Metro Parks Nashville releases statement on Fort Negley trees

Fort Negley Park – 1100 Fort Negley Boulevard – Wedgewood/Houston, built 1930s (Courtesy: Historic Nashville/ Jodi Totten)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Parks Nashville released a statement Monday on trees at Fort Negley.

In the statement, the department says it is aware of concerns regarding the loss of trees in the area.

“We want to assure people that the clearing of the hillside surrounding the Fort Negley structure is part of the long-term management strategy that was recommended in the Fort Negley Master plans of 1996, 2007 and the 2014 Historic Structures Report,” said the statement.

The clearing of vegetation on 11 acres at the base of the fort is intended to do the following:

  • Return the fort and surrounding historic remnants to a landscape condition that is appropriate for the historic context of the Civil War site
  • Slow the deterioration and failure of the fort structures and surrounding historic features caused by the uncontrolled growth and spread of exotic invasive vegetation
  • Visually expose the historic fort structure and views, providing better and safer public access to the important educational and heritage site

The statement continued, “In our efforts to be good stewards of the nearly 16,000 acres of land and 8,262 acres of tree canopy that we manage, we sometimes fail to communicate with all our stakeholders. This is one of those times. With that being said, it is our plan to plant evergreens and other native species on the hillside surrounding the Fort and throughout the park. Ultimately, this will result in more trees planted than were lost and the restoration of the fort’s historic viewsheds. This work along with the planned stonework restoration will result in an improved visitor experience that helps tell the story of one of Nashville’s most important Civil War and African-American heritage sites.”