Monday, December 12, 2011

Napier Park: A Review

Posted By on Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 8:37 AM

I hope this sign is not in the park.
  • I hope this sign is not "in" the park.
Location: Next to Napier School, just off Murfreesboro Pike right between the housing projects and Purity Dairy
Size of Park: I'm not sure
Crowds: I don't think any, maybe me by accident
Approximate Age of Patrons: I don't know
Topics of Conversation: "Should I go around the block again?"
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: None
Perceived Safety: Low
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: Low
Number of pitbulls sighted: None
Accessibility: Unknown
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: I don't know

I also hope this is not the park.
  • I also hope this is not the park.
Well, folks, Napier Park has stumped me. I've had parks that I couldn't find. I've had a couple of parks that I found but felt like they weren't actually developed enough to honestly be called parks. But this may be the first time that I found a sign that identified the park and I still wasn't sure what the heck I was looking at.

Is Napier Park just the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the community center? If so, then Napier School has a bigger front yard than than Napier Park's whole size. Or is Napier Park under the community center? Can you call something a "park" if there's no outside component to it? Did I somehow miss the outside component? I'm not sure. Or is it the big grassy area at the corner of Fairfield and Robertson? The map from the Metro Parks website shows it under the community center. Google Maps has it at Fairfield and Robertson, which makes sense except that the park sign is up by Fairfield and Napier.

So, people, I don't know. The community center looks great. The school's playground equipment seemed to be in fine shape. But if the park is the strip of grass, to say that's inadequate for the neighborhood would be the understatement of the century. If it's the empty grassy area on the other end of the block from the sign, that's at least a large grassy area in a neighborhood filled with small lots or public housing, but it's also pretty inadequate to the task of being the kind of park an urban — heck, practically downtown — neighborhood needs. If you look on a map, you see the largest nearby park is Dudley, which isn't very big, or the city cemetery, which, though I love it, is no place for kids to run around and throw a ball or ride their bikes.

I'd like to put on my wish list for Nashville improvements an expansion of Napier Park down Fairfield toward Murfreesboro. I'm just dreaming, here, since it would require relocating and fairly compensating Waller Buick and the used car guys, which obviously isn't going to happen. But that would be an excellent spot for a park, something that would both serve the neighborhood and change the public face of said neighborhood.

In the meantime, even with Napier and Mildred Shute (ha, I had forgotten how much I hated that park), there's not enough park space in this part of town.

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