Greenways Are an Essential Component for the Vitality of Nashville

    Greenways for Nashville is a not-for profit member organization raising awareness of and private support for Nashville’s greenways initiative. GFN works in partnership with the Metro Parks Department’s Greenways Commission.

    Mark Deutschmann serves as President for Greenways for Nashville.

    Why Greenways?

    • To build a network of trails and open spaces in Davidson County, linking neighborhoods, schools, parks, and commercial areas. To provide readily accessible recreational options in a natural setting, enhancing the health of Nashvillians. To support conservation of natural resources including wetlands, floodplains, plant and wildlife habitat, thereby improving air and water quality in our city. To provide alternative transportation (biking and walking) and connectivity as part of Metro’s multi-modal transportation system.

    Background:

    • Coordinated by the Greenways Commission of Metro Parks, created in 1992. Supported by Greenways for Nashville, a nonprofit friends group established in 1994. GfN is membership based, providing a public-private partnership for greenway enhancements and land. Based primarily on Davidson County’s network of seven main rivers and creeks: Cumberland River, Harpeth River, Mill Creek, Richland Creek, Seven Mile Creek, Stones River, and Whites Creek. Prioritized in the 2001 Parks & Greenways Master Plan and the 2011 Open Space Plan.

    Current Snapshot:

    • There are 80 miles of greenway trails, which are part of the 215-mile network of paved and hiking trails in Davidson County. Greenways comprise 37% of Nashville’s trails. 60% of Nashville’s neighborhoods are within 1-mile walking distance of a greenway. Projects underway include expansions of Mill Creek, Harpeth River, Whites Creek, Stones River and Gulch greenways.

    Future Needs:

    • Increase current funding levels to expand, expedite, and maintain the greenway trails system and advance land acquisition for parks.
    • Consider key connectivity investments such as an Opry Mills boardwalk connector, a pedestrian bridge from Stones River to Neely’s Bend, and a pedestrian bridge from Whites Bend to Bells Bend.
    • Preserve greenway corridors (floodplain and viewsheds) and green fields (open spaces with conservation, agriculture and cultural landscape value), such as Whites Creek Village, Bells Bend, West Meade to Beaman, and the lower half of Neely’s Bend.
    • Enhance green space and greenways in downtown Nashville for use by locals and visitors.

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