BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - Brentwood city leaders are speaking out to clarify an upcoming change regarding the use of the city's trail system.
The city's parks department has implemented new policies that will require "organized" groups of more than 20 people to register with the city before using the trails. Also, those groups that don't meet a Brentwood residency requirement will be charged $25 for a two-hour time slot. Public groups are not impacted by the change.
"We're not trying to exclude those groups," said Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar. "We just want to be able to have a little more control over where they are doing their events and when."
To be exempt from the fee, the group must have 60 percent of their membership ages 13 and older living within Brentwood city limits, or 75 percent Brentwood residents for those ages 12 and younger.
Bednar said non-profit organizations, and any group that require registration, membership fees or is registered with the state of Tennessee counts as an organized group.
No matter where they're from, the public can still use the trails for free as long as their group is smaller than 20 members.
Regular runners at Crockett Park said they notice the trails do get crowded on the weekends and during nice weather. Most said they will continue to adjust to the large groups like the do now.
"I've never really had a problem," said Sierra Anderson. "I wouldn't mind just running through them personally."
"If it's too crowded, I just come back later," said Beth Finney. "I am find adjusting my schedule."
City leaders said they hope the change ensures everyone can enjoy the city's trails.
"We know the trails are popular," said Bednar, "All we're trying to do is keep it better organized when those groups are out on the trail system."
The new policy goes into effect March 1. Brentwood Parks and Recreation workers will be responsible for enforcing the new policy by monitoring the trails and collecting any necessary fees.