After months of quarantine followed by the naturally slower pace of summer, fall seems to always be when things start picking up speed. Indeed, that is the case this year as well — despite the pandemic. Things are still moving right along — businesses opening (and re-opening), people adjusting to life and its current restraints. And so we take note of the bright spots that are occurring — and make no mistake, they are occurring. Here are three exciting things happening in Nashville right now — all of them free to enjoy.

The Steps are Open Again!

Nashvillians have a soft spot in their hearts for Percy Warner Park, and now there’s a renewed level of affection that will draw locals and visitors alike to the Belle Meade entrance. Yes, after 10 months, the Allée steps, which were designed by architect Bryant Fleming and completed in 1936, will finally reopen thanks to the efforts of Friends of Warner Parks. During the nearly year-long period of closure, damaged stonework was repaired, and issues with erosion and drainage were also addressed. Additionally, invasive plants were removed from the hillside surrounding the steps in order to encourage new growth of native plant species. So whether you enjoy using the steps for exercise or to climb to that prize-winning view down Belle Meade Boulevard, know that you’ll be able to safely do so for many years to come. The Allée steps officially reopen on Friday, October 2, following a dedication ceremony scheduled for October 1.

How beautiful do these iconic steps look? Image: Warner Tidwell

A New Mural on Charlotte Avenue

The Turnip Truck, a beloved locally owned natural food grocer, brings an intriguing new piece of art to the Charlotte Corridor in honor of October being Fair Trade Month. The business, which opened its Charlotte Avenue location at the start of the quarantine, supports the cause with a new mural created, in partnership with Fairtrade America, by local artist Tarabella Aversa and features West African cocoa farmer Rosine Bekoin. “We sell sustainably and ethically produced goods to nourish our customers and enhance the local community,” says Z Nelson, Marketing Director for The Turnip Truck. “The Turnip Truck has always had close relationships with our growers and makers, and fair trade is a cause we wholeheartedly support.” Rosine — the farmer in the mural — is a member of the Fairtrade-certified CAYAT cooperative and a graduate of the Fairtrade Africa Women’s School of Leadership. Her persona is a reminder that something as simple as purchasing a Fairtrade-certified product can make a difference in the lives of the nearly 2 million Fairtrade farmers and workers.

The mural was produced last weekend and will remain up throughout the month of October to bring awareness to the importance of supporting fair trade by purchasing products with the Fairtrade America logo. In addition to fair trade, the logo is also designed to spotlight the importance of gender equality as an estimated 60-80% of the world’s food is produced by women.

The Turnip Truck is located at 5001 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209.

Nashville mural painted by Tarabella Aversa

This mural was painted by local artist Tarabella Aversa on the side of The Turnip Truck‘s Charlotte Avenue location in honor of October being Fair Trade Month. Image: The Turnip Truck

Exciting things happening in Nashville: new mural on The Turnip Truck building

Rosine Bekoin, the West African cocoa farmer depicted in the mural, is a member of the Fairtrade-certified CAYAT cooperative and a graduate of the Fairtrade Africa Women’s School of Leadership. She’s a beautiful reminder for not only the importance of fair trade but also gender equality. Image: The Turnip Truck

RELATED: 18 Nashville Events & Happenings: October 2020

Swing Through Green Hills for Another Mural

If you’ve seen the butterfly wings mural by Kelsey Montague in the Gulch — and the line of people waiting to get their picture in front of it — then you know the power that a beautiful mural wields. Now, the line may be forming in another part of town to grab a photo in front of Kelsey’s newest work of art located at Vertis Green Hills.

The new mural evokes the same feeling of wonderment and invites onlookers to take a seat on a tree swing. “We have a wonderful courtyard and plaza at Vertis where people often gather, and the tree mural seemed like a perfect fit for the spirit of the area,” says Tim Downey, CEO of Southern Land Company, which is headquartered at Vertis and commissioned the mural.

The 15-by-8-foot “selfie station” relays Southern Land’s commitment to horticulture and creating outdoor spaces for people to gather and enjoy. “The tree and the swing will give people a chance to interact with the art, and hopefully inspire people to share positive messages,” adds Kelsey. “We chose a tree because it’s whimsical and organic, and has a component of growth. That’s very much Nashville — it’s growing, [and] there’s so much creativity and talent here. I wanted to capture that magic.”

Vertis Green Hills is located on Hillsboro Road and Richard Jones Road. Grab a photo on the swing and use the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou and #LiveVertis.

Mural by Kelsey Montague at Vertis Green Hills

Renowned street artist Kelsey Montague shows how to perfectly pose with her freshly created mural painted at Vertis Green Hills. Image: Southern Land Co.

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