A popular Nashville area greenway was damaged the night of May 3 when a rare derecho – Spanish for straight – storm wreaked havoc with its widespread, long-lived, high-volume straight-line winds.
With a record number of power outages and hundreds of downed trees and power lines across several counties, the storm slapped several portions of the Stones River Greenway that is a 10.7-mile paved, multi-use trail system that connects Shelby Bottoms Park and greenway to the Percy Priest Dam Trailhead and Dog Park, as well as links to the Lebanon Road YMCA, Heartland Park, Two Rivers Park, Wave Country and Skate Park and the Cumberland River Greenway Pedestrian Bridge along the way.
The portion of the greenway behind Kohl’s took quite a hit and portions of the greenway were still closed as of last Friday, according to Jackie Jones, superintendent of community affairs with the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation.
“Large trees fell on to the greenway boardwalk,” she said. “This caused three sections of the boardwalk to be crushed and dislodge from the concrete piers.”
Jones said just portions of the greenway remain closed.
“From the Kohl’s trailhead, it is approximately 1.75 miles,” she said. “From Percy Priest Dam, it is approximately two miles.”
Approximate times for repair completion are undetermined at this time.
Yet again, another unfortunate act of Mother Nature comes at such a vulnerable time for the community when people so want to get out of the house, exercise in the fresh air and at safe distances.
“Our hearts go out to all of our neighbors who lost loved ones and experienced damage to their homes and property from the tornado and storms in Nashville this spring and from the COVID 19 pandemic,” said Metro Parks director Monique Odom. “Now, more than ever, we are witnessing that parks and greenways are essential to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our community. The demand for these resources is higher than ever before, and it’s great to see people seeking out our greenways for outdoor respite, to experience nature, exercise and socialize – at a safe distance, of course.
“While the damage to the Stones River Greenway boardwalk is regrettable, it will be rebuilt. And, with almost 100 miles of greenway trails across Davidson County, now is a great time to explore those trails and public open spaces that you might not have previously visited.”
Metro Parks’ Greenways and Open Space director Cindy Harrison said the greenway system is managed and developed by her division.
“Repairs will be overseen by both this division and the parks maintenance division,” said Harrison.
The Stones River Greenway construction began in the mid 1990s. Plans are underway to expand the trail at Ravenwood Park and Lytle Bend.