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.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Stop in at the Gateway to Sylvan Park

Top Left: Lou Farrell, Founder of Import Flowers
Even though it doesn't look very big from the outside, Import Flowers is the kind of place where you can get lost for a long time.

"We probably have 50 to 70 thousand stems of flowers in here at any given time," says Lou Farrell, who started the business in 1977. "I never thought this was going to happen."

Farrell didn't think it was going to happen because when he first started his wholesale flower business, he was the only employee, not sure whether he would be able to make enough money to keep going, let alone expand.

"I had a kerosene heater in the middle of the floor and I’d call and sell flowers, put the phone on hold, go and deliver the flowers, come back take the phone off and sell some more flowers," remembers Farrell. "That went on for a year or two. Then, I got one employee that could drive the truck and we’ve gradually worked our way up, and we’ve been this size now for three or four years."

The businesses bloomed out of Farrell's love of flowers and has been a fixture at its current location in Sylvan Park (3636 Murphy Rd.) since 1983. As far as the building's sparse interior? Farrell says that's not by accident.

"A customer of mine said you need to leave it looking ugly," says Farrell, " He said it needs to be a warehouse when they walk in where the flower is the only good looking thing in there."

And the bright murals on the outside of the building are thanks to some unique neighborhood artists.

"I told them I wouldn’t put my name out there, I didn’t say I wouldn’t paint it," laughs Farrell, referring to a promise he made with flower shops in town when he first opened his business, "Actually, some kids, some eighth graders at one of the middle schools came to me and said 'We’d like to paint on your building'. I said 'Why', and they said they got caught tagging. They were taggers, right. So I asked my police friend here in the neighborhood and he said sure enough, 'We caught them a few times, but they want to do something honest'. So I let them paint that building and they did it with spray paint. They tagged my building in a big way. They all went onto the metro art magnet school and are successful kids. That did that when they were eighth graders five to seven years ago."

Farrell says his business has thrived on the customer-base in Sylvan Park and the relationships they've created all over Nashville. Whatever flowers they don't sell get donated to various non-profits around town and Farrell says their business is happy right where it is.

"We feel very much a part of the neighborhood and we love having our neighbors come in and visit," says Farrell.

"Easy Summer Arrangement" by Import Flowers' design specialist, Ashley Walters

What to buy: Peonies, salal tips, larkspur, purple larksburg, and astilbe

1. Start with the greens to hold the other flowers in place while you work.
2. Trim off leaves that would be below water line.
3. Add in the peonies (the main flower) at varying heights.
4.  Fill in with remaining flowers at remaining height.
5. Enjoy!

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