Church Street Park in downtown Nashville officially reopened last week and it has already begun to hum with new activity.
The Metro Parks Department gathered community input about the redesigned space and planned offerings during a forum on Thursday afternoon with the Civic Design Center, a local nonprofit that helps plan neighborhood projects and spaces.
The pocket park will now serve as a meeting spot for free events like fitness classes, musical performances, author talks and arts classes.
It also provides needed green space to downtown Nashville’s growing population, which was surprisingly visible during Thursday’s event, according to parks director Monique Odom.
“The park is full of people, all walks of life, all ages, pets and pet parents, enjoying music, sitting, just relaxing,” she said. “It looks like a parent and child over there jump-roping. That’s what the park is. It’s a community space for all to enjoy.”
The Parks Department’s goal will be to continue vigorous programming and maintenance to ensure the park’s future.
Just last year, that future was questioned, says Councilmember Freddie O’Connell, but the need for a park in one of Nashville’s densest neighborhoods ultimately outweighed any concerns.
“You can tell by the number of dogs that are here just this evening that people here want to have a spot to walk their dogs,” O’Connell said. “People want to have a spot to do work, to find opportunities for fitness and wellness. … Our job is to sustain that.”