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Parks and Recreation

Centennial Park Planning

Centennial Park Master Plan Cover

The Centennial Park Master Plan was completed in 2011 following a two year process lead by landscape architecture firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. The plan outlines the future vision for the oldest and most visited park in Nashville.

Centennial Park Master Plan

Phase One Implementation

The first phase of master plan implementation was completed in the summer of 2015. This work included the following improvements:

The Cockrill Spring Zone

This area includes much of the park’s West End Avenue frontage. The historic Cockrill Spring (which had been buried and drained to a sewer for a century) was brought back to the surface and creates a new water feature surrounded by a native Tennessee landscape.  The spring water is filtered through a wetland garden before being used first for irrigation and then pumped to Lake Watauga to enhance water quality. This area also includes a permanent venue for Musicians Corner with seating areas nestled into the site’s natural contours and better utility infrastructure for performances. The project also involves restoration of the park’s historic perimeter wall and street lights, new paths, interpretive signs and other enhancements.

The Parthenon Zone

This is the area between the Parthenon and Lake Watauga. A spaghetti of roads and parking was consolidated into a single lot, freeing up space for a beautiful new approach to the Parthenon that includes an entry plaza, a formal events lawn and new gardens, trees and landscaping. A rain garden cleanses and cools parking lot runoff before it enters the lake.

Lake Watauga Water Quality

An integrated strategy to water quality in Lake Watauga has included the dredging of over 3,000 cubic yards of silt, the installation of vegetated floating wetland islands that outcompete algae for phosphorus and a new aeration and circulation system.  In addition, over 60 million gallons of cold Cockrill spring water is pumped to the lake. Stormwater runoff from the Parthenon roof and nearby parking lots is cleansed through rain gardens before entering the lake.

Future Phases

Future phases of master plan implementation will occur as funding becomes available.

Centennial Park Master Plan Perspective