Those concerned with conservation of natural areas recognize that it is of utmost importance to maintain connecting corridors between preserves. Percy Warner Park, Edwin Warner Park, and Radnor Lake are conservation jewels of Nashville, and we would like Nashvillians to continue to enjoy these healthy, mature ecosystems for generations to come.
Looking at this map, you can see that the forests of Warner Parks and Radnor Lake are connected to each other and to the broader woods surrounding Nashville. While the effectiveness of this stretch of woods as an ecological corridor has yet to be evaluated, it is clear that the connection hinges upon the tract of forest running through West Meade. However, proposed residential and commercial developments threaten to sever this connection between Nashville's parks, and the surrounding woods.
If we allow a wide swath of concrete to be laid down between Percy Warner Park and the surrounding woods, then the long term health of Nashville's urban parks may be in jeopardy. These parks will effectively become "Ecological Islands," separated from the "Mainland" of Tennessee's woodlands. Animals will have a much harder time moving back and forth when they need to, and this may lead to a loss of species within the parks. In the long run, this could even alter the makeup of the park's plants and trees, many of which rely on balanced animal populations to persist.
In the next few years, Nashville's Parks may be irrevocably cut off from their ecological context. We have great hope that this will not happen, but that a significant forested corridor will be maintained.
Want to learn more ecological theory about "habitat islands" and urban development? Click here.