Jeff Syracuse

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Ravenwood Regional Park Ribbon Cutting, Litter Clean-Up and Two Legislative Successes

Dear Friends,

Ravenwood Pavilion Rendering Donelson TNI look forward to joining Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation and Kevin Rhoten - Metro Council District 14 for a groundbreaking ceremony for Ravenwood Regional Park on August 20, Friday, 10:00 a.m. at the construction site of the park. The park will transform 800 acres of farmland near the historic landmark Stone Hall into a space for recreation, hiking, play, kids’ activities, and a quiet ambiance.

“Ravenwood Park is located only a few miles from downtown Nashville. It will fill a notable void in the area by providing vital recreational opportunities to the residents of Donelson and Hermitage as well as others across the county,” said Monique Horton Odom, Director of Metro Parks. The project is in the early stages of development. Phase One of the project includes demolition, earthwork, paving, landscaping, and site utilities. It will also involve the construction of an entry road, greenway and trails, parking lot, playground, large pavilion, sports court and fitness equipment, sidewalks, and open lawn.

Ravenwood Park, uniquely surrounded by almost four miles of highly scenic river frontage, is tucked off Lebanon Road between the Donelson and Hermitage neighborhoods in a large bend of the Stones River just south of the confluence of the Stones River and the Cumberland River. The area expands into beautiful natural vistas and has a rich history.

The Stones River greenway currently runs along the edge of the site connecting this large park to Shelby Bottoms to the west and the Percy Priest Dam to the east. Stone Hall, the local historic landmark known as the Donelson Home, was acquired in 2007 and sits at the front of the site along Lebanon Pike.

Former Mayor David Briley, State Representative Darren Jernigan, and Jeff Syracuse, Metro Councilmember District 15, Erin Evans, Metro Councilmember District 12, and Russ Bradford Metro Councilmember, District 13 will be in attendance at the ceremony.

WHO: Metro Parks and Council Member Kevin Rhoten (District 14).

WHAT: Groundbreaking Ceremony to kickoff Phase One construction of Ravenwood Regional Park.

WHEN: August 20, Friday, 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Ravenwood Park, 3401 Central Pike, Hermitage, TN 37076.

DIRECTIONS: Take I-40 East to Central Pike. Merge right to Take exit 221A on TN-45 N/The Hermitage to Central Pike. Turn left on to Central Pike and follow it until it ends at the parking lot at Ravenwood Regional Park.

Welcome to Donelson, Hands On Nashville! I'm thrilled they found a new home here in the 15th District. Here's their latest newsletter where they could use some helping hands with the move. Hands On Nashville does extraordinary things for all of us, so if you're able to lend a helping hand, please click on the newsletter below and sign up.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine for those who are immunocompromised. The Metro Nashville Public Health Department anticipates receiving the list of the immunocompromised conditions that would be eligible to receive the 3rd dose from as early as Monday. Once MPHD has the guidance we will share it with Meharry Medical College and they will begin providing the third dose at Metro’s drive-thru site located on Murfreesboro Pike. At that point MPHD will also offer the vaccine at their scheduled pop up events. To find the calendar visit the website here ( . MPHD will ONLY be offering boosters for those who meet the criteria as established by the ACIP. MPHD also encourages those eligible for the 3rd dose to check with the closest pharmacy, grocery location, or walk-in clinic to find the vaccine at the most convenient location.

The Donelson Hermitage Neighborhood Association will hold a “State of Donelson Hermitage” with area elected officials. Note that this will be held at the Hermitage Precinct and so masks will be required. See flyer below for details.

State of Donelson Hermitage on August 19, 2021

The Donelson Hermitage Neighborhood Association is sponsoring litter clean-ups in our area’s districts. Ours is Sat, August 21 at 8am. Meet at The Crossings Shopping Center where Publix is. Thanks in advance for your help keeping our community clean and beautiful!

I worked on two pieces of legislation for the last couple of years that have finally moved forward. The first was when I was Chair of Parks, Library and Arts when the NFL Draft came to town and the cherry tree incident occurred. That was a combination of poor communication, unclear and inconsistent policy across multiple departments where urban forestry is managed, and lack of community engagement. I pledged to strengthen our policies in regards to managing trees on public property and this bill is the result. I’ve learned a great deal and thank the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps for their focused and knowledgeable leadership in helping craft this bill.

We have dedicated and passionate tree advocates in our Metro departments and this bill codifies the Executive Order that began under Mayor Megan Barry after the widespread clearing of trees at Fort Negley. This bill helps to ensure our policies across departments are consistent, transparent, engaging with community advocates and helps highlight the strong work being done internal to Metro departments and applies data-driven results to ensure we have a healthy and robust urban tree canopy on public property.

We all win when we work together and this bill has taken some time to engage all stakeholders, inside and outside of government. As mentioned below, seeing the widespread destruction of our mature and healthy trees due to the tornado of March 2020 strengthened my resolve to get this right. It’s an ever evolving landscape as we ensure sustainability initiatives are core to our long term success as we continue to develop and grow at a rapid pace. I’m very proud of this work and am again very thankful to the NTCC and all our Metro employees, especially Rebecca Dohn in Metro Water Services, who all worked closely together on this effort. Read the bill here

The second legislative effort passed on August 3rd and supports historic preservation. So many times we hear from neighbors about why we can’t do anything to help save our cultural and historic treasures yet we offer incentives to large out of state corporations. This legislation enacts a State program for Metro to create a tax abatement program to incentivize investment in historic properties and will not dip into our budgeted revenue and only abate the . This is the only program available to local municipalities by the State legislature. This program does many things, including encouraging the local designation and therefore the long-term preservation of historic buildings and sites, provides a financial incentive to rehabilitate existing property where zoning allows for a greater financial return to demolish and develop new, designed to improve neighborhoods and increase the value of properties that might otherwise be demolished or remain vacant, encourages rehab over replacement new construction, which has multiple benefits to the growth of a municipality. Rehab of existing buildings is more likely to add to the affordable/accessible housing pool and more likely to serve new and small businesses than new construction. Rehab is more environmentally sustainable than new construction as it retains embodied energy and keeps valuable building materials out of the landfill. In Metro Nashville, 23% of the waste we send to landfill is created from construction and demolition waste. When landfilled, this material can create greenhouse gases. Reduces the cost of living or the cost of doing business for a temporary period of time and stimulates the economy by encouraging rehabilitation. Rehab keeps more money and jobs local than new construction. This same activity improves property and communities, which means higher property tax revenue for the city once abatements expires. It encourages continued development within established areas with existing infrastructure rather than encouraging sprawl. To read the bill and about the program guidelines (found as the Exhibit link in the legislation), click here.

I have been working on a number of developments with neighbors around them and will have a more comprehensive update on all of them in a subsequent newsletter. Donelson Plaza’s phase two has commenced. Stay up to date at at the Updates section for details. The project team for the new library continue to work hard and hope to have details to share in the next couple of months.

Every ten years after the U.S. Census is complete, Metro Nashville must review and analyze the data to ensure districts are balanced in population through a process known as redistricting. The process for Nashville is overseen by the Metro Nashville Planning Department, who launched a new website this week aimed at educating and engaging the community. The website, ( , includes a survey, a timeline of the process, frequently asked questions, and a map of how council and school board districts have changed as Nashville has grown.

Metro Planning is beginning community engagement before receiving updated population totals from the U.S. Census Bureau to give the community time to learn about the process. However, Metro Planning will not begin preparing new district lines until that data is available. It's important to note, these recommendations will only pertain to Metro Council and Metro School Board districts and will not impact school attendance zones or State or Federal representations. Residents are encouraged to take the survey now. There will also be opportunities to participated in public workshops later this fall. Metro Planning will continue to work with Metro Council and Metro School Board members to help keep communities informed on the process, as well as share public engagement events.


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