East Nasty of the Week: Shelby Bottoms/ Shelby Park

January 30, 2011

Instead of selecting another victim honoree for ENOW at the end of each month in 2011, I will be writing about some of the more familiar sites and venues that we East Nasties see every now and again. We already did a similar write up on the YCAP’s “Yellow House” where we start each week on Wednesday night, you can read it here if you missed it. This time however the focus will be on the glory that is Shelby Bottoms and Shelby Park!

In 1909, the Nashville Park Commission bought 151 acres along the Cumberland River. The area was originally used for an amusement park, and before that the Nashville Railway company had built a casino along the river. There was also apparently a large Dutch windmill (pictured below) on the premises and a community center where plays were performed.  After the parks commission built roads throughout the area and created a man-made pond, the new Shelby Park officially opened on July 4th, 1912.

For the past 35 years, Shelby Park has partnered with the Percy Warner Nature Center to help teach the importance of environmental education. The theme for this park is water, since it is a mixture of wetlands, ponds, and is located right next to a major river. Each month there are a variety of activities and programs to attend, a complete copy of their events can be found here. The nature center (seen in the picture above) was completed in December 2007. It has a “Green Roof,” which means that the top of the nature center is covered in plants and grass. In fact, the whole Shelby Bottoms Nature Center is as environmentally friendly as possible, using recycled materials everywhere, double pane windows, and something called a “waterless urinal.”

Finally, there is also an organization known as the “Friends of Shelby Park,” who are dedicated to the “preservation, protection, enhancement and stewardship of Shelby Park and Shelby Bottoms.” Your entire household can become members of this non-profit organization by clicking here, and going to Join FOS tab, and it is only 12 bucks!

Not only do we run almost half of our Sunday runs down on the magnificent Shelby Bottoms greenways, but 5 out of our 12 runs go through the park in some form or fashion. So give the park a big thumbs up the next time you run through there, it sure has been of great value to our little organization.

Rod Jones