Location: At the end of Oakwood between Trinity Lane and Hart Lane
Size of Park: Large
Crowds: Who knows?
Approximate Age of Patrons: Impossible to determine
Topics of Conversation: "Mom, you are going to break your neck if you take off into the park."
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: An out-of-state van
Perceived Safety: Medium low
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: None, but I wouldn't go there without a dog.
Number of pitbulls sighted: Just mine
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: Daredevils, playground masochists
And then, when you say, "No, no, look at the playground," instead of feeling vindicated, you feel like you have inadvertently shown your parents Nashville's hemorrhoid. Now, I will say that we did not go down Bethwood and I looked on Google Maps and it appears that the Bethwood side of the park might have okay playground equipment.
But, oh holy cow, we all stood in the Oakwood "playground," looking up into the wooded area and were convinced we were seeing possibly the most unsafe park in Nashville — two paltry swings, a strange elevated pyramid, and a crumbling basketball court, with plenty of places for you to be out of sight if you fell and therefore plenty of places for bad folks to be unseen. There are paths that go up into the woods, but my dad and I talked my mom out of going up into them, since we couldn't tell if they were official paths or just well-worn ways into the woods to get up to no-good without being bothered.
This should be an incredible park. It's a great size. The view of downtown is breathtaking. And with a proper entrance off of Hart Lane and some paths that connect the different entrances and some open spaces, it seems like it could be something like Seven Oaks — a nice large neighborhood park with some woods. As it is now, frankly, it really seems like a detriment to the neighborhood.
Put this on my list of things to try to find out when I'm done with this: Why are some city parks so awesome, while other parks, with so much potential, are just left in a state of neglect? Do council members need to be more vigilant? (If so, get over and keep vigil on this park, Karen Bennett.) Is there some park philosophy that says the city needs some number of acreage where nefarious evil-doers can plot unobserved? Is there a rare animal that lives up there, and this is the way to protect its habitat? Who knows? But it seems like a park should be a place people want to and can visit.
Oakwood Park is neither.