About Friends of Shelby

Friends of Shelby is the community based nonprofit that helps care for Shelby Park and Shelby Bottoms – a vital environmental, recreational and civic resource that brings families together to live healthier lives and make connections with nature and community. Friends of Shelby fosters a community of caring through shared investment in the park and in each other. Thousands of people use the park each week and we help make the park more accessible, beautiful and healthy.


Preserve, promote, and enhance Shelby Park and Bottoms for everyone to appreciate and protect.


Our vision is a revitalized historic park and nature preserve that supports healthy lifestyles, provides an urban oasis, and celebrates our diverse Nashville community.



Partnership & Collaboration

Diversity & Inclusion                          

Responsibility & Respect

What We Do

While Shelby Park was originally dedicated to the city on July 4, 1912, Friends of Shelby was founded nearly a century later in 2008. Friends engaged and represented the community during the 2009 master planning process lead by Metro Parks. For the decade since, Friends has been leading the implementation of that plan by helping to guide city investment, leading volunteer beautification and restoration efforts, funding park improvements and features and activating the park through events like the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party concert series held each summer. 

Everyday we are focused on community engagement – getting more people involved with the park.  volunteer programs, capital improvements and environmental stewardship.  Cultural, historic, youth, recreation

The Need

As our communities grow our parks become more important than ever as a place of respite, a place of relaxation and recreation, a place to learn about our natural world, and a place to come together with community.  Parks play a vital role in addressing critical urban infrastructure and public health issues. Parks are essential to the livability of a community. They attract residents and businesses, increase revenue for cities, spur private investment, and increase job opportunities. Parks are powerful tools for urban communities and local economies.

Parks Create… healthy, vibrant and connected communities

  • Time spent in nature and at play improves individual health and well-being by reducing or prevent many physical and mental health problems. An oasis in the urban environment, Shelby Park and Bottoms offer a connection with nature and a break from the fast pace of city life.
  • Shelby Park is a safe and inviting place for neighbors from all walks of life to gather and connect with one another. Activities and programming engage residents and foster a sense of community. Vibrant parks and green spaces are at the center of resilient and equitable cities
  • Shelby Park and Bottoms filter the rain water runoff from over 100 acres, reducing water pollution, protecting drinking water and decreasing rates of waterborne illness. The parks off unique habitat and resource protection for many plants and animals.


Find out more about our most recent initiatives