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, June 13, 2006

Latest News


I just received an e-mail from Stacy Goodwin with Montgomery County Parks and Recreation. She tells me that construction has begun on the pavilions at Rotary Park. This is to repair the damage done by the tornado as well as make needed improvements. Also, both she and the Maintenance Department are working diligently to get the playground ready for use. The county is considering opening the front portion of the park where the damage has already been cleared and the park repaired. She assures me that the park will look better than ever when it is reopened.

With regards to the logging, she informs me that Gary Hamm contacted over twenty loggers about Rotary Park and only one was interested. Now, Gary can't get this guy to return his call. As far as the fence goes, this project is still a long way off. According to Stacy, the trees have to be dealt with first, then the Conservation Board has to approve the installation of the fence, then a survey of the park boundaries has to be completed, and then funding has to be secured and the materials purchased. As usual, the tree issue is still holding things up.

Once the front park reopens, we will schedule a workday. I will be contacting everyone by e-mail. If all goes well and the ATVs don't come back, we can schedule another. According to Stacy, she has not heard anything of the ATVs recently. Lets keep our fingers crossed and our heads bowed.


Park Still on Community's Mind

Dear Friends:

As most of you know, I have not posted any information on this site in a while. The reason for this is because I don't like posting bad news. Unfortunately, I have not had any good news lately. However, five new people have contacted me in the last six days wanting to volunteer (Stacy, the fifth called me after I e-mailed you). That is great news as it tells me that Rotary Park is still on people's minds. It is also proof that Rotary Park is unique and fills a void in our local community. That void can't be filled until Rotary reopens.

So when will the park reopen?

I'm sorry but I don't know the answer that question, nor do I believe that anyone knows at this point.

Why has there not been another work day scheduled since the April 18th workday that was so successful?

That I can answer. The April 18th workday was extremely successful. In fact, it prompted news coverage in our local paper, The Leaf Chronicle. However, within a week of the workday, some of the local kids from one of the neighborhoods rode their motorcycles and ATVs on the trails after a storm. This caused substantial damage to the new trail as well as other established trails. ATV use had not been a substantial problem when the park was opened. However, with the park closed, there is no one to monitor or report ATV use. They had plenty of time to do serious damage.

Upon finding the damage to the trials, I went to the neighborhoods surrounding the park, spoke with several of the residences, and ultimately found one of the suspects. He and I had a short discussion about what they had done and why they were not allowed to ride in the park. I then gave the information that I had gathered to an investigator with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department. Two investigators went back, spoke with the kid and his parents, got the names of the other kids involved, and warned them and their parents. I believe that this will stop the ATV use but only temporarily. The park has to be reopened and a boundary fence erected in order to solve this serious problem. Lets face it, if you were 14 or 15, had a motorcycle or ATV and lived next to a closed park with miles of trails, could you stay out if it?

Friends of Rotary Park made a collective decision not to conduct any more workdays until the park is re-opened and a plan is in place to erect the necessary fence. This decision was a hard one to come to as so many of us want to be in the park making improvements. It is simply too heart breaking to put so much work into something just to see it destroyed a few days later. Besides that, it is a waste of time and resources.

At this point, I think that the County Commissioners need to know that the public desperately needs this park reopened. The county employees who work directly with the park already know this. Don't call them, but, please, call your elected County Commissioners and let them know that they need to allocate the money to get this park reopened. It has been closed long enough.