In partnership with the Metro Nashville Parks Department, Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms works to engage the community in park beautification and the maintenance of park features, create and promote park programs and activities, and advocate for continued funding to fulfill the Shelby Park Master Plan.
Your attendance at events, participation in volunteer programs, donations, and membership all support our efforts and help us do more every year.
2020 Year in Review
Direct Investment and Program Support
- Following a hugely successful fundraising campaign with The Big Payback, Friends of Shelby in partnership with Bell Construction completed the construction of a new bridge and ¼ mile of gravel trail on the north end of Lake Sevier. This new path separates walkers from car traffic making the park safer for everyone. Click here for more details on continuing efforts to Complete the Loop.
- In October, Friends of Shelby partnered with the Cumberland River Compact to complete the Historic Cave Spring restoration and naturalization. The project was made possible with grant funding from Aveda and the Inglewood Neighborhood Association.
- The Shelby Park and Bottoms bee population got some upgrades with the installation of a new fence, bee hives, and fruit trees to support our growing pollinator program.
- Friends of Shelby is currently participating in the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Innovation Catalyst Program to study Naval Reserve Building redevelopment.
- We invested in continuing education for staff at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center and repairs to the utility cart used for maintenance projects throughout Shelby Bottoms.
Park Maintenance and Beautification
- In 2020 the Friends of Shelby Volunteer Program grew to include:
- 16 volunteer projects
- 375+ volunteers
- 900+ hours worked
- Friends of Shelby and volunteers planted 116 new trees throughout the park.
- Ahead of the reopening of the Shelby Golf Course, Friends has funded landscaping improvements at the clubhouse to welcome back our golfers!
- Adapting to the pandemic, volunteers helped on their own time to maintain landscape beds at Lake Sevier and at the Lillian Street park entrance.
- At the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center, Friends created a small tree nursery to grow trees from seed which will support efforts to enhance the tree canopy in the park.
Community Outreach and Events
- We shared a monthly e-newsletter to keep the community informed about park offerings, events, and projects.
- Friends of Shelby received nearly 800 responses to its first Community Survey. The input from park users will inform future programs and projects.
- We convened the first Shelby Park and Bottoms Stakeholder group with representatives from park facilities, leagues, and various user groups to foster collaboration.
- In 2020, we found new ways to engage with the community both in person and from a distance including:
- Organizing a free community cook out following the March 3 tornado
- Engaging park users with the #Trashtag challenge to help with beautification
- Facilitating the inaugural Shelby Bottoms Blackberry Recipe Contest with the winning recipe featured at Lockeland Table
- Regularly participating in the East Nashville Farmers Market to meet with neighbors
- Hosting the first volunteer and member appreciation breakfast
- Friends of Shelby adapted our fundraising events - modifying regular events and creating new ones.
- Participated in the COVD-aware “coop-side” Music City Hot Chicken Festival
- Transitioned to offering a Cornelia Fort Picnic Party providing a party with support from local businesses.
- Hosted the inaugural Full Belly Friends of Shelby 5K which raised funds for the park as well as neighbors in need. Friends of Shelby donated more than $2500 to the Drkmttr Collective Free Store.
- Friends of Shelby adopted a new mission, vision, and strategic plan to guide our work
- The board elected four new directors.
- The Friends of Shelby brand - including its logo - was refreshed with the support from Hands On Nashville’s Geek Cause program.
- Board and financial policies were refined to enhance transparency and efficiency.
- Friends of Shelby membership grew from 18 members to 87 members, and individual donations increased by 66%.