FRIENDS OF INDIAN LAKE PENINSULA
With the weather cooperating for a beautiful, sunny day, more than 600 people came out for fun, food, exercise and their first chance to see the Batey Farm and Hill up close and personal.
The Friends of Indian Lake Peninsula, which worked to raise $1 million and partnered with the city to acquire the 73-acre property for $2.9 million this past spring, and the Hendersonville Parks Department jointly hosted a preview day on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Many commented on how nice it was to see neighbors and friends for a relaxed afternoon of catching up …. just what many think a passive park is for.
The fun started with a hay ride around the farm that also carried the adventurous over to the bottom of the hill for a quarter-mile hike to the top for a peek at the amazing view of the lake and the downtown Nashville skyline. By the time the children got to the top they were telling stories of the deer and other animals they saw and showed off the hiking sticks, hickory nuts and acorns they collected on the way.
The event itself, just like the effort to “Save the Batey Farm and Hill”, was a success due to the collective effort of many. The HHS Marine Corps JROTC Cadets parked the cars for the 600+ people who attended. Hendersonville Police patrol officers directed traffic while their mounted patrol partners made friends with dozens of children. Fire Chief Bush provided an engine that entertained those who made it over to the hill and opened up his temporary offices in the old Batey house for use by the visitors. The staff of Parks and Recreation provided manpower for the setup and the fun transportation. The city’s Public Works Dept. prepped the farm itself with mowing and
clean up and, finally, 30+ volunteers helped with all types of duties including endless treks up and down the hill escorting
more than 500 people to the top. Food trucks from Café Rakka, Daddy’Dogs and MaggieMoo’s, plus staff from Capstar bank provided refreshments that added to the festive atmosphere.
Jeremy Krejci, a member of the Friends’ Board and the Friends’ lead organizer for the event said “How exciting it was to see it all come together for an event that provided so much joy to all. Seeing the children running through the field and hiking up the hill reinforced why saving this property was the right thing to do. I think that most
people were amazed at just how beautiful both the farm and the hill are when you are actually on them vs. just driving by.”
The mayor and several aldermen also were on hand. Andy Bolt, a new member of the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen, was there and stated “What a terrific day. I thought it was a terrific event. Very well organized and very well attended. I was also impressed with the volunteers, very committed and passionate.”
Andy Gilley, the Director of Parks and Recreation, said: “To have seen the turnout today and the reactions of the folks who
visited the property brought a smile to everyone who worked so hard to preserve this property. This is truly a place that everyone in our city will be able to enjoy for years to come. “
While it will be some time before the farm and the hill are officially open to the public, the Preview Day was meant to inspire everyone in town as they think about the
next steps for these 73 pristine acres.
The Friends and the city would like everyone to participate in an on-line survey to express their feelings about those next steps (go to http://bit.ly/PassivePark). In addition, there will be community meetings held at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 and Dec. 13 to continue the discussion.