Gateway Island

Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Client: City of Murfreesboro

Lose & Associates was commissioned to develop a master plan for an underutilized open space in the rapidly developing Gateway Office Park. The greatest challenge presented in the effort involved an approximately 40-acre area that had historically been used as an unregulated landfill. The site was designated a state superfund site in 1997, and federal assistance was used to cap the landfill. A borrow pit was created south of the landfill along the edge of the Gateway Business Park to provide material for the landfill’s clay cap. Subsequent to the capping of the landfill, the business park began to develop, and the borrow pit was used to collect and to store stormwater runoff.

Due to its central location, the pond is the focal point from the Gateway Business Park. Lose & Associates saw this as an opportunity to turn what was an under-valued pond into a city park that residents could use for recreation and relaxation. An island area within the pond remained above the water’s surface due to the presence of shallow bedrock, and the Lose team identified this area as a prime opportunity for a community garden where office park employees and city residents could find respite from the workday and enjoy vistas across the pond. Interviews with city staff identified a need for an area that could also be used for community gatherings, and the plan for the Gateway Island evolved to include a small reception center building, turf gathering areas large enough to accommodate event tents, numerous ornamental landscape beds and a large sculpture pad. The sculpture will be the result of a city outreach program with the local Middle Tennessee State University art program.

The project also provided the city with a means of disposing of treated waste water from the water treatment plant. The lake’s watershed was not large enough to maintain a high-water level throughout the summer months when evaporation from the water surface is highest. To overcome this, treated waste water is used to recharge the lake and to provide irrigation for the island and surrounding roads in the business park. An automated water level control system was designed to automatically refill the lake to its present level to compensate for evaporation. This allows nature to return the treated water into the natural system through evaporation and prevent increased discharge of treated water into the Stones River during its natural low summer pool elevation. Greenway paths now connect the Gateway Island to offices and residential areas throughout the City.