Sumner County leaders are expected to vote later this month on plans for a new 88-acre park located on the future Liberty Creek school campus off Hunters Lane and Upper Station Camp Creek Road.
If approved, the William and Martha Brown Memorial Park at Liberty Creek will feature a network of natural trails along with overlook structures at various high points on the property, an amphitheater, picnic tables and a pavilion that could be used for public and private events, according to a conceptual plan for the site.
“The idea is to try to keep everything as natural as possible,” Sumner County Grants Administrator Kim Ark Norfleet said about the park, adding the school campus would have its own separate athletic fields.
According to the plans, the park would be divided into two sections by a main road going through the property. Both areas would be connected by a signalized pedestrian crossing.
The northern 49.77-acre portion of the site would include a parking lot with an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible pathway leading up to the former Brown family home and a pavilion similar to one at Rock Castle in Hendersonville. There would also be trails to two separate overlook areas that each have a covered structure and picnic tables.
The southern 38.37 acres of the park would also feature trails along with a pedestrian bridge over an existing creek, an overlook area and amphitheater with benches made from stone on site.
“This is a good health opportunity to really get people out and get people moving,” John Bethea with Civil Site Design Group (CSDG) said about the project. “We also see it as an opportunity for partnership with the schools for… potential cross country meets that could be out there.”
Sumner County purchased a total of 265 acres between Upper Station Camp Creek Road and Hunters Lane for the Liberty Creek schools campus in 2015. Construction is already underway on the first two schools, an elementary and middle/high school combined facility.
Prior to William Brown’s death in early 2017, the late Cottontown salesman and landowner willed the majority of his estate to Sumner County Schools. Interests and dividends from the $8 million endowment were to be used by the school system for technology while $500,000 was set aside for the development of a park on the school campus.
County officials estimate it will cost $1 million to develop the park. They intend to apply for a $500,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to pay for the remaining expenses.
“Every time I look at this plan, I get pretty excited,” Sumner County Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Oliver Barry said during a public meeting to discuss the project last week. “I’m very happy that Sumner County has the opportunity to have such a great area and park to use for its citizens.”
Plans for the William and Martha Brown Memorial Park at Liberty Creek will be included in the Sumner County Parks Master Plan. A draft version of the master plan is expected to be voted on by the county’s recently formed parks committee on Nov. 17. It would then go to the planning commission on Nov. 24 followed by the legislative committee and full county commission later this month.
“The goals of this parks master plan are not to specifically identify properties just yet that are locations for parks, but we’re setting the framework for the future,” Bethea said. “We want to focus on the existing facilities first, focus on what we have and look at investing in those.”
Sumner County currently operates the 80-acre Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park in Castalian Springs and The Bridal House in Cottontown along with The Douglass-Clark House and Station Camp Greenway in Gallatin.
Officials hope to be able to open the William and Martha Brown Memorial Park at Liberty Creek alongside the new school campus in the fall of 2022.