Metro Parks offers needed relief during recovery

Hadley Park Regional Center

Metro Parks’ regional and neighborhood centers are open and serving a variety of community functions during this recovery period.

“I encourage people, particularly those who are looking to give their children structured activities in a safe environment, to find one of our 27 community centers throughout the city” said Metro Parks Director Monique Odom. “This is a very stressful time for everyone in this city, but it’s absolutely devastating for those whose lives have been upended by this tragedy and it’s our hope that our centers and programs will provide some relief for those who need it most.”

In addition to their regular functions, several facilities are serving as shelters for the community. Metro Parks’ facilities include:

Centennial Sportsplex (24-hour shelter) — 222 25th Ave. North, Nashville, Tenn. 37203

Hadley Park Regional Center (24-hour shelter) — 1037 28th Ave. North, Nashville, Tenn. 37208

Smith Springs Regional Center (24-hour shelter) — 2801 Smith Springs Road, Nashville, Tenn. 37217

In addition to the emergency functions, these facilities are continuing to serve as recreational outlets for children, adult and seniors. Those centers serving as shelters are working with the Red Cross and can only accept donations of bottled water, packaged snacks, diapers, and hand wipes. Donations of money should be made directly to the American Red Cross.

Stevon Neloms, assistant parks director for community centers, said currently all regional and neighborhood centers are open to the public except Morgan, Elizabeth and Shelby Community Centers. Those centers are without power and are closed. Shelby sustained structural damage and will remain closed for an extended period.

“Our staff is equipped to handle this type of scenario,” said Neloms. “While parents are trying to deal with recovery efforts, we offer supervised activities for their children. Our programming is comprehensive and designed to serve a variety of interests and needs and may serve as a healthy distraction during this time that is traumatic for so many of our friends and neighbors. We’re here to help lighten the load, if we can.”

Program offerings include group fitness classes, youth and adult sports, dance classes, senior recreational/social programs, art classes, aquatics programs, free play, and youth out-of-school and after school programs. For instance, Metro Parks’ Dance Division is offering a free Family Dance Jam tomorrow at the Centennial Performing Arts Studio in Centennial Park from 2:30–4 pm for children, teens and other family members who may just need a few hours of stress relief. Other programs and activities can be found on the Metro Parks’ website at <www.nashville.gov/parks>.

Regional and neighborhood community centers are still offering their regular schedule of programs which includes fitness classes, and programs for tots, teens, adults and seniors. Regional facilities offer a fully equipped fitness center with the latest aerobic and strengthening equipment, gymnasium, indoor walking/running track, dance/exercise studio, arts and crafts room, multi-use meeting space, and in some cases a pool. Use of the indoor walking track is free to the public.

Regional center hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 6 am to 8:30 pm; Friday from 6 am to 7:30 pm; and Saturdays from 8 am to noon. Neighborhood centers are open from 9:30 am- 8:30 pm on Mondays; noon-8:30 pm on Tuesdays; noon-8:30 pm on Wednesdays; 9:30 am-8:30 pm on Thursdays; 9:30 am-6:30 pm on Fridays. Neighborhood centers are closed on Saturdays.

Metro Parks offers a variety of facilities and programs throughout Davidson County and oversees 15,134 acres of open space, including 178 parks and nearly 100 miles of greenway. The department provides fitness and arts classes, sports leagues, ice hockey, art galleries, dog parks, nature and environmental programs and activities as well as programs for seniors, special populations, and children after school. It is the mission of Metro Parks to equitably provide everyone in Nashville with an inviting and sustainable network of parks and greenways that offer health, wellness and quality of life through recreation, conservation and community.

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