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Alonzo Rhodes named recipient of Metro Parks’ 2017 Jeffrey C. Chatman Award


Watkins Park Program Coordinator Alonzo Rhodes is the recipient of Metro Parks’ 2017 Jeffrey C. Chatman Award. Alonzo, a 19-year Parks employee, was recognized for his service to youth, programming skills and life-time commitment to recreation and sports. Alonzo, along with other honorees, was chosen by his peers.

Metro Parks Director Monique Odom said,  “I am always amazed by the wonderful and often unacknowledged work that takes place in our community centers. Alonzo exemplifies the skill, the passion and the dedication it takes to make a real difference in the lives of so many who utilize Watkins Park Community Center.

“I also want to congratulate Darlene, Melissa, and Odessa for their leadership, dedication and community involvement.  To be honored is always an honor but to be honored by your peers is extremely meaningful,” said Odom.  “I am so very proud of our Community Programs team. Their skill, dedication, knowledge-base and creativity are unmatched.  It is a privilege to have them on our team.”

The Chatman Award is presented in honor of Jeff Chatman, a dedicated and well-loved 25-year Metro Parks employee whose work in community centers touched countless lives through exemplary leadership, dedication, and community involvement.  Chatman died unexpectedly in 2016.

Other peer-acknowledged categories and honorees include:

  • Leadership – Darlene Morrow, East Park Facilities Manager
  • Dedication – Melissa Rucker, Elizabeth Center Program Coordinator
  • Community Involvement – Odessa Kelly, Napier Center Program Coordinator 

Metro Parks operates 26 regional and neighborhood community centers throughout the city. Each facility features a gymnasium, game room, multi-purpose rooms, playground and gathering area. Many feature fitness rooms and outdoor walking tracks, while some have swimming pools that operate on a seasonal basis.

Regional Centers include a fully-equipped fitness center with the latest aerobic and strengthening equipment, gymnasium, indoor walking/running track, dance/exercise studio, arts and crafts room, multi-use meeting space and game room. Programming reflects the diverse interests of the surrounding community. Activities are offered for all ages and abilities and include group fitness classes, youth and adult sports, dance classes, senior recreational/social programs, art classes, aquatics programs, free play, and youth out-of-school programs.

Neighborhood Community Centers are community-based and offer programs and activities for the surrounding communities throughout the year. These facilities provide a wide range of programs and services to all members of the community. Programs and activities include competitive adult and youth sports, arts and crafts, walking clubs, scouting programs, organized games, social events, and many more.

Metro Parks offers a variety of facilities and programs throughout Davidson County which includes nearly 16,000 acres of land, 185 parks and 86 miles of greenway. The department’s mission is to sustainably and equitably provide everyone in Nashville with an inviting network of parks and greenways that offer health, wellness and quality of life through recreation, conservation and community.