One of East Nashville’s few remaining vestiges of dense tree growth could be turned into a new Metro park.
The small three-acre wooded property directly behind the Lockeland Elementary Design Center on South 17th Street is noteworthy for a few reasons. Not only was the land the site of the first settlement in the neighborhood, but it also contains the actual Lockeland Springs for which the neighborhood is named.
For nearly two decades, the Metro Development and Housing Agency has owned the property. But a push by neighbors to ensure the area’s preservation, and maximize the land’s potential, could transfer the property over to Metro Parks and Recreation.
“It would be tremendous,” said the area’s Metro Council representative Mike Jameson, who noted the land’s storied past and called the property key to the neighborhood’s identity.
“It’s also an enormous opportunity for the school children who could have a nature area/science lab in their backyard, and to preserve a little bit of nature in an urban neighborhood setting, which is harder and harder to do,” Jameson said.
The transfer of property, which has the support of MDHA and Metro parks, is scheduled to go before the parks board on July 6. The issue is likely to be referred to the board’s acquisition committee before coming back to the board for final approval.
Though the property would become an official Metro park, the idea bandied about by proponents is to limit dramatic changes to the area and preserve the density of the woods. A mulched trail could be added, but there would be few other additions and expenditures.
A community meeting to solicit input on the possible park is scheduled for July 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Lockeland Elementary Design Center.