As part of Nashville Metro Parks recent Plan To Play master plan, 575 acres within southeast Davidson County were acquired to provide much needed park land to this area of the County. Through a process of robust community outreach, and building on the site’s long history as a crossroads for many different people and cultures, NBW has been asked to create a master plan for a truly inclusive regional park in one of Davidson County’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods.
Mill Ridge Regional Park was assembled from numerous parcels and is now flanked by properties with diverse land uses - light industrial, a major highway, residential neighborhoods, and two schools; and is divided by large-scale infrastructure, including a rail corridor, roads, and a large powerline right-of-way.
The design of the park engages these physical divisions, linking a series of smaller ‘parklets’ via greenways, sport corridors, access roads, and primitive trails. Each area has a unique identity drawn from its distinctive landscape setting, site history and program. These activities - Garden, Sport, Food, Farm, and Festival - are designed to bring together the diverse communities of southeast Davidson county, residents of the wider metro Nashville area, and tourists from afar.
Each of these areas also highlights and celebrates the heritage of this landscape - the ecology of Middle Tennessee, the occupants who have lived and worked the land over generations, and the legacy of farming that is disappearing in the region - ceding ground to expanding infrastructure and development.
Central to this park’s design is the diversity of ways people can come together and spend a day outdoors, welcoming all people.