Our mission is to permanently protect all 12 acres of the old Red Bank Middle School property in public ownership, as a central community treasure for the common good.
The goal of this website is to foster an informed public debate about public space and the fate of the old Red Bank, TN Middle School property (at 3715 Dayton Boulevard). This site is the go-to public clearinghouse and comprehensive resource for factual information, documentation, analysis and perspective about the future Red Bank Central Park.
Save Red Bank Central Park
Charms and Challenges
Red Bank, Tennessee is a quality-of-life enclave of Chattanooga, hidden comfortably between a set of scenic parallel ridges. Its sought-after, small-town lifestyle offers a peaceful respite from the big city.
However, a stubborn economic malaise and associated cultural stagnation are causing many to search for new ideas. Our movement to Save Red Bank Central Park arose to promote the idea that the addition of an epic public commons could become the economic engine that lifts the Red Bank community and reinvigorates our social and economic life.
Aerial View of Red Bank Central Park
(11.97 acres at 3715 Dayton Boulevard)
November 2, 2023
The City of Red Bank currently is undertaking two separate planning processes that will have dominant influence on the fate of Red Bank Central Park. These processes will occur from late 2023 through at least mid 2024. PUBLIC INPUT AND PARTICIPATION ARE VITAL, to inform the City and its consultants how much the public wants an epic central park at the old middle school site.
December 20, 2022
Red Bank City Manager Martin Granum made a Powerpoint presentation to the Commission to update his plan to launch a comprehensive planning process for the City, including developing a site plan for the old middle school property at 3715 Dayton Blvd. He also provided a 10-step written "Road Map to a Comprehensive Plan" with timelines, which can be found on pages 8, 9 and 10 of the Agenda packet.
The Comprehensive Plan includes:
1. Transportation Plan (includes an Urban Mobility Study);
2. Land Use Plan (part of a larger Area Plan by the Regional Planning Agency);
3. Needs Assessment for parks and recreation;
4. Plan to resolve the out-of-compliance status regarding the land swap;
5. Small Area Plan focused just on the old high/middle school property.
Granum's Road Map to a Comprehensive Plan
December 6, 2022
Two of the three candidates endorsed by Save Red Bank Central Park were elected November 8th to the Red Bank Commission. Hollie Berry was re-election to the Commission, while Hayes Wilkinson won his first race. SRBCP-endorsed candidate Lawrence Miller lost a close race to Jamie Fairbanks Harvey. Berry also was subsequently re-elected as Mayor by the newly installed Commission on December 6, 2022, while Stefanie Dalton was re-elected as Vice Mayor.
A key result of the 2022 election is a 3-2 majority of the new Red Bank Board of Commissioners that is publicly supportive of saving Red Bank Central Park: Mayor Berry, Vice Mayor Dalton and Commissioner Wilkinson.
September 20, 2022
An update on the City of Red Bank's goal to develop a comprehensive city-wide master plan was presented by City Manager Martin Granum. A hired consultant will do most of the work, but the community will have some opportunity for input. The culmination will be a "Small Area Plan" recommending alternatives for the old middle school site. It may be Spring 2024 before the Board of Commissioners decides what to do with that property ... and whether the people will get their epic Red Bank Central Park.
September 13, 2022
After one year of monitoring birds at the Park, 78 species have been documented! The fall migration season is in full swing, so new bird species could be showing up any day, as they head south toward their wintering grounds. "Thank You" to the City's Department of Public Works for leaving a large area unmowed to provide habitat for grassland and shrub-loving birds!
September 6, 2022
The City of Red Bank Public Works Department presented a Powerpoint update on the work to date of the committee to study a "10-minute Walk to a Park Initiative," chaired by Commissioner Ed LeCompte.
This city initiative arose from the Board of Commissioners' strategic planning retreat on March 29, 2022. The retreat concluded with a unanimous vote on the top five city-wide goals for the next couple of years, one of which was pursuit of an initiative to expand the network of Red Bank parks so that a higher portion of the citizens are within a 10-minute walk of a park.
February 1, 2022
The City's planning process to determine the fate of our Park has begun.
City Manager Martin Granum presented his framework to the Red Bank Board of Commissioners for a comprehensive planning and public engagement process. This one- to two-year process will culminate in a specific plan for what the City will do with the 12-acre site of the old Red Bank Middle School.
Audience notes from that presentation can be read here. The City Manager's written planning framework (highlighting mine) can be read on pages 3-7 of the Commission Agenda packet here. The Powerpoint presentation given by the City Manager to the Commissioners can be downloaded here.
December 6, 2021
Birdwatching milestone -- With the finding of two new species today, the total number of species documented at Red Bank Central Park reached 50, just since September! A Savannah sparrow and three white-crowned sparrows were using the tall grass on the former football field and in the brambles and shrubs along the bank that once supported the bleachers.
"Thank You!" to the Red Bank Public Works Department for leaving that area of the Park unmowed to provide good habitat for wintering songbirds!
November 16, 2021
The Red Bank Board of Commissioners reached a consensus on Nov. 16, 2021 allowing the City Manager to terminate the Sept. 2020 Request for Proposals to sell the old middle school site, along with the resulting 3 development proposals.
This action will create a clean slate, allowing a new city-wide planning process to begin in 2022 that will be thorough, methodical and transparent, featuring ample opportunity for public input.
Red Bank citizens now will have serious opportunity to inform city leaders about what we want on the old middle school site; about what we want for a Red Bank city-wide parks system; and about what we envision for the future of the entire City of Red Bank. All this thinking, engagement and planning will be occurring beginning in spring 2022, under the leadership of City Manager, Martin Granum and a professional consulting firm contracted by the City.
October 27, 2021:
discovered at Red Bank Central Park!
Preliminary measurements: 35.5" diameter, 97 feet tall.
Nomination already submitted for official recognition as a Tennessee Champion Tree. Confirmation expected in spring 2022.