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#MOTH615 9K Run/Walk

Matters of the Heart Nashville (MOTH615) welcomes all to join us in Hadley Park to run or walk through the history of North Nashville. The 9K race, or 5.6 miles, starts at Hadley Park and continues through historic Jefferson Street, inviting parks, FISK University, Meharry Medical College, and landmark businesses, to name a few. Take the route through history tours below to learn about North Nashville!  

9K Mile Marker 1

During the Civil War, Nashville was occupied by Union troops, and a sizeable contraband camp was set up in North Nashville called Fort Gillam, a temporary home to newly freed slaves. Bisecting the Fort was a wagon road later known as Jefferson Street. In the 1930s, not far from Fisk University, Jefferson Street quickly became a hub for entertainment, music, and nightlife. Speakeasies, supper clubs, dance halls, nightclubs, and more could be found along the famous road, home to the Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival.

9K Mile Marker 2

Public parks such as Hope Gardens Park, make places nicer to live in, enable people to meet up, and give those who live in urban areas access to nature. These greenspaces help with local cooling and air quality, and maintain local biodiversity. The community of Hope Gardens, bounded by Rosa Parks Boulevard on the east and historically black Jefferson Street to the north, spans only about 15 blocks, and represents the newly diversified area.


9K Mile Marker 3


FISK University is the cornerstone of Excellence and Education. A private historically black liberal arts college in the heart of North Nashville since 1866. Its 40-acre campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its neighbor is Meharry Medical College. A private, historically black medical school affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee College, it is the first medical school for African Americans in the South.

9K Mile Marker 4

Another park along the route is Watkins Park which was established in 1901. It supports the growing neighborhood of Watkins Park. Its location offers a diverse, liberal neighborhood to families who want to stay close to downtown in an urban environment. This neighborhood offers many activities such as bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. An example of a growing mix to the North Nashville area. 


9K Mile Marker 5

As North Nashville grows its greenspace, we draw attention to another area along the route - McKissack Park. This park offers connections to nature for the connected McKissack Park neighborhood, which provides a sparse suburban feel to its residents. 


9K Last Leg 0.6 Mile


Major E. C. Lewis named it Hadley Park but did not identify the Hadley he intended to honor. At the time, the city's black newspaper assumed Lewis meant the Hadley family, John L. Hadley specifically, a white slave-owning family who had lived on the site. Hadley Park provides the surrounding colleges, universities, and communities with green space for fun, athletic activity, and social gatherings. The park will serve as our start and end points of the 9k Run/Walk.

#MOTH615 Family 1 Mile

Do not want to run or walk a 9K (5.6 miles)? Take the 1 Mile scenic route to learn about Tennessee State University and the surrounding area of Hadley Park. Tennessee State University is a public historically black land-grant university in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1912, it is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee. It is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

MOTH 1 Mile route_edited_edited.jpg
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