Nashville is finally opening a 250-acre addition to Edwin Warner Park this weekend called the Burch Reserve. The expansion offers three miles of hiking trails, as well as new traffic signals and more parking space.
Friends of Warner Parks, a preservationist group, purchased the Burch Reserve in 2014 for millions of dollars. Other, smaller pieces of land have been added to the original purchase throughout the years. The expansion was funded by public and private dollars, raised by Friends of Warner Parks.
The Burch Reserve is opening to the public after four years of planning and construction. The need for a pedestrian tunnel was the main cause for delay, says Bass. Before the tunnel, the parking lot’s position required visitors to cross the CSX railroad tracks, posing a public safety risk. The newly built tunnel provides a safe route for pedestrians traveling from the parking lot to the hiking trails.
Warner Bass, Chairman Emeritus of Friends of Warner Park, says the park addition is a win for the city in a time of expanding urbanization.
“Open space gets harder and harder to find,” says Bass. “This property is unique in that it has an old growth forest on it, which is really really hard to find anywhere but particularly in an urban setting like this.”
The ribbon cutting will take place Saturday at the new entranceway at the intersection of Highway 100 and Old Hickory Blvd. Mayor Briley is scheduled to attend.