Located only a few miles from downtown Nashville, Stones River Bend Regional Park will be developed on 800 acres at the convergence of the Cumberland and Stones Rivers. NBW is collaborating with Metro Park in the creation of a master plan for the new park, building on their recently completed city-wide master plan, Plan To Play.
The natural features of the Stones River Bend Regional Park land make it one of the most beautiful in the state of Tennessee. The rolling hills, high bluffs and limestone shelves that transition into the vast flood plain of the bend offer a rare glimpse into an ecological, geological, and cultural past characteristic of Middle Tennessee.
The primary goal of the master plan is to retain the essence of the place in balance with the new accessibility patterns. The plan separates the infrastructure and active areas of the park from the open, quiet, and remote bend. Visitors will travel along trails from the eastern entrance west through the park, over rolling topography, transitioning from large sport fields and community spaces to intimate trails that lead to incredible views and to the Stones River bend.
The plan highlights connections between the natural history of the Stones River Bend land and the many generations of people who have shaped it over thousands of years - Native Americans, European colonists, early-Americans and enslaved people. From hunting and fishing to farming, ranching, and mining, the site holds these stories, and the master plan seeks to thread these narratives into the design.
With goals of preserving the open space, improving its ecological health and increasing biodiversity while addressing the financial challenges of managing large acreages, NBW’s master plan suggests the use of large grazing animals such as cattle for maintenance. This practical strategy could become a new model for managing Nashville’s regional parks.