About SPNA

The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) is the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment.

SPNA members meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Senior Renaissance Center of Cohn Adult Learning Center at 4805 Park Avenue.

About Sylvan Park

Welcome to Sylvan Park! We hope you love this neighborhood as much as we do. Here are some helpful answers to commonly asked questions from newcomers.

What, exactly, is Sylvan Park?
The boundaries of the growing Nashville neighborhood are Charlotte Ave. to the north, Richland Creek to the west, railroad tracks to the south and east. Here is a Google map of the Sylvan Park neighborhood (zoom in for more detail).

Why do Sylvan Park residents love living here?
Here are just a few reasons.

  • Sylvan Park's many restaurants and businesses, within walking distance.

  • The newly-built McCabe Park Community Center, which offers patrons of all ages a modern and friendly place to exercise or spend leisure time, in a beautiful park setting; it also offers a variety of fitness classes and a full-service fitness center.

  • Richland Park Branch Library offers many programs for all ages, right in the neighborhood.

  • Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center is a well-regarded public elementary school with an active PTO.

  • Many Nashville Community Education classes take place at the Cohn School.

  • The popular Richland Park Farmer’s Market is on Saturday mornings in Richland Park.

  • Speaking of parks, the neighborhood has two of them - Richland Park and McCabe Park.

  • The Richland Creek Greenway is a 3.8 mile paved, looped path in our neighborhood, connecting McCabe Park and the Sylvan Park neighborhood with shopping centers along White Bridge Pike and Harding Road, and Nashville State Community College.

  • The McCabe Golf Course is a 27-hole golf course and practice facility that has been voted best place to play by Nashville Scene Magazine.

  • There are many opportunities to meet and socialize with your neighbors (see some links below for many active community organizations).

What should I do when I move here?

  • Join Nextdoor! :) Our neighborhood has an extremely active online community on Nextdoor, a private social network where neighbors can buy/sell goods, get business recommendations and experiences, share news and emergency alerts, and so much more. There are also lots of Facebook pages for neighborhood groups, including (but not limited to): SPNA, Sylvan Park Moms' Club, Sylvan Park PTO, Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy, the SPURS Running Club, Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, Friends of Richland Park Branch Library, tons of local restaurants and businesses, and so many more.

  • Join the Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). Since 1984, SPNA has been the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment. We sponsor a variety of social events throughout the year including a family movie night, annual golf tournament, a 4th of July parade, Night Out Against Crime, and a holiday party with caroling. There is also an informative quarterly neighborhood SPNA newsletter.

  • Sign up for Kathleen Murphy's email newsletter. Our councilwoman's updates contain helpful information and important links and events for Nashville's District 24, where our neighborhood is located. Her email is kathleen.murphy@nashville.gov if you need to reach her directly.

  • Explore the neighborhood! With all the nearby restaurants and places to go for recreation, the hard thing will be deciding what to do first, and which are your favorites!

What is the history of Sylvan Park?
Sylvan Park was established in 1887 and our neighborhood continues to evolve. Sylvan Park has a fascinating history, chronicled in “Nashville’s Sylvan Park,” by Yvonne Eaves and Doug Eckert (available through the Nashville Public Library system).

Who should I contact if...

  • I see something suspicious or concerning, but not necessarily criminal? Call the police nonemergency number at 615-862-8600.

  • I notice a problem with a city service or codes issue? You can submit a public works request here, or file a codes complaint here. Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy is a great resource for this, but you can also find a lot of information on the Nashville Metro web site 24 hours a day.

  • I have some other really, really random question? Nextdoor is about to be your best friend.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Possible fund-raising scam involving magazine sales

A neighbor has reported a possible scam involving teenagers selling magazines:
Have many neighbors been approached by teenagers going door to door allegedly selling magazines? We had some kids come to our door today a little before 1 p.m. (which is strange because they appeared to be high school age and not in school). We have twice purchased magazines because we felt bad for the kids who said they were working their way out of the projects and building self esteem.

We have never ever received a magazine, and so now are very skeptical about these salesmen. The kids today didn't even have any paper or clipboards with them. They were courteous after my husband said we weren't interested, but it makes me wonder if they're really doing something else like scoping out houses for possible burglary or something to that end. Just wondering if other neighbors have been approached. We live on the 4700 block of Utah Avenue.
It's hard to know for sure, but this may be a scam. There may well be teenagers doing legitimate school fund-raising in the neighborhood from time to time. Since this neighbor mentions having never received magazines despite past support, I thought this was worth mentioning. Please report any suspicious activity you witness to the police at (615) 862-8600.


  1. Anonymous8:44 PM

    The scenario: Claiming that they were between high school and college and practicing public speaking, two vibrant teenage women came to my door in Sylvan Park this evening. It was dusk--almost dark--and their knock was very friendly sounding.

    Their spiel: They said that they were competing in a contest against "the boys," only needed to earn 600 more points, and that all of the other people on my street had already participated. They needed to know my profession so that they could be inspired for career options in college. They also wanted to know if I had lived at my address last year... because if I did, then "the boys" probably came by then.

    They wanted me to look at some ragged brochures. When I didn't and asked them what they wanted from me, they became frustrated and told me that it would be easier if I just looked at the brochures. When I still refused, they said that they were part of a magazine drive to help charities--and hence, help them go to college through their success at public speaking.

    The supposed organization: When I asked them what the name of the organization was, they annoyedly mumbled "Make a difference." After somemore probing about the organization, they told me that they were staying in Goodletsville, were from out-of-state, and were going door-to-door in different neighborhoods to practice "making first impressions."

    The wrap-up: I told them that I would contribute to the program online. They retorted that the program was not online. When they opened up a small folder to show me some additional materials, I saw a wad of cash stuffed in the folder pocket (most likely from people that they had persuaded to make a donation to their "magazine drive").

    Bottom line: I declined their solicitation. They were disappointed but politely walked away.

    See this 2008 article by Nashville's Channel 4 on teenage magazine scams: http://www.wsmv.com/news/16105692/detail.html

  2. Anonymous8:25 PM

    I have been approached twice from young adults that claimed they were in a program to back to college and get a degree. As the previous comment they wanted to know what I did for a living and if I had a college degree. They kept telling me all these different people on my street that had contributed and asked if I knew them (sorry neighbors but learn your names so if they made up one I wouldn't have known). When I said I'm not interested in purchasing magazines they said I could give $20, $50, or what I would like to go towards purchasing magazines for rest homes. I said I would do that and when I came back to ask who I make the check out to they said they could only take cash. Hmm...With cash they are untraceable.

    They had their public speaking down but fooling me they didn't.

  3. Anonymous3:48 PM

    I live in Cherokee Crossing (off Westlawn) & have had several of these solicitors come to my door. The first time, I became skeptical once I saw they only had a ragged brochure & a check my "neighbor" had given them. I made an excuse & closed the door. The second time, at least a year later, I mistakenly opened the door while home alone. The heavy young man showed me the same ragged brochure & I told him I really didn't have time - he had caught me at a bad time. He got ANGRY & started cursing. I said "do I need to call the police on your?" & he said "go ahead, someone else has already called." He had stepped back from the door, but he was so aggitated he scared me & I slammed the door shut. Needless to say, I'll never open to door to a stranger again. I've seen someone in our neighborhood again in the last couple of months. My husband was home & we watched him. We got the feeling he was checking to see who's home during the day. Beware!

  4. Anonymous9:56 AM

    There was a feature story about this particular scam on The Today Show recently. Here is the link:

    Basically: Stay calm, get the dog out, and call the police.

  5. Thanks for sharing these experiences, everyone. It sounds like these incidents are on the rise, and that's not surprising giving the state of the economy. Keep your guard up, don't give to anyone who can only accept cash, and report suspicious activity to the police at (615) 862-8600. Let SPNA know at spna@sylvanpark.org, too.