As part of the Tennessee Bicentennial Project in 1994, The City of Forest Hills established Bison Meadow. Bison Meadow, a mirror of the prairies that once prospered in the state, is filled with wildflowers, trees and Indian grass. Staying true to its history, the 2.5-acre of land is on part of the state’s Natchez Trace and embodies the wild ecosystem that was once there. (Thanks to landscape architect Tara Armistead.) As part of Natchez Trace, bison, elk and other large mammals traveled through this prairie to get to the large salt lick along the Cumberland River.
The Parke Company has since maintained the meadow and kept it true to its history. From the treecare to building the bison topiaries, the Parke Company is steadily involved in the meadow’s upkeep for the last 6 years. Surrounded by dry-stack stonewalls, funded by The Garden Club of Nashville, the meadow maintains a peaceful serenity away from the residential areas of Forest Hills.
While there are no live bison in Bison Meadow, there are shrubs throughout the property shaped like the giant creatures. The metal frames (where the trees grow from) were created by artist Alan LeQuire. When the bison trees were originally sculpted, Hicks yew was used for the topiary. Since then, the Parke Company determined that the yew was not as prosperous for the local growing zone as they hoped. Instead, they’ve deceived to convert to arborvitae, which is much more conducive to this area.
Fast Facts about American Bison:
- Heaviest land animals in North America with weights ranging from 950 to 2,200 pounds.
- Stand about 5 to 6 1/2 feet tall.
- These herbivores are grazers, eating grass, twigs and shrubs. They also regurgitate their food and eat it again before it’s finally digested.
- The lifespan of a bison can range from 12 to 20 years.
With the Parke Company’s help with its treecare, Bison Meadow will continue to be an asset of both Nashville and Forest Hill. With so much wildlife and American history behind the meadow, it’s no wonder the Parke Company took on this tree project. Located on the corner of Hillsboro Pike and Tyne Blvd., guests are welcome to visit the meadow, and encouraged to come during different times of year when the wildflowers and trees are blooming.
For additional information about treecare and shrub information, call the Parke Company at (615) 405-6548.