Officials consider initial plans for new Thompson’s Station Preservation Park


Officials consider initial plans for new Thompson’s Station Preservation Park

Thompson’s Station officials and staff got their first look at an early concept plan for the town’s newest park, which currently encompasses more than 100 acres but has yet to be fully developed.

Thompson’s Station officials and staff got their first look at an early concept plan for the town’s newest park, which currently encompasses more than 100 acres but has yet to be fully developed.

Representatives of a landscape planning firm tasked with designing the new park presented their concept plan for the Thompson’s Station Preservation Park, located off of Thompson’s Station Road West near the Tennessee Equine Hospital property, Tuesday night to allow for input from members of the Parks Board. Various “site elements” like an equestrian trail and an expansion to the town’s community gardens were discussed by the Parks Board members as potential features for the new park.

The focal point of the project is to develop a park that emphasizes rural sustainability and the area’s agricultural heritage. Among the possible new additions to the park outlined in Tuesday’s concept plan presentation are an education center at the southern end of the property, a paved greenway trail, an amphitheater, a ridgeline trail, a mowed trail, an equestrian loop, an oak glade picnic area, a lookout tower, a canopy walk and an improved pond.

The existing uses of the park are currently limited to use of equestrian facilities and paddocks by the equine hospital, the unused metal outbuildings once used for horse feeding and passive recreation on the existing park roads. There is also an existing, structurally sound barn that is believed to have once been used for tobacco drying that is not currently in use, and there are a number of fences located within the site and along its boundaries that are largely remnants of agricultural use, project planners said in their presentation Tuesday.

According to Jim Douglas, partner with the landscape planning firm Hodgson Douglas, the town will soon need to hold two public meetings to allow for stakeholder engagement and community input. From there they will be able to refine the idea and move on to the final master plan.

But before public engagement, landscape architect Chris Mantle said he will need to talk with The Land Trust of Tennessee. Town Planner Wendy Deats said all of the goals for the new park will require amendments to the current conservation easements, and so the town will need to coordinate with The Land Trust to see exactly what can be amended and what cannot.

The Parks Board resolved on Tuesday to consider a date for the first public meeting for the new park plan at its Aug. 2 meeting.

Quint Qualls covers Spring Hill for Home Page Media Group. Reach him at quint@springhillhomepage.com.

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