THE HISTORY OF RADNOR
by Lisa Johnson
Radnor Lake State Natural Area is one of the most beautiful of the 54 state
natural parks in Tennessee. It is an 85 acre lake from which the state
park was named. It has abundant wildlife and foliage. Radnor Lake State
Natural Area is not a recreational park like others, this is a park where
you come to hike, observe nature, or just relax and watch the many birds
as they give you a thrilling show of beauty as they soar through the air,
or just hunt for food in this natural setting. There have been more than
230 birds to be identified at this natural resort in the past 80 years.
They range from the Bufflehead, which is a small duck, to the American
bald eagle, which is seen in the fall and winter.
The Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company impounded Radnor Lake in
1914. It was to be used to provide water for steam engines and farm animals
at railroad yards ; however, immediately following the construction of
the lake several birds decided to call this place home and began to feed
and rest hear while in the process of migrating across the country. Hunting
and fishing was no longer allowed by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad
workers and their friends due to the influx of natural wildlife coming
to the area. In 1923 the Tennessee Ornithological Society proposed that
the area become a sanctuary for wild life hence, all hunting and fishing
was eradicated. In 1962 the area was preserved as a park, this preservation
was done with the help of many people who felt that it was already of good
use and needed no further construction. Through out the 1960's through
early 70's the Metro-Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation wanted to
take the land but it was not able to do so. In 1973 Radnor Lake was purchased
by the Tennessee Department of Conservation and is funded by many sincere
citizens and the Federal Government, the purchase of this beautiful animal
home has made Radnor Lake the first authentic Tennessee state natural area.
Radnor Lake is filled with beautiful trees, shrubs, birds, and amphibians.
The trees and shrubs range from. the exotic Tree-of-Heaven, which grows
so big and strong that it actually prevents the growth of other trees,
to the small privet, which is an exotic shrub that prevents sunlight from
penetrating herbaceous levels. The trees and shrubs include the Yellowwood,
Spicebush, and Paw Paw which are all native to the Tennessee area.
Radnor Lake is full of exciting and amazing creatures such as rabbits,
chipmunks, squirrels, goats (to control the Kudzu, which is an exotic plant)
and even snakes. Radnor Lake has received much recognition because it has
preserved a home for many beautiful birds, plants, an~ trees. The birds
compose of the waterfowl, which has helped preserve the lake. Blue-winged
Teal, and Black Ducks also make this quiet resort their home. Birds that
arrive in the winter are the Gadwall, American Wigeon, Canvasback, and
Ringnecked Duck. Radnor Lake is one of the most historical natural sites
in Nashville and deserves the attention of all to this natural resort of
animals, plants and trees.