A resolution recognizing the 90th anniversary of Warner Parks and the 30th anniversary of Friends of Warner Parks.

WHEREAS, the Warner Parks celebrate two major milestones in 2017: the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Parks in 1927, and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Friends of Warner Parks in 1987; and in honor of these milestones, the Friends of Warner Parks have vowed to restore the historic sandstone entrance gates, which serve as the front door to Percy Warner Park; and

WHEREAS, in 1927, when Percy Warner was chair of the Board of Parks & Recreation of Nashville, his son-in-law Luke Lea and daughter Percie Warner Lea donated 868 acres of land to establish the Park, and acquisition of additional land followed over the next several years with leadership by Edwin Warner, bringing the park to a total of 2,665 acres; and

WHEREAS, early construction included the sandstone entrance gates at Belle Meade Boulevard dedicated in 1932 as a memorial to Percy Warner, the model airplane field established in Edwin Warner Park in 1932/33 as the first model airplane field in the Nashville area, and the limestone Allée and scenic overlook, designed by nationally acclaimed architect Bryant Fleming and completed circa 1936; and

WHEREAS, the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) provided the capital outlay and labor force for improvements in the Warner Parks from 1936 through 1941, constructing limestone entrances, walls, bridges, picnic shelters, the Percy Warner Golf Course, and the Steeplechase with tiered boxes for viewing horse races; and

WHEREAS, the Warner Parks began to show significant “wear and tear” in the 1970s due to decades of public use, and slowly and imperceptibly some areas of the Parks entered a state of decline; and there was a need for the city government and the community to come together to invest in park management, programs and protection; and

WHEREAS, in 1973, the Warner Park Nature Center was established, and improvements to the parks were made possible by federal Youth Conservation Corps grants that provided “work-learn-earn” opportunities for young people; and

WHEREAS, in 1980, the Warner Parks were listed in the Tennessee Register of Natural Areas by the Tennessee Department of Conservation, and in 1984 the Warner Parks were nominated and listed in the National Register of Historic Places; and

WHEREAS, “The Warner Park Preservation Plan” was prepared and published in 1986 with recommendations for long term restoration and maintenance, and following the publication Bob Parrish, director of the Warner Park Nature Center, and landscape architect Tara Armistead began a dialogue on the need for community support for the Warner Parks and contacted Clare Armistead to seek her advice and leadership in forming a support group for Warner Parks; and

WHEREAS, in 1987, Friends of Warner Parks was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to support the work of the Metro Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation in protecting, preserving and stewarding the Warner Parks; and

WHEREAS, E. Warner Bass, grandson of Edwin Warner, was chosen as the first president of Friends of Warner Parks, and he and Jim Fyke, director of Metro Parks, formed a partnership between their two organizations that laid the foundation for future success and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, “The Warner Park Master Plan” was prepared and published in 1987 with professional consultants William Johnson and Associates, Inc., Hodgson and Douglas, and Tara Armistead, and the comprehensive plan provided sweeping recommendations for park management, policies and resource management; and

WHEREAS, in 1989, Friends of Warner Parks chose Georgeanne Chapman as the first executive director, and the Warner Parks Headquarters was established in a renovated farmhouse at 50 Vaughn Road, a shared facility with the Metro Parks Department to encourage good communication and partnership; and

WHEREAS, in 1990, Alyne Massey and Elizabeth Queener having attended a luncheon event to benefit the Central Park Conservancy, suggested that the idea be adapted for Friends of Warner Parks, and that same year Sunday in the Park was established as a major fundraiser, with Clare Armistead agreeing to chair the first luncheon with Trudy Caldwell Byrd; and

WHEREAS, in 1994, Eleanor Willis was selected to become executive director of Friends of Warner Parks, serving in this leadership role for 19 years, and taking the organization to new heights of success and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, in 1999, the Warner Parks were listed as a Local Historic Landmark by the Metro Historic Zoning Commission, and the Friends of Warner Parks received “The National Voluntary Service Award” presented by the National Recreation and Parks Association at their annual congress held in Nashville; and

WHEREAS, through volunteer efforts, strategic planning, and fundraising, Friends of Warner Parks continues to protect, preserve and steward the historic Warner Parks in partnership with the Metro Parks Department to ensure that the Parks will enrich the lives of current and future generations.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing Warner Parks and Friends of Warner Parks’ milestone celebrations.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the Board of the Friends of Warner Parks and its Executive Director Mr. Mark Weller.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Angie Henderson, Burkley Allen, Dave Rosenberg, Jeff Syracuse, Bob Mendes, Sheri Weiner, John Cooper, Mina Johnson, Kevin Rhoten, Nancy VanReece, Kathleen Murphy, Larry Hagar, Sharon Hurt


Referred to: Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee
Introduced: October 17, 2017
Adopted: October 17, 2017
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: November 8, 2017
Effective Date : November 8, 2017

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