What We’re Doing
Turning a hidden gem vacant lot into a public park after a difficult tornado event.
Work with the community to raise funds and transfer 4 acres to the public forevermore.
In East Nashville’s Lockeland Springs neighborhood, there once was a park that felt unlike the rest. Small “fairy houses” built by children lined the wooded trails. Classes met there to learn about nature together. Residents strolled across its entirety for an escape from the urban sprawl. But in 2020, Lockeland Park was hit hard by a tornado—leaving trees down everywhere, with an overwhelming amount of revitalization work ahead.
Soon after, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, slowing plans to save the park. The adjacent vacant 6-acre lot—also beautifully wooded—became the neighborhood’s go-to spot. It felt like the new Lockeland Park, until “private” signs showed up, leaving the community without a green place to relax or play.
Seeing the potential of this newfound green space, the neighbors got to work finding out how to secure this land for public use. They contacted Trust for Public Land, and during initial conversations, the land came on the market. But the price tag was high: $2.9 million, and a young couple was already under contract to buy it.
The neighbors and TPL kept digging and discovered that the future owners of the lot needed only 2 of the 6 acres. The latter reached an agreement to sell the remaining 4 acres for the appraised price of $1.6 million, leading the community into a rapid fundraising process. The neighbors miraculously raised $800,000, which was matched by Metro Parks—getting the deal all the way to the closing table.
Now, TPL is working to transfer the land to TennGreen Land Conservancy. There’s a long road ahead, but a promising one to bring this park to life while the original Lockeland Park slowly recovers.