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Parks and Recreation

Centennial Park Improvements

Capital projects in Centennial Park are guided by the Centennial Park Concept Plan which provides an overall vision for the future of Nashville’s most iconic urban park.

Centennial Park Concept Plan

Centennial Park Concept plan

Phase One

The first phase of master plan implementation was completed in the summer of 2015 and included the daylighting of Cockrill Spring, the addition of Musician’s Corner, parking and landscape improvements around the Parthenon and water quality improvements in Lake Watauga.

Centennial Park Phase 2  - Layout plan

Phase Two

Phase Two is a 19-acre zone that includes the Great Lawn, the West End entrance road, lighting and landscape improvements near the Parthenon and modifications to the landscape near the Bandshell.

Centennial Park Phase 2A - Key Plan

Centennial Park Phase 2 - Perspective view of pedestrian promenade

Great Lawn

The Great Lawn will be re-engineered with sports field-quality turf and drainage improvements to look better and recover more quickly after big events and festivals. The lawn will be flanked on each side with 20’-wide pedestrian promenades shaded by double rows of shade trees. The spaces between the trees are designed to accommodate tents and food trucks during events. Proudly standing on the east promenade will be a new monument to Tennessee Women Suffragists.

Centennial Park Phase 2 - Great Lawn Allee Plaza plan and views

West End Entrance

The West End entrance to the park will be redesigned to allocate more space to pedestrians, new entry signage, and new planting beds showcasing seasonal color with pollinator flower and shrub species.

Parthenon Lighting and Landscape

In addition to landscape and pedestrian improvements, the Parthenon will be illuminated with a new LED lighting system. The lighting is designed to celebrate the iconic structure’s classical architectural features and sculptural details. The lights will turn on in a dramatic sequence every evening.

Parthenon - Illumination perspective

Bandshell Landscape

Limited improvement near the Bandshell are designed to tie seamlessly into the new paths and access needs of the Great Lawn. In addition, public roadways will be largely removed from this zone, improving safety for pedestrians, reducing impervious asphalt, and reconnecting different landscape zones in the northeastern quadrant of the park.


Phase Two construction is scheduled for Summer 2019 to Fall 2020.

Phase Two Tree Impacts

Selected trees will be removed due to significant health issues or because they will be impacted by construction. This project complies with all applicable regulatory requirements, Executive Order 40, and surpasses the recently adopted amendments to the Metro Tree Ordinance.

Tree Density Unit (TDU) Requirements:

  • Tree Ordinance and Exec. Order 40: 2,269
  • Achieved in Centennial Phase 2: 4,234

The project is designed to improved overall conditions for trees in Centennial Park. Interventions include:

  • Hardy Species Selection and Strategic Placement
  • Aeration and Soil Amendments
  • Improved and expanded irrigation zones
  • Keeping cars and other traffic off root zones

The project team includes an arborist who assessed the health of all trees in the Phase Two zone prior to the start of design in 2016. Revisions were made throughout the design process to reduce tree impacts. A second tree health assessment was completed in 2019 prior to the start of construction. Selected trees will be removed due to significant health issues or because they will be impacted by construction.

By the Numbers

Tree Counts and Caliper Inch Totals
Description Quantity Caliper Inches
Total Existing Trees 1833 21,397
Transplanted Trees 19 105
Trees to be Removed 60 (.032%) 1,096 (.051%)
Trees Removed: Due to Poor Health 31 667
Trees Removed: Due to Construction 29 (.015%) 429 (.02%)
Trees to be Planted 123 558
New Total 1896 20,859
Net gain/loss +63 -538

For every tree removed, two trees will be planted.