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Beaman Park Designated State natural Area

4/12/2013

Metro’s Beaman Park Designated State Natural Area

Park Director says good stewardship is department’s mission

Nashville, TN --- Metro Park officials announced today that Beaman Park has been designated the newest natural area for the state of Tennessee.  Natural areas represent some of Tennessee’s best examples of intact ecosystems and are refuges for unique plant species and wildlife. The official designation was signed into law yesterday and makes the 1,678-acre park the second state natural area in the Metro Parks Department, joining Hill Forest State Natural Area, which was recently acquired by the Friends of Warner Parks.    

“Anyone who has visited Beaman knows it is a special place and I am proud that it has been designated as a state natural area,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “This is a major milestone in our efforts to protect Nashville’s unique landscape and natural resources.”

Parks Director Tommy Lynch said the designation was a departmental and community goal that was reached after almost 20 years consensus-building with area residents and support from the Friends of Beaman Park, a non-profit organization that sponsors volunteer activities and programs to benefit the park. 

“This is part of the on-going mission of our department to be good stewards of the properties entrusted to us,” Lynch said.  “Beaman is one of our many beautiful, rustic, pristine properties with unique biological and geographical features that will now be preserved for future generations.” Beaman will remain under the management of the Parks Department.  The state natural areas designation provides protection to the plant and wildlife habitats in the park. 

Beaman lies on the Highland Rim, just outside of the Nashville Basin, in the northwest edge of Davidson County, just 13 miles from downtown.  Most of the park is drained by Little Marrowbone Creek on the north and Bull Run Creek on the south.  The vegetation is dense and wildflowers abound.  There are many plant species found in Beaman Park that are not found in any of the other 109 parks in the city.  The park is home to countless species of wildlife, including -   deer, bobcats, foxes, reptiles, and birds. 

The park is open from daylight to dusk.  The land was acquired by the Parks Department in 1996.  Local businessman Lee Beaman was instrumental in influencing his mother, Sally Beaman, to donate $650,000 to assist the city in completing the acquisition.  The park is named in honor of Sally Beaman’s husband, Alvin G. Beaman.  Public access is provided and there is a parking area for the hiking trails and for the Beaman Park Nature Center.

Metro Parks manages a variety of properties that serve as habitats for plants, wildlife and other endangered species.  Those properties include:  Bells Bend Park, Warner Parks, the Burch Reserve, Hill Forest, Stones River Farm, and Cornelia Fort Airport, Shelby Bottoms.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Natural Areas Program was established in 1971 with the passage of the Natural Areas Preservation Act (T.C.A. 11-14-101). Since passage of this act, the General Assembly has designated 83 State Natural Areas, including Beaman Park. Management and use of State Natural Areas is governed by this act and the Rules for the Management of Tennessee Natural Resources Areas. Many of these state natural areas are managed through Cooperative Management Agreements with other local, state and federal agencies, as well as with non-governmental organizations.