Main Terrain Art Park
Main Terrain Art Park was developed in Chattanooga’s emerging Southside neighborhood on a 1.72 acre former railroad right-of-way. The City had previously purchased the site as a location for a stormwater management facility. The urban neighborhood, through a public involvement process, expressed the need for a useful green space and the desire for inclusion of public art while providing adult fitness opportunities. The landscape architect was the prime professional coordinating the contributions of engineers, artists, and play professionals. The landscape architect’s creative solution to the stormwater management requirement while creating a neighborhood open space focused on art and fitness resulted in a sustainable and artistically interesting public open space that also addresses and elevates art and active lifestyles in a unique combination.
The park’s large lawn areas are actually stormwater bioinfiltration basins. Rain that falls on the park is directed to one of the two basins. Stormwater infiltrates into the basin media and passes into the under drain system where it is piped to the city’s harvested rainwater system. Rainwater is collected from the park as well as from other neighborhood properties and stored in concrete pipes located under 13th Street. The harvested rainwater is filtered, treated with UV light, and then used to irrigate the park landscape. Environmental art is located throughout the park. Centrally located interactive art pieces reference the city’s bridge heritage while adding a unique fitness element. The park’s fitness equipment is specially designed to appeal to adults as well as children while being complementary to the art elements. In addition to the interactive art, park features include a lighted loop exercise track marked at 50 meter intervals with haiku poetry paver insets; brick seating; exercise stations; bike shelter; and sustainable plantings.
The park was developed as a public/private partnership of the City of Chattanooga, the Lyndhurst Foundation, Public Art Chattanooga, and Arts Build. The project was partially funded by a place making grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.