In 1997, with Gateway Office Park being rapidly developed, it was recognized that there was a great deal of underutilized open space. Lose & Associates was commissioned to develop a plan for this space. One of the greatest challenges was a 40-acre area that had historically been an unregulated landfill. Considering it’s central location, it was decided to turn this land into a city park that residents would be able to use for recreation and relaxation.
The site had been designated as a state superfund site, and federal assistance was provided to cap the landfill. A borrow pit was created south of the landfill along the edge of the business park to provide material for the landfill’s clay cap. Afterwards, the borrow pit was used to collect and store stormwater runoff.
Today, the pond that was created is the focal point of Gateway Business Park. An island area within the pond remained above the water’s surface due to the presence of shallow bedrock so it was decided to create a community garden where office park employees and city residents could take a respite from the workday and enjoy vistas across the pond. It also provided space for community gatherings so plans evolved to include a small reception building and turf areas large enough to accommodate event tents. Later sculptures were created as a result of a city outreach program with the Middle Tennessee State University art program.
|Reception Building With Its Gardens And Sculptures|
|Reception Building And Waterfall Going To The Pond|
|Teddy, Our Shihtzu Hanging Out By One Of The Parks Small Waterfalls|
The creation of Gateway Island Park also provided a means for the city to dispose of treated wastewater from the treatment plant. The pond’s watershed was not large enough to maintain a high-water level throughout summer months when evaporation is highest so treated wastewater is used to recharge the lake and provide irrigation for the island. An automated water level control system was designed to automatically fill the lake to compensate for evaporation.
|Gateway Island’s Pond|
Greenway paths now connect the Gateway Island to offices and residential areas throughout the City. A variety of wildlife; turtles, ducks, Canadian Geese, and cranes can be found along its paths.
The Canadian Geese in particular, are beautiful, but known to become permanent residents that can become too numerous and a nuisance (50 geese can produce two and a half tons of excrement per year). In consideration of this, the City of Murfreesboro is currently working with federal agencies to discourage the geese from becoming permanent residents through humane methods including paintball tactics and the use of air horns… this is in the best interest of both the geese and people who frequent the park.