First, a little housekeeping. In the last Friends email, we said that the next step in approval of the Hillsboro High School renovation is Metro Council including it in its budget. Actually, the next step is for Mayor Barry to include it in her budget. Council passage will be in line after that. So if you want to see this amazing renovation happen, please let Mayor Barry know by filling out this form: https://www.nashville.gov/Mayors-Office/Contact-Us.aspx
Now let's get to the really fun stuff - the survey results. The survey ran from November 9, 2015-February 9, 2016. Of the over 200 people who took the survey, 30% use the park once a month, 20% once a week, and 22% twice a week or more, 28% other. 43% live within one mile of the park; 37% live 1-2 miles from the park.
Outside the park - the biggest takeaway was that everyone wants pedestrian access to the park. Right now 60% of park users get to the park by car. Of the other 40%, most walk and a few bike. The question "If you could change one thing about Green Hills Park, what would that be?" brought dozens of comments asking for better pedestrian access to the park.
For the question asking users to rank proposed sidewalk projects, the No. 1 choice was "Protected walk/bike path along Granny White from the park to the 12 South neighborhood." In fact, out of 180 people who answered that question, the protected walk/bike path was the No.1 or No. 2 selection for 73% (130 people).
Inside the park - the biggest takeaway was that people want the walking path extended. It is used by over 80% of park users. This chart shows the responses for the question "what facilities do you or your family primarily use?":
Not only do 80% of the park users enjoy the walking path - but they'd like it to be longer:
The second highest vote getter was adding a new water fountain. This was the first or second priority for over 40% survey respondents. And we have good news to announce on that - Councilman Russ Pulley has been talking the Parks Dept. and they've agreed to install a water fountain this spring!
The next projects that people selected as their top choices were an obstacle course playground and resurfacing the tennis courts. There is no denying that the courts need some TLC. We have asked the Parks Department to let us know where the courts are on their priority list.
What comes next?
Any projects in the park must be approved by the Metro Parks Department. A key to getting approval will be the Metro Parks master plan, which is being updated this year. This plan will set priorities for parks throughout Metro. Any projects in Green Hills Park will have to fit into those priorities, or at least not conflict. And the master plan may help identify needs for our area (for example, if there is no other place in Green Hills to play tennis or to put a dog park). The master plan process will include public meetings, and we'll send out updates when those are scheduled.
In the meantime, Friends of Green Hills Park is in touch with Metro Park planners to study the feasibility of proposed improvements, which ones would likely be approved, and what kind of timeline would be involved. Friends of Green Hills Park is not taking the position that everyone of these improvements should happen (obviously not every one will agree on everything), but we are exploring the options. Public input and fundraising will direct the process of working with the Parks Department. Stay tuned for an important announcement on that front!
Friends of Green Hills Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to improving our neighborhood park, building community, and increasing walk and bike connectivity to nearby green spaces where we love to walk and play.