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Metro Parks To Begin Strategic Planning Process

May 23, 2016

Mayor Barry Helps Launch Public Engagement Process

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Parks and Recreation is kicking off a comprehensive yearlong master planning process – “Plan To Play” – with a series of community meetings and events to gain public input about how Nashvillians would like to see the park system grow and change in the coming years.

The first round of public meetings will be held Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9.

Residents are encouraged to attend the following meetings:

Wednesday, June 8

  • 6 p.m.: Southeast Community Center, 5260 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Suite 202

Thursday, June 9

  • Noon: Nashville Downtown Library, 615 Church Street
  • 6 p.m.: Old Hickory Community Center, 1050 Donelson Drive
  • 6 p.m.: McCabe Community Center, 101 46th Avenue North

Mayor Megan Barry will speak at the June 9, noon public meeting.

“Our parks and greenways are places where Nashville’s quality of life can be experienced in all its glory,” Mayor Barry said. “Now it’s time for us to revisit our long-range plan for Parks, and it is critical that the entire community plays a part in the process so we can better understand the needs and wants of our city.”

The last Metro Parks and Greenways master plan was adopted in 2002 with an update in 2008.

The purpose of the first round of meetings will be to educate residents and stakeholders about the current state of Metro Parks, from facilities to finances to programs, and to then engage them in a broad discussion of the changes and improvements they would like to see in their parks and greenways system in the future. Attendees will have the opportunity to share feedback in breakout sessions.

The next round of public meetings is planned for October and will be held in different parts of Davidson County to ensure equitable access.

In addition to community meetings, Nashvillians will also have the opportunity to share feedback through telephone surveys, online surveys and social media. The first survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/PlanToPlay1, and feedback will be shared at the next meeting.

“Community engagement is crucial to developing a successful Parks and Greenways master plan,” said Tommy Lynch, Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation director. “We want to create an all-encompassing plan that will benefit the community for years to come. Parks bring people together. I urge everyone interested to get involved, attend community meetings and make your opinions heard.”

In 2002, Metro Parks developed the first Countywide Parks and Greenways Master Plan. That plan focused on upgrading Nashville’s existing parks and greenways. Some of its goals were to:

  • Construct new community centers, nature centers, playgrounds and other facilities
  • Update and enhance existing parks and facilities throughout the county
  • Achieve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance at all facilities
  • Provide a park or greenway near every resident
  • Add 2,000 acres of new parkland

With an increasing population, shifts in recreation and usage changes, the master plan that was created 14 years ago needs to be updated to fit the needs of the community and future generations.

“It is gratifying to note that we have achieved almost all of the key goals from our last master plan,” Lynch said. “We plan to identify similar, achievable goals in the months ahead.”

The master plan is being developed by the Parks Department planning division, working with Hawkins Partners, Inc., a landscape architecture, urban design and master planning firm located in Nashville, in collaboration with the Trust for Public Land and PROS Consulting.

Parks officials expect the master plan to be finalized by early 2017. Visit plantoplay.nashville.gov to learn more.

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About Plan To Play

Plan To Play is a Metro Parks and Recreation-led initiative for a countywide master plan with a robust public engagement process that will serve as guide for future investments in our park system and establish a comprehensive strategy for sustained growth for the coming decade. Supporting funding partners are the Nashville Parks Foundation and the Trust for Public Land. The last Metro Parks and Greenways master plan was adopted in 2002 with an update in 2008. This yearlong process depends on your input. Help Nashville prioritize strategic, equitable investment in Metro parks and facilities at plantoplay.nashville.gov, on Facebook at Plan To Play Nashville and on Twitter at @PlanToPlayNash.

Metro Parks offers a variety of facilities and programs throughout Davidson County. Currently, there are 15,873 acres of open space, including 185 parks and 19 greenways. It is the mission of the department to provide all residents of Davidson County equal opportunities for safe recreational and cultural activities while also preserving and protecting the area’s natural resources.