The City of Brentwood has closed the sale of approximately 52 acres of land for $5.2 million to be developed into the future Windy Hill Park.
The funding for the purchase came from a combination of the city's general fund balance, adequate facilities taxes and $150,000 previously raised by Brentwood Green Space, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving green space in the city.
The purchase was facilitated by The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit that works with public and private partners to protect land and water resources and support healthy and vibrant communities. The nonprofit also assisted in the city’s purchase of nearly 400 acres for what is now Marcella Vivrette Smith Park.
The land at 9135 Old Smyrna Road, on the east side of I-65 at the intersection of Jones Parkway and Old Smyrna Road, was discussed by the city in February, and according to a news release, the city will maintain the land in its current state until it is developed into a park.
“My parents and my sisters and brother and I are so honored to be able to dedicate this land to the future of Brentwood. For generations to come, citizens will be able to enjoy the green, open land thanks to my parents Lucy and Wilbur Sensing and their love of the beauty of God’s creation,” Ben Sensing, who signed the property closing documents, said in the news release.
"We have enjoyed the pastoral beauty of Windy Hill for the past 45 years and now are thankful it will be preserved for all to enjoy," Lucy and Wilbur Sensing added in the release. "We also appreciate the efforts of The Conservation Fund and Brentwood to make this possible.”
According to the city, the future park will serve the more than 1,900 homes and residents in the northern section of Brentwood which is in accordance with the Brentwood 2030 Plan for parks.
The Sensing family operated the property as a farm known as Windy Hill for many years, and the city has said that the other 40 acres of the property, which includes the Constatine Sneed Historic House, a pond and outbuildings, and is being placed into a conservation easement to ensure permanent preservation of all 92 acres.
“The Sensing's have been wonderful stewards of the land for many years, and I think it is appropriate that the City play a role in ensuring this property remains a community asset for the future," Brentwood Mayor Rhea Little said in the news release.
According to the release, the city plans to turn the land into a passive park similar to Wikle or Deerwood Parks with no planned athletic programs, but would one day have walking paths and bicycle trails, a playground and open field areas.