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Beaman Park ADA Accessible and Interpretive Trail Wins National Award


Beaman Park ADA Accessible and Interpretive Trail Wins National Award

Nashville, TN  ---  Beaman Parks’ ADA Accessible and Interpretive Trail recently scored a national award for the Friends of Beaman Park (FOBP).  The Coalition for Recreation Trails (CRT) presented the award last week at a special ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington DC as  part of the national Great Outdoors Week 2013 celebration.  

Beaman was one of seven trail projects from across the country to receive the 15th Annual Achievement Awards, which recognizes outstanding use of funds for the Coalition’s Recreational Trails Program.  The centerpiece of the Beaman Park project was the construction of a 300-foot long boardwalk which connects to the park’ nature center, then loops back to a 300-foot long, barrier-free, firm surface trail which ultimately creates a quarter-mile loop.  The project also includes decks and seating for visitors to sit and enjoy the quiet wooded setting. 

“We never thought of it as an ADA project,” said Nancy Dorman, president of the Friends of Beaman Park.  “It was always about providing access for a wide variety of users, from families with strollers to older folks.”  Dorman said the Friends of Beaman Park were awarded an $85,000 grant from the Federal Highways Administration (FHA) in 2009 and a $20,000 grant from the Memorial Foundation of Hendersonville, which provided the required matching funds for the FHA grant.

LinnAnn Welch, the manager of both Beaman and Bells Bend Nature Centers said, “This project would never have happened without the hard work and determination of our Friends group.” The Friends of Beaman Park furnished grant administration and served as volunteer coordinators on the project. They were committed to providing volunteer labor for as much of the job as possible, further stretching the benefit and value that the trail provides to our community, allowing us to use the majority of our funds for the purchase of construction materials and supplies.” 

Over the course of the three-year project, volunteers included members of the: Nashville Hiking Meetup, the Tennessee Trails Association, Vanderbilt and Belmont University students, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Labor Crew, Hands on Nashville, and two Eagle Scout projects. 

The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) is a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations. Its members work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, which returns federal gasoline taxes paid by off-highway recreationists to the states for trail development and maintenance. The awards are part of the coalition’s ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quality and quantity of trail experiences available to the public.

The Beaman Park Nature Center, a Metro Park facility, is located at 5911 Old Hickory Blvd., in Joelton, TN.  The Friends of Beaman Park preserves and protects the natural, historical, cultural and recreational features of the area in and around Beaman Park.  The group advocates for conservation and resource protection through fundraising, community education, and other activities. The Friends of Beaman Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1996.