Just over one year after opening the Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm, the City of Franklin’s Parks Department and the non-profit organization Friends of Franklin Parks will cut the ribbon on an adjacent warm-up arena designed to accommodate a range of equestrian and other events. The celebration will be held on Thursday, October 12 at 2 p.m., and the community is invited.
“This project is another great example of the way the public and private sectors are working together to continue enhancing our parks system,” said Paige Cruse, parks and recreation superintendent for the City of Franklin Parks Department. “Friends of Franklin Parks brought a significant financial contribution and a vision to the table, and our staff worked to execute the plan that we’ve had in place for Harlinsdale’s infrastructure around the multi-purpose equestrian arena.”
The approximately $50,000 project not only added a secondary warm-up arena to the Harlinsdale campus to better accommodate equestrian events, but it also added critical electrical, drainage and irrigation infrastructure that will support other activities in the park, both now and in the future.
Three different contractors (electrical, irrigation and drainage, and specialized arena footing) were engaged in the project, and were supported by the Parks Department’s Athletics and Maintenance divisions, who assisted with connections to existing utility systems and the construction of the cross-tie framework in which the arena base material sits.
Friends of Franklin Parks Executive Director Torrey Barnhill says the partnership with the Parks Department demonstrates how the timeline on long-range plans can be advanced with private contributions that benefit taxpayers and visitors.
“Friends of Franklin Parks is proud to be able to bring resources that enhance our City’s incredible parks system. This warm-up arena was supported financially by the Central Tennessee Dressage Association, because they see the value in having a fully built-out equestrian facility at Harlinsdale, but the Pilgrimage Festival was also able to take advantage of the new infrastructure in place,” Barnhill said. “It’s rewarding to see it all come together, and we encourage the public to join us in celebrating its opening.”
As part of the ribbon-cutting event on October 12, the Central Tennessee Dressage Association will host an equine demonstration, and the Boys & Girls Club kids who participate in Friends of Franklin Parks’ educational outreach program will also be on-hand. Light refreshments will be served, and officials will commemorate the occasion.