Ready To Restore The Field In Red Bank

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024

On behalf of Trust For Public Land and our many community partners, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Mayor Barry and the city of Red Bank for their commitment to the stewardship of The Field. 

Originally active as a cemetery from around 1890 to 1912 and managed by Hamilton County, The Field is believed to be the final resting place for over 2,000 members of our community. The cemetery was intentionally closed and abandoned by Hamilton County around 1913 and largely forgotten until recent years.

The city of Red Bank recognizes the immense historical and cultural importance of this place, and at the most recent meeting of their Board of Commissioners – more than 110 years since the cemetery’s abandonment – they unanimously approved a partnership with TPL to begin restoring and appropriately managing the site. Our work will include extensive outreach to the public, particularly descendants from Chattanooga’s African-American community, as well as various local and national organizations who have special expertise in the care of historic cemeteries like this one.

Wendell Berry once wrote, “There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” For three decades, Trust For Public Land has made it our mission in Tennessee to find, reclaim, repair, and reinvigorate public spaces that for one reason or another, have lacked the stewardship that we feel they have deserved. To that end, our goal is to ensure that The Field is not only restored in a way that honors its history and points toward a future of honesty, hope, and healing. 

We are so appreciative that Mayor Berry, Vice Mayor Dalton, and Commissioners Jamie Fairbanks-Harvey, Pete Phillips, and Hayes Wilkinson have entrusted Trust For Public Land with this opportunity. We’re ready to get to work. 

Daniela Peterson  
Program Director, Welcoming Places  
Trust For Public Land, Tennessee Office

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