Monday, February 27, 2012

Turner School Park: A Review

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 5:04 AM

Location: On Tanksley, of Nolensville Road, behind Turner School
Size of Park: Small
Crowds: Light
Approximate Age of Patrons: In our 30s
Topics of Conversation: Whether Indiana Jones would have tried the barrel roll.
Stray Dogs Seen: None
Types of Vehicles in Parking Lots: Lots of family vehicles, because a church meets there.
Perceived Safety: High
Number of Gunshots Heard: None
Dog Friendliness: Fine
Number of pitbulls sighted: Just Mine
Accessibility: Fine
Incorporation of Local History: None
Recommended Patrons: Playground equipment connoisseurs.

For a small park, Turner School has a lot of stuff — a great jungle gym, a kickball field, a grill, picnic tables, benches, a paved walking path, and plenty of parking. But let's talk a second about this area of town. If you look on a map, I'm talking about the area within the kind of sloppy "B" made by 40 south of downtown, 1-24 and I-65 on the sides, and 440 and Harding Place as the two bottom crossbars.

This is an area of town full of very small parks, such as this one, and one medium-size one, Coleman Park. But unlike every other slice of the city pie, there's not a great big park (other than the Zoo, which you have to pay to get into), and there aren't any greenways. So there aren't any big parks where you can jog without feeling like you're just running in tiny circles or where you can people watch or sunbathe or play a game of frisbee.

And the absence of such a park is just completely noticeable. These small parks are nice (and the ones in this part of town all have their own charms), but they don't make up for the lack of a big park.

Anyway, let's get back to Turner School. If you have kids, here's the reason I'd recommend it. The playground equipment has some features I haven't noticed other places. There's a barrel roll — with handles, if you're not quite ready to lumberjack it. There are some nice tall slides. And there are these things that look like giant drop spindles hanging from a chain. Your child — a la Indiana Jones — is supposed to make her way from one drop spindle to the next over what I can only presume is hot lava. (Note: I did not see any hot lava myself, but I remember that, as a child, if one's feet could not touch the ground, hot lava was often the reason.)

It looked like fun.

We made the paved loop, but I think you'd have had to go around it 20 times to even get a mile. Still, nice park.

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