Residents upset over build-up of shopping carts and trash in Brookemeade Park


Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Trash and many shopping carts are accumulating at Brookmeade Park. One Nashville resident finds it disturbing, especially since he said he counted hundreds of shopping carts.

The trash and shopping carts are in addition to the existing homeless community camp at the park.

Gower Mills said he and his wife see many shopping carts filled with trash by Brookmeade Park when they drive past the park on their way to Walmart or Lowes. But on Friday, Mills said he wanted to see how far into the park the trash went.

“This morning, I decided to walk down through the area to see how bad it actually was,” Mills said. “As soon as I walked into the area, I couldn’t believe my eyes and started taking pictures of the trash and the shopping carts. A little bit of everything you can imagine back there,” he added.

Mills said he walked about half a mile and was in disbelief. He said in addition to shopping carts; he saw generators and bicycles lying around in the park and the trash.

“Then I just kept going back further and further, all the way to the river, there were1:00 p.m10:00 a.m. encampments of homeless people, trash built up, shopping carts lined up. I counted over 650 shopping carts from different businesses,” Mills said. “Walmart, Lowes, Pet Smart, Target, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree were some of the shopping carts. Most of them were from Walmart and Lowes,” he added.

Mills said it was amazing to see the accumulation of trash. The long-time Nashville resident said it made him feel angry.

“They’re talking about crime in other areas; yea, that definitely needs to be taken care of, but a new stadium, no. They need to fix this out here. Stop worrying about downtown Nashville and start worrying about the outskirts of Nashville. We’re building up just like they are in downtown, and it is just as dangerous back here,” he said.

Mills said the city and Metro Parks need to act immediately.

“I would like them to clean up our area and make it more presentable and look better and plus make it to where the park is more accessible to the public that actually wants to use it for what it’s supposed to have been for; a walking trail, a greenway for the people that are honest and pay taxes to keep it up,” Mills said.

WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile reached out to Metro Parks to find out if the department is aware of the situation. In an email, officials with The park said:

WSMV 4 asked Mills what the city should do about the homeless community encamped at the park.

“They need to figure out something and need to figure it out quick. Because the longer it takes, the more entitled the homeless will become,” Mills said.

With many of the shopping carts inside the park belonging to Walmart, WSMV 4′s Tosin Fakile talked to management at the location by Brookmeade Park to ask if they were aware their carts were ending up inside the park.

Management at Walmart said they’re aware and try to keep their carts close to the store, but there isn’t much they can do when people in the homeless community take their carts.

The store has lost so many carts Walmart management said in the last two years, they’d ordered about 700 carts at that location.

“When I went into the store this morning to talk to a manager, there wasn’t a single shopping cart for customers; they1:00 p.m10:00 a.m. had to keep going outside to get the ones in the cart return bins,” Mills said.