Shelby Bottoms is one of Nashville’s Natural Beauties. One of the biggest perks to living in Middle Tennessee is never having to choose between big-city culture and a breath of fresh air. The Nashville area is rich in both, and we take pride in our natural areas. Chief among the beautiful parks and trails we enjoy here is the serene Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Natural Area.
Opportunities to Explore
Shelby Bottoms sit on 960 acres of forests, wetlands, and trails. It is the perfect area for family outings, bird watching, or training for that next marathon. In fact, the wildlife that frequents the park is one of its major draws. Visitors can spot anything from eagles to the newly re-introduced Lake Sturgeon.
The park is also rich in history, having been home to peoples from the last Ice Age all the way up to Dr. John Shelby, for whom the area is named. Education is part of the mission statement of Shelby Bottoms. They encourage all manner of knowledge seekers from scholars to amateurs to show up and explore.
The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center was established in 2007 in the park for just that purpose. The Center offers free programs and resources on the history of the park, its cultural impact, and the natural wonders that reside there. They even conduct field trips for groups of students.
Setting an Example
Equally important is the park’s dedication to setting the example for environmental care and preservation. This desire to preserve a part of Middle Tennessee’s natural beauty is evident everywhere. It shows in the mission statement of the park and the bans on taking wildlife or plants from the area.
As Nashville grows bigger and busier, it becomes more important to keep a place that reminds us of the non-urban reasons why Tennessee is so varied and valuable.