By Thomas Sheffield

Nashville has been called the “it” city.  I argue there are two Nashvilles.  If you live in or near Nashville, you have witnessed how one section of town is thriving as it is clean, full of life, small businesses, sit down restaurants and where people walk on sidewalks as they get out of their Uber, Lifts or cabs.  Then you have the other Nashville just across the river in Bordeaux.  Many consider this the forgotten side of town.  There are no cranes, and few sit down restaurants.  Bordeaux has been considered by some as “Nashville’s garage”.  Home of the city’s landfill, police and fire fighter’s training center and many useful things we need and use everyday but no one requests to have in their district.  

Bordeaux is in Nashville’s First Council District which is the largest land area district in Nashville.  The district is 52% black while the whole city of Nashville is 56% white.  This may explain why Bordeaux is undervalued, underestimated and marginalized.  Councilman Johnathan Hall is constantly putting up a fight to represent his constituents in city hall.  He has put together some sustainable programs to help many of the people who need it.  

There is a lost treasure nestled in the heart of Bordeaux.  The Knowles Center is located at 1010 Cailla Caldwell Lane.  The Knowles Center is an independent and assisted living community.  This center is working on programs to bring value to our community.  The center is  located in what could be considered a food desert.  They are looking forward to growing and selling its own organic produce to restaurants and centers in and around Nashville.  They are also looking for ways to conserve energy and water to become one of the greenest agencies in Nashville.  

The center is the recipient of a gift from Southwest Airlines and its Repurpose with Purpose program.  In an effort to conserve fuel, Southwest Airlines is in the process of replacing their heavy leather airline seats with a lighter weight material.  They have agreed to donate their leather seat covers to Knowles Center in order for the leather to be up-cycled.  Southwest is providing as many materials as possible to minimize the amount of waste it sends to landfills.  By donating the materials, they are helping communities generate better social and economic opportunities.  Knowles is putting together a program to use the leather tomake book bags, duffle bags and back packs for donation and sale.  The program looks to provide employment opportunities  and hope to those looking to learn a new skill.  

When sustainable practices are in place, innovation thrives.  These practices are seen in the Knowles Center.  Although it is located in the center of “Nashville’s Garage”, it and the Bordeaux community is like a treasure chest waiting to be discovered.  It will be seen as a valuable asset in a valuable district in the nation’s “It City.”

Please feel free to contact me or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #WordsActionChange