Greenways Ambassador Training
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Greenways for Nashville! We are thrilled that you want to join us in our mission to create, preserve, and promote a system of greenways in Nashville and Davidson County. Please work your way through the modules below, and then complete the Greenways for Nashville Ambassador Training Quiz. We ask that you score at least 75% or higher on your quiz in order to participate as a Greenway Ambassador. Once you have completed the quiz, we will be in touch with your results and next steps!
Greenways for Nashville Ambassadors are integral to fulfilling our mission to create, preserve, and promote greenways in Nashville and Davidson County. As an Ambassador, volunteers assist in supporting our education, outreach, and advocacy efforts.
Set-Up/Break-Down at Greenways for Nashville community events
Volunteering at Greenways for Nashville booths during community events
Educating the general public about the greenways: what they are, why they’re important, where to find them, trail rules, news & happenings, etc.
Assisting with general office and administration tasks such as preparing mailings, data entry, etc.
Promote the greenways through social media: posting/sharing photos, videos, etc.
Participation in promoting a system of greenways in Nashville and Davidson County
Invitation to our Annual Members Celebration
Greenways for Nashville Ambassador Button
Engaging The Public
When speaking with the public, keep in mind these ways in which to boost engagement and understanding:
Stand up, make eye contact, say “hello”, and smile. People will come over if you look welcoming, available, and friendly.
Ask engaging questions
It’s always okay to start off with an “Are you familiar with the greenways?” question, but you want to keep someone engaged by asking follow up questions such as “What is your favorite greenway?” or “Do you know the closest greenway to your home?”
Be a good listener
Be interested in what someone is telling you, and let their curiosity and questions drive your conversation forward.
Share what you know
Use simple, clear language. Share basic information and then share more with interested listeners!
Share accurate information
If you aren’t sure about something, it’s okay to say “I don’t know. That’s a great question!” Offer ways in which someone can learn more, or jot down their question and information so that you can have a Greenways for Nashville staff member follow up.
Maintain an inviting facial expression, positive tone, and open body language throughout the interaction.
As your interaction ends, thank them for stopping by and encourage them to sign up for the mailing list and to grab a map.
A positive experience on your end helps maintain a positive experience for all.
History of Greenways for Nashville
Greenways for Nashville’s mission is to create, preserve, and promote a system of greenways in Nashville and Davidson County. We advocate preservation and protection of natural and cultural areas, development of community recreational opportunities, and acquisition of land for preservation as greenways and parks.
Nashville’s greenways initiative began in 1991, when Mayor Phil Bredesen and the Metro Council created the Greenways Commission as a division of Metro Parks to plan and develop a greenway system of trails and open spaces throughout Davidson County. Members of the Commission and Nashville citizens established Greenways for Nashville in 1994 to give the general public a way to support development of the greenways system.
Greenways for Nashville supports the initiatives of the Metro Parks Department and the Greenways and Open Space Commission by leveraging public and private funds to preserve land, build trails, and make greenway’s improvements. In addition to fundraising, Greenways for Nashville advocates for and educates citizens about Nashville’s greenways, and provides opportunities for community involvement in greenway enhancement and development.
Nashville’s first greenway, the Morton’s Mill section of the Harpeth River Greenway, was opened in 1995. Since that time, nearly 90 miles have been built. In the 2016-2017 master planning process for parks and greenways called Plan2Play, paved and unpaved trails were ranked as the most valued resource and Nashvillians made it known that they want more of them across the county. As a result, Plan2Play calls for an additional 53 miles of paved trailed and 50 miles of unpaved trails over the next 10 years.
Why Are Greenways Important?
What are the Greenways?
Greenways are linear parks with off-street, multi-use trails that connect neighborhoods to schools, parks, public transportation, shopping and work. Often located along natural landscape features like streams, rivers and ridges, or along built features, such as railroad corridors and scenic highways, greenways provide valuable greenspace for conservation, exercise, recreation and alternative transportation. Nashville’s greenways are primarily based along our eight major water corridors: the Cumberland River, Browns Creek, Harpeth River, Stones River, Mill Creek, Richland Creek, Seven Mile Creek and Whites Creek.
Why are Greenways Important?
Greenways provide all citizens barrier-free access to natural resources, recreational opportunities, and stress-free bicycle and foot commuting options, thus enhancing the health of users.
Greenways provide alternative transportation routes and connectivity as part of Metro’s multi-modal transportation system. For every person inspired to walk, bike, run, or skate to a destination via a greenway trail, it means one less car on the road, a positive outcome for both human and environment health. A greenway system not only provides these alternative transportation options, but they help to provide links that are currently unavailable. This means residents are able to navigate through neighborhoods and communities, both urban and rural, in a safe and efficient way.
Greenways promote the conservation of natural resources including wetlands, floodplains, plant and wildlife habitat, thereby improving air and water quality in our city. Greenways protect and and link fragmented habitats and provide opportunities for protecting plant and animal species. They also reduce air pollution in two ways: they provide alternatives to driving, which reduces the burning of fossil fuels, and they protect large areas of plants that create oxygyn and filter air pollutants. Greenways improve water quality by creating a natural buffer zone that protects streams, rivers and lakes, preventing soil erosion and filtering pollution caused by agricultural and road runoff. Greenways are an essential component for the economic and environmental vitality of Nashville, now and for future generations.
Health & Well Being:
Greenways contribute to the overall health of residents by offering safe, accessible places to walk, bike, run, or skate – some greenways even provide access to waterways to canoe, kayak, paddle-board, etc. This allows for better access to outdoor recreation options that encourage a healthy lifestyle. Also, we are healthier when we can be around nature, and everyone deserves this amenity close to home for our collective well-being. Sadly, Tennessee is near the bottom of the health rankings of our country, AND the U.S. Health Rankings in general are eroding. With greenways we have an opportunity to enable a healthier population in Nashville.
Current Greenway Projects
Gulch Greenway — Frankie Pierce Park
The Gulch Greenway is being extended and downtown Nashville is getting a new park! Located just below the Tennessee State Capitol building, the new 2.5 acre Frankie Pierce Park and greenway extension is a partnership between Metro Nashville and Capitol View. The park will feature volleyball courts, a dog park, and playground. Additionally, a new segment of greenway will connect this new park with the existing Gulch Greenway on the south side of Charlotte Ave.
Gulch Greenway — 11th Avenue North
The Gulch Greenway at Church Street and 11th Avenue is being reconstructed as part of the new Asurion corporate hub development. Highwoods Property recently purchased the property where this first Gulch Greenway segment is located. In a prime example of public-private partnership, the project is funding improvements including realignment and construction of the 12 foot wide off-street multi-use greenway trail, lighting, canopy tree installation and a new vertical connection to the Church Street bridge overhead. This mixed use development is expected to be completed in 2021. The greenway trail has been temporarily rerouted during construction so that trail users will continue to have an off-street option for traveling through the Gulch.
Mill Creek Greenway — Mill Creek Park to Orchard Bend Park
Opening in 2019, this 2.25 mile greenway will connect the existing trailhead at Mill Creek Park to a new trailhead at Orchard Bend Park, a new park that will also be opening this year. This exciting extension means that the Mill Creek Greenway will now connect five neighborhoods, two parks, and two schools over the course of four miles along Mill Creek.
Mill Creek Greenway — Low Water Bridge
In partnership with the Cumberland River Compact, Metro Parks removed an aging creek crossing on Mill Creek Greenway and this summer will replace it with a low water bridge which, in the future, will serve as a connection for nearby neighborhoods to Mill Creek Park via the Greenway.
Whites Creek Greenway at Fontanel — Pedestrian Bridge
This summer Metro Parks will install a pedestrian bridge connecting Phase One and Phase Two of the Whites Creek Greenway at Fontanel.
Cumberland River Greenway — Opry Mills Connector
Metro was awarded a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to help build a greenway along the Cumberland River that connects Shelby Bottoms and Stones River Greenway with Opry Mills. This greenway will link Donelson/Hermitage, Downtown Nashville, and East Nashville to Opry Mills. Once completed, you will probably be able to bike to the mall faster than you can drive!
The Vision: City Central Greenway System
The City Central Greenway System is a planned 23-mile urban greenway loop system encircling Nashville’s core. Currently, one third of the system consists of already completed and under development greenways. Once completed, the City Central Greenway System will serve as a vital component of our city’s transit initiatives, connecting transit stops, bikeways, neighborhoods, schools, parks and business districts.
Nashville’s Greenways Map features a total of nearly 100 miles of paved, off-street greenways and 75 miles of unpaved trails. On the “Nashville Closer-In” side of the map, users can explore Nashville’s urban core with greenways and on-street bike routes. The “Nashville Farther-Out” side of the map takes you beyond Downtown and highlights the county-wide greenway system and many of Nashville’s amazing parks. In addition to the physical map, Nashville’s Greenways also has an App, NashGR, which allows users to access the entire greenways map system through a free mobile application.
The Nashville’s Greenways Map is provided through 3 formats:
Please explore each map format and take some time familiarizing yourself with the greenways. Consider the following while exploring the map:
Which greenways have you been on? Which greenways would you like to visit?
What are some of the “special greenway attractions”?
Which greenway is closest to your home/work/school?
What is the longest greenway?
What is the shortest greenway?
What is your preferred method of enjoying the greenway? (Run, walk, bike, skate, etc.)
Trail rules are established to help keep the greenways safe, accessible, and fun for all!
Please follow these rules:
- Maximum speed limit is 15 mph
- Keep to the right, pass on the left
- Keep pets on leashes not exceeding 6 ft.
- Bicyclists and skaters yield to pedestrians
- Give audible signal when passing
- Stay on designated trails
- Put trash in receptacles at trailheads
Safety is our highest priority:
- Enjoy the greenway with a friend
- Leave valuables at home
- Take car keys with you
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Horses and Motorized Vehicles
Important Phone Numbers:
- Metro Police: 615-862-8600
- Metro Parks: 615-862-8400
- Emergency 911
For ADA Accommodations, please contact 615-862-8400
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Greenways for Nashville a division of Metro Parks?
No. Greenways for Nashville is a non-profit “friends group” that works in partnership with the Metro Parks Department and Greenways and Open Space Commission.
Can I ride an electric bike or motorized scooter on the greenway?
No. For safety and design reasons, motorized/electric vehicles and bikes are prohibited on the greenway. This includes motorized scooters, e-bikes, mopeds, golf carts, four-wheelers, etc. The greenways are not built in a manner that can accommodate for motorized vehicles, bikes, and scooters.
There is a homeless camp on the greenway, why are they allowed there?
Camping on the greenway is prohibited. If you encounter a camp on the greenway, please call the Metro Police non-emergency line at 615-862-8600 to inform them. Additionally, if you encounter an emergency situation, always call 911.
I live in the __________ neighborhood. When will a greenway be built there?
Check out the Nashville’s Greenways Map to see where the closest greenway is located to your neighborhood. Also, you can refer to the “Master Plan” tab on our website to see greenway projects that are currently under development.
Where can I pick up a map/can I get maps for my store?
Request a map online, or see which stores/locations carry our maps, at https://greenwaysfn.wpengine.com/printed-maps/. We also have an App, NashGR, that contains the full Nashville’s Greenways map. Additionally, we bring maps to all of our community events.
How can I be involved with Greenways for Nashville?
There are multiple ways you can be involved with Greenways for Nashville. Interested in giving time? Consider volunteering! Able to give a monetary donation? Consider giving a donation. Interested in partnering together on an event or project? Email firstname.lastname@example.org