response time under minutes

4 • 99 full-time police officers • 21 full-time dispatchers

Fire •A  verage response time under minutes

6 • 84 full-time fire fighters

• Fire engines and ambulances staffed with paramedics and advanced EMTs




• million spent on infrastructure in the last 10 years

• Protected underground aquifers for high-quality water

• Bike lanes on many major roads

• Electric and natural gas rates among the lowest in the U.S.

• Easy access to interstates, highways, airport and rail station

• City-wide trash, recycling and yard waste pick-up




CITY RESOURCES Customer Service


(901) 757-7200

Bobby Lanier Farm Park


(901) 757-7375

Community Calendar


(901) 757-7202

Economic & Community Development


(901) 757-7281

Events and Classes


Germantown Athletic Club


(901) 757-7370

Germantown Boards and Commissions


(901) 757-7251

Germantown Charity Horse Show


(901) 754-0009

Germantown Community Library


(901) 757-7323

Germantown Community Theater


(901) 453-7447

Germantown Country Club


(901) 754-7241

Germantown Municipal Schools


(901) 752-7900

Germantown Performing Arts Center


(901) 751-7500

Parks and Recreation


(901) 757-7375






Profile for Stacey Ewell

Germantown Life & Stories  

Graciousness and firm handshakes. Traditional values combined with forward-thinking vision. Fresh-cut lawns and concerts in the park and tal...

Germantown Life & Stories  

Graciousness and firm handshakes. Traditional values combined with forward-thinking vision. Fresh-cut lawns and concerts in the park and tal...