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Parks and Recreation

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center - green roof

The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is an environmental education and recreation facility of the Nashville Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation. The Nature Center is a place where people can enjoy learning about our natural and urban landscape, the flora and fauna that call it home, the cultural history of the area, and the many complex interactions of what we so simply call “nature.” It is a place to learn (or remember!) that we are a part of nature and not apart from it.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center:

  • Provides a great starting point for exploring the more than 950 acres of Shelby Bottoms Greenway and 336 acres of adjacent Shelby Park.
  • Offers a wide range of free public nature and environmental education programs, school field trips, educator training workshops, outdoor recreation programs, individual and group volunteer opportunities, student internship possibilities, Girl and Boy Scout programs, and other special activities for people of all ages.
  • Serves as a natural history and education reference center for individuals and groups.
  • Promotes and serves as a resource for organic and urban community gardening, rain gardening and “green” building.
  • Offers a Nashville B-Cycle station at which residents and visitors of Nashville can rent a bike to ride on the Shelby Bottoms and other connected Greenways and bike lanes.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Park from the airThe SBNC facilities include the nature center which houses natural and cultural history exhibits, programming space, art and photography exhibition space, and a library with many field ID guides, natural and cultural history titles and children’s books; an organic demonstration and teaching garden; a Cumberland River Compact rain garden; a children’s Nature Play area and trails; and the main trailhead for approximately five miles each of primitive hiking trails and paved ADA accessible trails.

Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Shelby Park are located in urban East Nashville; less than 4 miles from Printers Alley, The District and historic Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville, home of Nashville’s Honky Tonk Row, as well as other nightlife, shopping, dining and sports venues.

Our Mission

  • To provide quality environmental education and responsible recreation.
  • To help protect, preserve, restore and manage the park ecosystem and all natural resources.
  • To raise awareness, foster respect and share enthusiasm for the natural environment.

You can support Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, the Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Shelby Park by becoming a member of the Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms!

Shelby Bottoms Wildflower Panorama by James Fullerton

Hours of Operation

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday:
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Wednesday and Friday:
12:00-4:00 p.m.
Sunday and Monday:

Contact Us

1900 Davidson St.
Nashville, TN 37206
(615) 862-8539

Directions to Shelby Bottoms Nature Center


Full Program / Event Schedule

Download the Spring 2021 Event Schedule

For more information or to register online for select events, please go to our Shelby Bottoms Nature Center Programs page.

To see a full list of the upcoming events please go to our Shelby Bottoms Nature Center Events page.