A 90/30 Celebration


Beloved Warner Parks Mark 90th Year

 Friends of Warner Parks celebrate Nashville’s “sanctuary in the city” with special events, invite Parks users to share stories and support preservation

NASHVILLE, TN – This month and throughout the rest of 2017, the storied Percy and Edwin Warner Parks will officially celebrate 90 years with a series of special events. Established in 1927, Warner Parks are collectively Tennessee’s largest municipally administered park, comprising nearly 3,200 acres of forest and field.

A free public celebration is scheduled for October 28 place from 10am to 2pm at Warner Parks Nature Center. The event will include a variety of hands-on activities, presentations, and treats for all ages and is hosted by the Warner Park Nature Center and Friends of Warner Parks, the nonprofit organization responsible for preserving, protecting, and stewarding Warner Parks.

Many other events of interest, all of which demonstrate Warner Parks’ enduring role as a one-of-a-kind resource and destination, are scheduled throughout the month. Highlights include:

  • The season’s final Full Moon Pickin’ Party, a Nashville tradition featuring Middle Tennessee’s finest bluegrass music under the light of a full moon. The event, which benefits Friends of Warner Parks, will be held on October 13 at Percy Warner Park.
  • The 7th Annual Rock and Road Race on October 21, also a benefit for Friends of Warner Parks. This year they will be hosting, in honor of their 30th Anniversary, a 30 mile race with a relay option, and a 5k. The courses cover both trail, cross-country and paved drives in beautiful Percy Warner Park.

The 90th anniversary also presents a timely opportunity to reflect on Warner Parks as an integral part of Nashville’s history, present, and future: That’s What Friends Are For In 1987, after decades of decline, Friends of Warner Parks was formed by a group of concerned neighbors using New York’s Central Park Conservancy as a model. 30 years later, staff and volunteers work tirelessly behind the scenes to protect the natural and historical integrity of the area.

Friends support hands-on education and conservation programs, research initiatives, litter and landscape management, trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, and administrative support.

With its highest-ever visitor rates and an ever-increasing number of uses and events, Warner Parks needs the support of these Friends—partners, donors, and volunteers—in order to fulfill its expensive and time-intensive mission of preserving, protecting, and stewarding one of the city’s most popular and long-loved destinations.

  • Love hurts! Spend a day with a maintenance crew or volunteer team for a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to maintain Nashville’s 3,200-acre sanctuary.
  • Hear from Executive Director Mark Weller, along with volunteers, donors, long-time “Friends” to understand how the 30-year-old organization impacts our beautiful, everyday experiences in the Parks.

Life in the Park: Real Stories from Real People, 1927-Present

Laura Lea Knox likes to say that her father gave the land for Warner Parks to the city of Nashville in honor of her birth (she, too, turned 90 this year!). While that’s not totally accurate, the Parks are a part of her family legacy: Her father, Col. Luke Lea donated the land in 1927 and named them for her grandfather and great-uncle. And Warner Parks have played an integral role throughout her entire life. Her hilltop home overlooks the parkland, and still today, she walks the trails four to five times each week.

Knox, and many others like her, of all ages, backgrounds, and interests, have deep and meaningful connections to Warner Parks. Stories abound, and Friends of Warner Parks hears them often: The ways in which parents and children, people in the midst of grief, young lovers, weekend warriors, professional athletes, highly stressed business executives, nature enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and more have found respite, wellness, connection, and much needed space in Warner Parks.

Space Reserved: Creating space today is as or more important than 90 years ago

Nashville is a city ever-expanding, with neighborhoods becoming denser, green space shrinking, and roadways getting more congested. That may suggest why, in its 90th year, Warner Parks is more popular than ever. New park areas are opening, engagement with the community grows, and new programs, initiatives, spaces, and opportunities are being made available in response to the needs and desires of residents and visitors.

For additional information, contact:
Brenda Mikec