Music City and the surrounding areas continue to grow but some hope that the growth won’t come at the expense of Nashville’s rich history.
On Wednesday, members of the Edgehill Neighborhood Coalition held a public forum to express that message – in response to a proposed sale of the Edgehill Memorial Gardens Park. The forum was held at the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church.
The seven-acre park located on 14th Avenue South between Horton and Wade Avenue is considered by many to be a staple to in Edgehill community. Metro government has announced plans to sell the property for around 13 million.
“The park itself is a positive influence for the kids. Taking the park away from this area to me wouldn’t be beneficial.” said one resident, Terri Hamer.
The park is home to basketball courts, pavilions and benches, a community garden, the Murrell School and the Edmondson Homesite. William Edmondson was a Nashville artist and the first African American to be awarded a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
At Wednesday’s forum, community members called for the immediate halt of the privatization along with the preservation of the Edmondson homesite.
“What’s disturbing about these seven acres is that there is a pattern within the neighborhood in Edgehill – in which public land is constantly being privatized by various entities of the Metro government,” said Ben Tran, an Edgehill Community Coalition member.
The property lies within the district of Metro Councilman, Colby Sledge. Sledge has said while the Murrell School building has permanently closed, the rest of the property is still a vital part of the neighborhood. He said he’s filed amendments against Metro’s proposed sale.
“…We need to address the issue head-on, and in a way that permits real community discussion about the future of this property,” said Sledge in a statement.
The Metro Council is scheduled to vote for the proposed sale on June 19th.