PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Putnam County mayor wants to honor those who died in one of the county’s biggest natural disasters in history with a green space park.
Where three family homes once stood on the corner of Hensley Drive and North Mcbroom Chapel Road now lays a foundation for a possible park to honor the resilience of community and the memory of the 19 lives lost the night an EF-4 tornado touched down on March 3, 2020.
“That was the worst tragedy to hit Putnam County since probably the tornadoes back in ’74,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter told News 2. “This is a way that I think will also help not only memorialize folks that lost their lives and survivors, but to memorialize what happened in our community and how well our community came together to react to the tornado.”
The proposal for a green space park will go in front of county commission Monday evening asking for $75,000 dollars to purchase the land from the existing owners.
“It’s kind of in the eye of where the storm went there on Hensley drive,” Porter said, “We have some folks that own those lots that they’re not building the homes back on, so we think it’d make a great green space in that area and a great park for the kids.”
The support has already been pouring in. In just the last month, the county has raised $45,000 dollars through Tenngreen Land Conservancy to build the park once the land is acquired.
“We think that we want to be a green space park benches, trees, grass playground equipment, those kind of things, walking trail where folks can come back. It is a peaceful spot, as bad as it was, it’s part of our history and you want to do something for that community because they were hit so bad and lost so much,” Porter explained.
This park would be in addition to rebuilding the county museum at West Broad Street with a memorial specifically for the 19 lives lost.
Porter is hoping the county can have a groundbreaking ceremony on the one-year anniversary of the tornado.
If you’d like to donate to the park fund, click here.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.