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Cumberland Park

Hardaway Construction - Cumberland Park
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Location: Nashville, TN
Owner: Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency
Architect: Hargreaves Associates

The 6.5 acres new park is part of the Downtown Revitalization program stretching between the Shelby Avenue Bridge and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge along the east bank of the Cumberland River in Nashville. The park offers spraygrounds, water jets, bridges, climbing walls, winding pathways through landscaped gardens, picnic areas and open lawn, all to inspire creative play for children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.

Work included site demolition, earthwork, utilities, custom play equipment and playground surfacing, stormwater harvesting and reuse, irrigation, pedestrian lighting, native and traditional landscape plantings, event performance lawn and canopy, and site furnishings.

Cumberland Park is a fun and exciting place consisting of a variety of areas such as The Glades with interactive water jets, rope swings, hammocks and bench swings. The Hollow provides safe areas for toddlers and children under the age of 5 with caves, sand, rock climbing, an enchanted forest, rock pools, tree climbing, and a swinging bridge. The Gardens have picnic pods, wood foot bridges, beautifully landscaped pathways, and a butterfly garden. The Ridge is a gathering point and landmark of the park complete with panoramic views, stargazing, and a water feature. The Riverfront Edge consists of slides for all seasons, a boardwalk through trees, fishing piers, and community space at the water’s edge. The Amphitheater provides an area for concerts and community gatherings, picnicking, kite flying, free play, theater performances and movies in the park. The Picnic Plazas provide shade and tables amongst trees for a wonderful gathering, and the Courts offer skateboarding, climbing walls, ice skating and basketball.

Officials have called Cumberland Park a nature play area with lots of natural landscapes and walkways that also connect to greenways on both the river's east and west banks. The physical form and character of the park was inspired by the ecological process of the Nashville region: glades, hollows and ridgelines become spray grounds and picnic lawns. The materials of the play area are endemic to the region: stone, native plants and water became climbing walls, an enchanted forest and cooling water pools. Remnants of cultural history inspired the rehabilitation of the gantry and the re-use of salvaged industrial parts in park furnishings.

The heart of the park is the common area for families with space to run, roll, skip, fly kites, watch concerts, picnic, swing, and play in spray jets. Areas underneath the Veteran’s War Memorial Bridge fosters opportunities for kids 5 to 12 years or older with basketball courts, skate boarding and a skating rink. The park is activated day and night throughout the year through a wide variety of programmatic functions: spraygrounds, picnic areas, waterfalls, runnels, fog emitters, light wands, slides, tire swings, hammocks, wading pools, climbing walls, basketball courts, piers, pavilions, docks, sensory gardens, skate parks, and an ice skating rink. The park’s physical structure and shape provides the opportunity for concurrent activities and uses that enhance the overall park experience.

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