NASHVILLE, TN — Mayor Briley announced today the planned acquisition of over 700 acres of greenspace in Bells Bend, a move that will add large tracts of land to the city’s parks and greenways system.
The acquisition is composed of the purchase of two separate properties: approximately 107 acres currently owned by Thomas Bros. Grass and used as a sod farm; and 682 acres owned by the Graves family. Both parcels are located off Old Hickory Road in the Bells Bend area.
The purchase prices for the properties are about $1.5 million and $7.8 million, respectively. The parcels will be paid for via Metro Parks Department greenways acquisition funds.
“Preserving and adding greenspace is vital as our city continues to grow and develop,” said Mayor Briley. “These nearly 800 acres of farmable land have great potential for food production, sustainability efforts and agritourism. I’ve been fighting to preserve public greenspace in this particular area for quite some time, and I am so pleased it will now become a part of our parks system.”
“With the growth the city is experiencing, the preservation and acquisition of greenspace is critical, and the benefits to our health and ecosystems are enormous,” said Parks Director Monique Odom. “This acquisition is also a big step in helping us to continue our very active mission to provide all areas of the city with an inviting network of parks and greenways that offers an improved quality of life through recreation, conservation and community. I applaud the efforts of Mayor Briley to help us in our mission to preserve and sustain greenspace whenever and where ever we can.”
The sod farm acquisition will go in front of the Parks Board for approval on July 2 before moving to the Metro Council for final approval. The Graves property acquisition will be considered by the Parks Board and Council this fall.
From the Graves Family:
A representative of the George Graves and Ann Walker Graves family is happy to state that they have negotiated and have made an agreement with the Metropolitan Government to sell their family farm. It will be used for a public purpose. The farm has been owned by the Graves family since 1900. The Graves had twelve children, ten of whom are still living, and all twelve were raised on the farm. David Lipscomb was the owner of the family farm in 1851. The Graves family has been involved in the life of Bells Bend since close to the time of the Civil War. They are proud to make this announcement as they feel it will be a great asset to the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.