Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and residents on Thursday to celebrate the completion of a new community park which sits at the corner of Gale and Lealand Lanes. TDOT partnered with Mayor Dean and Metro Parks to convert the property into the new park.
The park is located on right-of-way property purchased by the State of Tennessee in preparation for the construction of I-440. It was never used when plans to build an interchange near Granny White Pike were abandoned. For several years, the area was used as a community garden and composting operation. TDOT was forced to close the garden two years ago when it became cluttered with trash. During the original cleanup process, 24 dump truck loads of debris and two loads of metal were hauled away.
At Thursday’s ribbon cutting ceremony, TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said, “This is a remarkable improvement from what this land looked like two years ago. I thank Mayor Dean for partnering with TDOT to create this beautiful park that residents will be able to enjoy for decades to come.”
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, who also spoke at Thursday’s ribbon cutting, said “TDOT has done a wonderful job transforming an under-utilized space into a recreational area for this vibrant neighborhood. Making sure our residents have green spaces to be active and enjoy the outdoors is important, and this new park will go hand in hand with a new community center under construction in nearby Sevier Park. This project is an example of the great partnership between Metro and TDOT, and I want to thank TDOT and Metro Parks for their collaboration to create this beautiful community park."
Metro Park crews helped plant trees and donated park benches. Through a 15-year agreement, Metro Parks will maintain this park in the future.
Katy Kattelman, a community resident who owns a nearby business said, “I have lived here for 18 years and have seen many changes and this is absolutely the best.”
TDOT construction designed the 5.2-acre park and TDOT maintenance crews spent two months excavating, paving, rerouting drainage, installing culvert, surveying, trimming and planting trees and marking pavement. Because the park sits near the historic Battle of Nashville site, a state archeologist was on hand during all construction to make sure any historic artifacts found were protected.
The park includes 2,800 feet of walking trails, three benches, a handicap parking area and trash receptacles. The walking path also includes rest areas for wheelchair users.
The cost of materials for the park is $77,393. The construction of the park included 1,500 tons of rock, 525 tons of asphalt, 1,000 pounds of seed, 575 bales of straw and 10 tons of mulch.
Photos can be found at the link below to show what the area looked like in March 2011 and now. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tndot/sets/72157633568749694/