Group aims to keep Hermitage’s Cook recreation area public

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HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There is a concerted effort to convince the Army Corps of Engineers not to allow private developers to lease Cook Recreation Area. Currently, the military is considering development proposals. The area is located in Hermitage, right on the shore of J. Percy Priest Lake.

On Thursday morning, more than 50 people came to the area to advocate for its continued public use. They shared a proposal with over 1,000 signatures, asking for the park to remain public.

Several people have spoken of the area serving as one of Metro Nashville’s few large green spaces.

“We’re part of the community here so we would all be affected,” band spokesman Anderson Clark said. “People need green spaces.”

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Cook Recreation Area campground was closed in 2004. They attribute the closure to low usage and aging facilities.

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In a statement, the Army Corps of Engineers said:

“Recreation is an authorized project objective and public benefit at J. Percy Priest Lake. We have seen an increased desire for recreation as Nashville and surrounding communities continue to grow. Camping in Cook is nothing new. We operated a campground in Cook for about 30 years, but it closed in 2004 due to low usage and aging facilities. This initiative is to determine if there is new interest in reviving the campground and improving the existing day use facilities. The goal is to execute this plan with minimal impact on the environment. In the next week or two, USACE will determine if we have a candidate who demonstrates the ability to meet recreational needs while preserving the environment. We will make an announcement at that time. From Freddie Bell, Nashville Area Operations Manager, Nashville District, US Army Corps of Engineers

The Corps of Engineers welcomes the Friends of Cook Recreation petition and looks forward to continuing to work with them in support of the Cook Recreation Area.

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