Planting for the Future

Happy spring! During my childhood, I lived for many years on five wonderful acres on Granny White Pike. There were lots of trees to climb in, a workshop, a potting shed, a green house, lots of gardens, a fish pond, and a root cellar! Pretty much paradise for a young person. Each year in late winter and early spring, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of daffodils that had been planted by our home’s previous owners way back in the 1940s. Now this was no ordinary cluster of daffodils–this was an immense cutting garden with thousands of bulbs and blooms in multiple rows–a beautiful sight to see and smell and experience. I wonder if the owners knew that the bulbs they planted would be delighting a new family over 40 years in the future?

Planting thousands of daffodils is a gift to the future, not just for one spring but for several generations. Daffodil bulbs and their potential remind me of the green investments that our city can “plant” today–like greenways, protected bike lanes, sidewalks with green buffers, street trees, water gardens, bioswales, pervious pavement, canopy trees, native flowers, and pocket parks. If these infrastructure “bulbs” are planned thoughtfully and planted well, Nashville and Nashvillians will be enjoying the beauty and utility of those investments (and daffodils) for generations to come.

One place that comes to mind when I think about daffodils and the importance of enhancing and maintaining green space is the “traffic island” at the intersection of Abbott Martin & Cleghorn. In the early 2000s, as a volunteer for The Green Hills Action Partners (TGHAP), I applied for a small grant from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods for a brick and limestone welcome sign to provide a sense of arrival in the business district.  TGHAP partnered with surrounding property owners and businesses to plant bushes and seasonal flowers, but my favorite part of the process was planting daffodil bulbs with fellow volunteers.

We requested those bulbs from Metro Beautification/Public Works, and you too can get daffodil bulbs from Metro, if you focus your efforts at a local school. Start thinking now about partnering with a school to plant daffodils this fall. The deadline is October 31st to request bulbs via this form, and November is the ideal time to plant them. Learn all about daffodils and what they need to thrive here.

This month the Abbott Martin & Cleghorn “traffic island” is again going through a transformation. The tall and stately elm that was for many years the highlight of this space died unexpectedly this summer and a redbud tree that had brought spring color seemed to have given up with old age. The demise of these two trees prompted me to seek out community partners to make this public space beautiful once again. This month in partnership with The Tree Foundation & Metro Public Works, we are planning and planting for the future of this green space in the heart of our business district. More on this project later!

Today, I am looking forward to seeing the 10,000 daffodils planted by Cheekwood on the lawn behind their Pineapple Room restaurant for Cheekwood in Bloom. (Go ASAP, they are in full bloom now!), and in the coming weeks,???????????????????????????????????????????? 100,000 tulips will be blooming too. One of District 34’s many treasures, Cheekwood is beautiful in every season, but spring is a special treat. I encourage you to join me as a member, if you’re not one already, to help support and preserve this unique landscape for generations to come!

As your councilperson, I will be committed to protecting, preserving and enhancing District 34’s natural environment and special places. I will be committed to creating more vibrant, safe and beautiful public spaces and streetscapes throughout Nashville. Through intentional efforts, strategic investments, and community partnerships, we can make our city’s public spaces more beautiful. Let’s plan and plant for Nashville’s future together. Is there a public space in District 34 that could be more safe and/or beautiful? A triangle of concrete that should be a bed of native wildflowers?  A spot that needs some daffodils? Go to my contact page and send me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

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  • Written by angie henderson

Safe Streets for Everyone

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

As I prepare for my Campaign Kick-Off event this week, I am energized and grateful for the opportunity to put the knowledge and experience I’ve gained as an active civic volunteer to work for my District 34 neighbors and my city. In the coming months on this blog, I look forward to sharing reasons why I am running for Metro Council, additional information about my qualifications and background, and my views on issues affecting our district and Nashville at large.

As this is my first step into “blogging,” it seems fitting to share a goal that highlights walking and moving forward on a journey towards achieving a vision or goal. The vision that has motivated me to serve as a walkable neighborhoods advocate for 15 years and continues to motivate me as I begin my journey to serve in Metro Government is: a Nashville in which ALL children can safely and enjoyably walk and bike to their friends’ homes, in which ALL seniors are safe to walk for health and fitness on their neighborhood streets, and where EVERYONE who lives near a store, restaurant, park, school, or house of worship can truly enjoy walking or biking there.

In my own neighborhood, the practical reality of achieving that vision means addressing lacking and decaying infrastructure, chronic speeding, and traffic concerns. It requires the engagement of our councilperson, Public Works, Storm Water, the Planning Department, the Parks Department, non-profit organizations, and Metro Police. Perhaps a daunting and disconcerting web of agencies to most people, I relish the challenge to get everyone on the same page to achieve our neighborhood vision and goals. I have no illusions that this is easily done.

For 15 years, I have been engaged in this kind of work in my neighborhood and in the Green Hills Business District. It can be a long and often frustrating path with two steps forward and three steps back, over and over again. But I am still here, still moving forward, still pushing to enhance our city’s safety and quality of life.

There is much we can and should do to make Metro Government more responsive and efficient in its service to the citizens of Davidson County, so that all neighborhoods can realize their own goals for the public realm. A great city is a diverse community of active and engaged neighborhoods. A great city has streets that are safe for EVERYONE, whether they are walking, biking, or driving.

There is no more beautiful place to walk than in District 34, and I hope to cross paths with you soon! Join me on this journey by signing up for my campaign newsletter, attending a campaign event, and following this blog. Please also share your own vision and goals for your neighborhood with me. I am listening.

-Angie

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  • Written by angie henderson