Shown l-r are Senator Brenda Gilmore, Brenda Haywood, Mayor of Community Engagement, Erica Gilmore, Metropolitan Trustee, Sharon Hurt, Metro Council at Large member, Keshia Gardner-Beard and Kossie Gardner III, granddaughter and great-grandson of Kossie Gardner Sr., Monique Odom, Metro Parks Director, Publisher Rosetta Miller-Perry, a mortician apprentice under Mr. Kossie Gardner Sr. and first African American female graduate of John A Gupton College of Mortuary Science with honors.

Nashville, TN – The beautiful new green space on Jefferson Street, named in January in honor of one of the city’s most well-known entrepreneurs, Kossie Gardner Senior, is ready for play!

The grand opening ceremony for Kossie Gardner Sr. Park is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., Monday, November 16. The ceremony will be streamed live on Metro Parks’ Facebook channel

Designed as a gathering space to accommodate events, music and other outdoor activities – the park features a lawn, play equipment, plaza space and a mural wall. The quarter-acre site will ultimately become a civic space where Nashvillians can engage history, culture, and community.

The former ‘pocket park’ is located just across the street from where Gardner, an influential African American businessman, operated K. Gardner Funeral Home at 1511 Jefferson St. The park will preserve Gardner’s contributions to the community which included the creation of the Bordeaux African American Gold Coast and the first motorized ambulatory service in the Nashville area.

Participants in Monday’s event will bring various items to place in a time capsule that will be buried in the park and opened in 2030.

Several city departments collaborated to make this space a recreational option for both old and new residents in the area. It was initially developed by Metro Water Services to detain stormwater in underground cisterns.  Metro Parks funded the park design.  Construction was funded by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency through a community development grant. Metro’s Arts Commission will assist the community in developing a mural program on the new expression wall, and the Metro Historical Commission helped develop the historical sign with local historians from TSU, Fisk and the Tennessee Historical Commission.

A video recording of the opening ceremony will be posted on Metro Parks’ YouTube channel: