Public parks are meant for all to enjoy, but one Nashville community is fed up the city is trying to sell their green space.
Residents of the Edgehill community are trying to save their parks, three of which all within one square mile of the other.
News4 was the first to report last year about the deal the city made with developers concerning Tony Rose Park, allowing them to fence off part of the green space and park their construction equipment inside.
Now at E.S. Rose Park, Belmont University plans to build a two-story building. The city recently leased the land to the university until 2047.
There is also Edgehill Community Memorial Garden. The park is listed as a revenue line on the budget that will be considered by Metro Council on Tuesday.
The beloved park, which was the home of Nashville’s most celebrated African-American artist William Edmondson, could soon be up for sale.
“Public land is for public use, public access and public good and it should not be converted for private gain,” said Brenda Morrow.
Morrow grew up in Edgehill and is now a well-respected community leader.
You will find her in the park’s community garden every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“Look at all those kids over there and their summer camps,” said Morrow. “Look at those fruit trees. This is not surplus property.”
She’s feeling a lot of sadness, anger and determination because she fought to create the park in the 1990s. Now she said she’s going to fight as hard as she can to keep it a park.
“We’re going to keep this moving. We’ve got to for the community, for the children, for our famous William Edmondson,” said Morrow. “We’ve got to keep this moving.”
The Save the Edmondson Homesite Park & Memorial Garden Coalitions posted a statement about Wednesday’s community meeting.
When it comes to the park, the Mayor’s Office said its committed to working with the community after the budget is approved.
As for the leasing deal at E.S. Rose Park, the city said Belmont invests a lot of money into the park and its programs.
They said the city will keep running the schedules for the athletic fields to make sure everyone continues to have access.
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