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Adventure Science Center 75th Anniversary Arboretum

10/13/21

Adventure Science Center 75th Anniversary Arboretum

By Adventure Science Center

Arboretum

Adventure Science Center is proud to have deep roots in Music City and we are excited to announce that we have officially planted the trees for our 75th Anniversary Arboretum project. By carefully adding 14 new native species of trees to our site under the guidance and supervision of Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research (TVAR), we now have more than thirty different species, thereby making us eligible for declaration as a Level 1 arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. This new arboretum will teach about the importance of trees and also introduce visitors to the story of the historic African-American Bass Street Community that once resided partially on our site. 

There are many benefits of our arboretum, including the improvement of community park space; accessible and free learning opportunities about nature and our site’s history; and added structural support for St. Cloud Hill to better preserve the overall site, which extends to Fort Negley.

The science center plans to host an official unveiling in April of 2022. In the meantime, guests are invited to enjoy the trees and learn about their unique features and environmental benefits via educational content that will be available on our website soon. Not long after, tree tags will be placed alongside each tree within the arboretum. By scanning the QR codes listed on the accompanying tree tags, guests will be directed to the online resource of information about the trees as well as the rich history of St. Cloud Hill. 

Over the coming months, Adventure Science Center will also highlight the “story of the hill” thanks to partnerships with Fort Negley, Encore Interpretive, and TVAR. This interpretive panel placed along Bass Street in front of the former Bass Street Baptist Church will explore the Bass Street Community. This element is only the beginning as we understand that this is not our story to tell alone. Please consider this an invitation to you to help us bring this history to life.  

In an effort to protect the unique archeological significance of our site, we partnered with TVAR to evaluate the area and oversee the planting of new trees. This coordination has been an important element in ensuring that the arboretum resides in harmony with preservation. The results of the TVAR survey showed that the areas in question had been so disrupted over the last several decades that no artifacts of relevant historical significance remain. Regardless, TVAR was back on site with us during planting as an extra measure to ensure the goal of planting new life will not sacrifice the memories of our past. 

We are thankful to Cumberland River Compact and Root Nashville for providing and planting the new trees; their vision to “build a tree canopy for Nashville that creates more equitable, healthy, climate-resilient neighborhoods” is a worthy mission that we are thrilled to support.

Adventure Science Center is excited to join the list of arboretums throughout the state of Tennessee, including that of our friend and supporter Senator Bill Frist, and to expand our mission beyond our four walls. We are grateful to our donors, our sponsors, our members, coalition members including Tennessee State University staff, Metro Parks, Metro Historical Zoning Commission, the office of Mayor John Cooper, The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, Daigh Rick Landscape Architects, and our visitors for making this project possible. 

If you would like to contribute to the “story of the hill,” email the Marketing & Communications department at marketing@adventuresci.org.

©2021 Adventure Science Center
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