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  • Writer's pictureBrandi & Candace

Watkins Park

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Watkins Park was established in 1901, and has 8 acres. It has a community center, a playground, public restrooms, picnic shelters, a baseball field, a basketball court, tennis courts, a spray park, a pump track for bikes and skateboards, and a paved walking/jogging path. This park was the FIRST public park in Nashville! Samuel Watkins was a Nashvillian who served in the War of 1812. As a brick-maker and construction contractor, he became independently wealthy, even securing the business for the construction of the State Capital building, and eventually funding the Watkins Institute. The land had been privately owned by Watkins, but used for public purposes such as political rallies and school commencement ceremonies. During the Civil War, Union soldiers overran the park, and basically ruined a lot of the natural resources on the land. He donated this land, named at the time "Watkins Gove" to the city of Nashville in 1870. The city of Nashville opened the park in 1901, setting up the landscaping by natural citizens, and setting up the first children's playground in the city here.

The park is beautiful. It packs a LOT in a relatively small space. It's historically significant, as well. It was only due to the popularity of the park and playground that the city of Nashville began seriously acquiring land and plopping as many playgrounds down as they could. Standing in the park, you can see the State Capital building, and it gives you a real sense of appreciation for the gift Samuel Watkins truly was to the city.

Name: Watkins Park

Address: 616 17th Ave N, 37203

History: 5 out of 5

Walkability: 5 out of 5

Kid Like-ability- 5 out of 5

Date Night-ability- 5 out of 5

Charm: 5 out of 5

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