Metro Parks To Shut Down Popular Homeless Camp

Posted at 7:27 PM, Aug 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:30:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Metro Parks Officials will announce Tuesday a closure date for a popular homeless camp behind the Adventure Science Center. The announcement follows years of back and forth over what to do with the area.

The 15 acre space is an elaborate maze of tents and semi-permanent campsites built and maintained in large part by Chris Scott F.

"This is unused, unmaintained land owned by the Parks department, it is my belief that Parks Departments need to take on additional responsibility of providing land specifically for camping purposes," he said on Monday afternoon.

Estimates by city officials are that nearly two dozen people call the tent city home. Residents like Chris Scott have maintained a water filtration system and even toilets for the make shift camp sites.

He wants the city to allow camping in the area permanently, something metro parks currently do not allow.

"The government wants to help them? This is how you help them," he added.

Metro City Parks officials had planned to close the tent city last fall but because of severe winter weather conditions allowed the tents to stay.

"I’m getting put in between what I think is the humane thing to do and what my obligations as a city employee is," said parks director Tommy Lynch.

"This has been something I’ve agonized with," he said.

"Being homeless is not a simple answer or simple solution," Lynch added.

Unlike previous attempts to clear out the tent city, Metro Parks will not be throwing away anyone's possessions but instead will help people relocate their tents and other belongings.