The city wants to redevelop the Cradle of the Country Music Park. Part of this plan calls for the replacement of trees with art, which raises some concerns.
Knoxville, Tenn. – Knoxville leaders are working to redesign the Cradle of Country Music Park, located downtown near the intersection of Gay Street and Summitt Hill Drive. Part of the plan involves replacing trees with art, and this has raised concerns among some townspeople.
Currently, many city residents refer to it as a pocket of nature next to one of the city’s busiest intersections. The plan calls for five trees to be cut down and replaced with artwork. Leaders said 12 existing trees would be preserved and nine new trees would be planted.
“I feel like you could put art anywhere, so what’s the point of tearing down mother nature?” said William Borden, a town resident.
The process of redesigning the park began about 8 years ago and since then more than 100 artists have submitted proposals to fill the park. Some of their projects were funded after the organizers selected the winning designs.
The city said it plans to use the space for small concerts and public events.
“I think we can have the trees and we can have the art,” said Seema Singh, the 3rd District Councilwoman. “The park is called Cradle of Country Music. We can also have respect for our great history in Knoxville of country music. It’s also an area where there was a lot of black and African American music. I think we can integrate all of these things.”
The park is about half an acre and some locals said they wondered why the trees had to be cut down to get more art there.
“Always against cutting down trees if possible, but I’m also very interested in supporting the art of Knoxville. And so ideally a place could be found where you could do both without cutting down the trees,” Biran said. . Worley, the owner of a nearby store.
Singh proposed to the city council to delay the project for six months so that they could find a compromise, keeping the trees while finding a place for the art.