By BROOKE WANSER
The city of Franklin’s newest park will soon have a catchier name than “Southeast Municipal Complex.”
At Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Alderman work session “River Run,” “Franklin South,” or a combination of the two were put forth by graphic design firm TollesonMcCoy.
The Nashville group has done branding for the Riverfront Park and Amphitheater and the Omni Hotel, among other projects.
The need for a park in the southeastern part of town, east of I-65 and west of the Harpeth River with an entrance from Carothers Parkway, was identified in the city’s master plan.
Parks Director Lisa Clayton pointed out that the new 180-acre park is comparable to Harlinsdale Park, which is 199 acres.
“The naming and the branding is important because we will do it in phases, but it’s also important that we call it something from the beginning,” Clayton said.
She said 20 different staff members were involved in brainstorming names for the new complex. “How was it used, and what was the history?” she said, noting there is no particular historic significance to the property.
“You’re not just looking at a park name, you’re looking at how you’re going to use it on hats and t-shirts and branding it for visitors and tournaments and all of those things, but also for our visitors and our citizens,” Clayton added.
Playgrounds, a dog park, outdoor table tennis, lawn bowling, bocce court, two basketball courts, two sand volleyball courts and three pickleball courts will be part of the park, as will a trail and canoe launch.
The name “Franklin South” would note the city’s name, something no other park in the system can boast, and reference the geographic location, said Clayton.
One tagline is “Conserve, connect, compete;” utilizing the river running through the region, connecting the community, and continuing to bring competitive amenities to the city.
Optional branding elements include water droplets and figures running, canoeing and cycling.
City Administrator Eric Stuckey said all logos are black and white for now, but a color scheme will be selected moving forward.
Alderman Ann Petersen said she wanted to indicate which activities are more adult-aimed and which are more child-focused, and brand them accordingly. She also suggested the park name reference the Robinson family, who previously owned the property. Stuckey noted that a lake on the property will bear the Robinson name.
At-large Alderman Brandy Blanton criticized both the names and called some of the logos “dated.”
“To me, River Run makes it sound like it’s a competition, like a 5k,” she said. She suggested the city utilize the name “Carothers” for inspiration.
Martin said she supported the name River Run. “I can see little children say ‘Let’s go to River Run today, and play at the park,’”
“Isn’t it obvious we should call it South Park?” Alderman Dana McLendon mused, referencing the popular cartoon show. “I can’t have any part in missing that opportunity.”
Head to our Facebook poll to see what people think of the names. The vast majority of Facebook and Twitter users polled supported River Run.
The @CityOfFranklin is debating on a name for the newest park in the southeast, east of I-65 and west of the Harpeth River. Which name do you like better?
— Franklin Home Page (@franklinhomepg) July 10, 2018