Friends of Rotary Park

This is a service provided to the users of Rotary Park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It is hosted by Friends of Rotary Park, a newly formed volunteer group that is dilligently working to improve the trail network at the park. This site provides information about current, past, and future trail development.


Rotary Park is a county-owned natural park in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. It consists of two adjoining tracts of land that make up about 95 acres of mostly undeveloped, wooded land. There is one park entrance/exit that is paved and runs to the back of the park. There are three pavilions along the roadway with the largest being at the road's end. Rotary Park has an extensive trail network and is open to hikers and bikers. The new push for extensive trail work is necessary because most trails were improperly built by ATVs and motorcycles. Motorized vehicles are now banned from the park. Furthermore, the trails are showing signs of serious erosion. Most recently, a large amount of sustainable trail located outside of the park's boundary has been taken by development. The Friends of Rotary Park is dedicated to restoring and improving the park. Those interested in joining Friends of Rotary Park can do so by contacting Chris Clark at 931-801-3898. Dues are $25.00 for a family membership.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

February 7, 2006

Dear Friends:

On Tuesday, February 28th, I met with Gary Hamm about Rotary Park. We discussed some issues over lunch and then toured the park to review the damage. I must say that the damage is even more extensive than I once realized. Gary and I examined the park both on and off the trials. It was very helpful to go to the park with Gary and look at it from his perspective. I originally thought that we could just go in and clear the trails and worry about the damage away from the trials later. However, Gary brought up a very good point: due to the park's small size, a lot of people don't remain only on the trails; they venture through the woods (seriously, we all do it). With this in mind, I had to take off my biker/hiker hat and put on my lawyer's hat. With so many "dead men" and "widow makers" throughout the park, the park is still very, very dangerous. Even if the trials were cleared, the park remains a dangerous place. With these facts known to the county, they are subject to substantial liability should someone get hurt. The park simply cannot reopen until all of the damage is done.

According to Gary, several experienced loggers have examined the park. All have explained that the park is just simply too dangerous for them to log. After our tour, I agree; it is still very dangerous.

At this point, the county still has some other options, but they are beginning to get more expensive. Also, regardless of the type of clean up that takes place, there is no doubt that some smaller trees are going to have to be lost in order to get the park cleaned up. It has been brought to my attention that some people have been complaining to the county about this point. I know that this group is made up of some very intelligent and trail savvy folks so I doubt that it is anyone in our group. However, if you are complaining to the county about this, please stop. This is an inevitable fact with which we all must live. The park has to be cleaned up because of the substantial danger that it presents. It cannot be cleaned up without some damage to other trees. This is a fact of life and nature. Your complaints do nothing but slow the process and jeopardize the relationship between the county and the park's users. Please discontinue these types of complaints if you are making them.

I will be attending another meeting tonight regarding the park and I should be able to let you all know what happens soon. There is a slim possibility that volunteers will be allowed into a small section of the park to work. The area being discussed was not affected by the tornado (and it was only a very small area that wasn't). It is also the area where most of the new trail work has occurred. If we are given the go ahead to get into that area, I will call a meeting so that we can discuss what we can and can't do.

I want to reiterate that Gary, Stacy, and our group are all singing from the same sheet of music. We had some communication problems but all seems to be fixed, now. Should this change, I will certainly let you know.

Thanks for the responses and comments that I got from everyone. I look forward to us getting some work done in the park.