As the surveys began to get into full swing over the past two weeks, there have been a few commonalities that each group has experienced. The ﬁrst thing that each group has experienced is the stories that are shared by visitors that are Tennessee Natives who love coming to the parks for recreation and sightseeing. One gentleman that we met at Percy Priest Lake said that he has been coming to the lake for several years while he is on his way to, and home from, work. He comes for just a few minutes each time to look out across the water and see if there are any ﬁshermen out having luck catching the big ones. Another elderly woman that we met at Old Hickory Lake comes to the park every morning to feed and talk to the ducks. She explained that she loves the ducks and it annoys her when children run after them while trying to relax.
The second commonality that each group has experienced is the wide variety of excuses that park visitors try to come up with in order to avoid taking a couple minutes to do the Visitor Use Survey. A lot of the excuses are outrageous and hysterical. I approached one visitor driving a mini-van with his spouse and children riding in the back and at ﬁrst he was willing to take the survey but just seconds later his infant son began screaming that he went potty in his pants. The dad began laughing but his wife quickly gave him the “we need to go look” and then without hesitation he said that he could no longer take the survey and had to go home. Another funny excuse that one gentleman gave us was that he was in a rush to return home so that he could mow his lawn.
The ﬁnal commonality that each group has had to deal with while surveying these past couple of weeks is the heat. The Nashville area is currently experiencing an extreme drought. We have not felt a drop of rain in several days and the temperature just continues to rise on us. Just a few days ago we made history in Nashville for the hottest day ever recorded in the city. It was a whopping 109 degrees and you were not even able to take a step out of the house without breaking a sweat. Our visitors have also complained about the heat because it has caused the water levels to lower and ﬁshermen have blamed the heat for poor ﬁshing outings.
All in all the surveys have been going great and we have already interacted with so many interesting visitors. We are looking forward to the many more surveys in the next couple of months and we are excited to continue exploring Nashville in our down time.
Written by Tyler Frisbee