Nashville Open Space Plan

Nashville is a uniquely beautiful place. The wide Cumberland River winds around bends. Forested hills and hollows blanket the Northwest. Historic sites inspire reverence for the region. Community gardens dot neighborhoods with color. And parks and lakes are havens for wildlife and residents alike. It is this character of place and quality of life that draws residents, visitors and businesses here. – Nashville Open Space Plan

In 2011, The Land Trust for Tennessee and Office of the Mayor Karl Dean released the Nashville Open Space Plan – a progressive, long-term plan for protecting and creating open space throughout Davidson County. It is the first conservation plan to map all of the protected open spaces in Davidson County and sets ambitious, achievable goals to enhance the environmental, social, and economic well-being of Middle Tennessee. Its ultimate goal is to make Nashville the greenest city in the Southeast.

Four Corners, Nine Bends and a Heart of Green

The Open Space Plan provides strategies and goals to create neighborhood parks and gardens, conserve hillsides and private parks and protect farms, forests and river corridors outside the urban core. The plan envisions large anchors of protected open space in the each of the four corners of the county, key protected land in each bend of the Cumberland River and downtown Nashville as a heart of green. It charts a course for connecting these large reserves with open space “corridors”—smaller swaths of either greenways, bikeways, or waterways.


Open Space Plan Successes*:

Thanks to several conservation organizations, landowners, and leaders, hundreds of acres of new parkland are now open, and multiple private farms and open spaces are protected for the future. Successes include:

  • 4,500+ acres of new parkland, 14 new parks and 6 park expansions. These wins have increased Nashville parkland by 25 percent and surpassed the goal of adding 3,000 acres of parkland by 2021.
  • 40 new miles of trails, increasing greenways by 50 percent
  • 500+ acres of land in Davidson County protected by The Land Trust for Tennessee through private conservation agreements
  • Key land acquisitions have achieved a major goal of the plan: to establish an anchor park and series of parks in all corners of Davidson County (Stones River Park and Southeast Park)

The Land Trust for Tennessee has had a direct role in many of the Nashville Open Space Plan wins, including:

  • 130+ new acres of parkland at Shelby Bottoms Park with the addition of Cornelia Fort Airpark
  • 568-acre expansion of Beaman Park, making it second in size only to the Warner Parks
  • 181 new acres of parkland adjacent to the Stones River Greenway
  • The addition of over 63.5 acres to Radnor Lake State Natural Area
  • 17 properties protected by The Land Trust for Tennessee conservation easements:
    • Nine in the West Meade neighborhood
    • Two Civil War sites
    • One urban garden
    • A hilltop above Radnor Lake
    • One large forested property

Additional Background & History

The Nashville Open Space Plan, known as “Nashville Naturally,” was released in 2011 by The Office of the Mayor Karl Dean and The Land Trust for Tennessee with expertise and key support from The Conservation Fund. The Open Space Plan reflects public priorities for open space and serves as a guide for planners, Metro officials and agencies, developers, conservation groups, and others to follow as the County quickly grows.

For More Information:

*Data as of January 2018

« Back to Urban