Morgan Wallen Foundation, MLB Team Up To Pledge $1 Million To Transform Parkwood Community Club In North Nashville

“When I heard about Parkwood, right here in Nashville, I knew I wanted to help,” Wallen shared in a statement.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 11, 2023

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Morgan Wallen with Parkwood baseball players in Nashville, Tenn. | Photo Credit: Leila Grossman/Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville

Morgan Wallen, utilizing his Morgan Wallen Foundation, is collaborating with Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association Youth Development Foundation (MLB-MLBPA YDF), alongside local benefactors, to form a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville

Their collective aim is to spearhead rejuvenation efforts of the esteemed Parkwood Community Club, a historic complex for Black baseball and softball located in North Nashville.

Combining their resources and efforts, the MLB-MLBPA YDF and the Morgan Wallen Foundation have made significant contributions, each donating $500,000, resulting in a combined investment of over $1 million into the project. This endeavor reflects a strong commitment to community revitalization and preserving the cultural significance of the site.

Additional donations to the restoration of Parkwood Community Club include: The Speer Foundation ($500,000), Airbnb ($100,000), Nashville Sounds ($50,000) and The Neal Agency ($50,000).

Sherry Stinson, SVP of Brand Engagement, Marketing and Public Relations for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville; Morgan Wallen; and Jean Lee Batrus, Executive Director of MLB-MLBPA YFD pose with Parkwood baseball players celebrate upcoming renovations to the ballfields | Photo Credit: Leila Grossman/Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville
Sherry Stinson, SVP of Brand Engagement, Marketing and Public Relations for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville; Morgan Wallen; and Jean Lee Batrus, Executive Director of MLB-MLBPA YFD pose with Parkwood baseball players celebrate upcoming renovations to the ballfields | Photo Credit: Leila Grossman/Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville

“I started the Morgan Wallen Foundation to support youth in two areas – sports and music. When I heard about Parkwood, right here in Nashville, I knew I wanted to help. Every child deserves a chance to play ball and be part of a team, and I truly appreciate this opportunity to be part of Parkwood’s next inning,” Wallen shared in a press release. “I can’t wait to come back out here and see the park once it has been renovated.”

As an avid sports fan, Wallen understands the impact sports can have on a child’s life. He experienced that himself growing up in East Tennessee where he fell in love with baseball and hoped to one day pursue a career in the sport. Sadly, an injury sidelined those dreams, but thankfully for fans, Wallen returned to music. He continues to use the life lessons he learned while playing baseball, such as discipline, hard work and commitment, in his career and everyday life. 

Having catered to the community’s requirements since 1966, the endeavors aimed at revitalizing the Parkwood ballfields are an integral component of a more extensive initiative to safeguard the complex’s historical significance and to restore the Parkwood-Haynes-Trinity neighborhood. Guided by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, collaborative contributions from the MLB-MLBPA YDF, the Morgan Wallen Foundation, and numerous other partners align with a comprehensive fundraising objective of $2 million. This collective effort is directed toward fulfilling Phase 1 refurbishments for the complex, encompassing the overhaul of two out of the four baseball and softball fields.

Parkwood Ballfield Rendering
Parkwood Ballfield Rendering

“In visiting the historic fields, I instantly felt the significance of Parkwood to Nashville’s baseball and softball community,” Jean Lee Batrus, Executive Director, MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, shared. “These sports have the power to strengthen lives and communities. YDF is thrilled to team up with Habitat for Humanity and other partnering organizations who are equally passionate about empowering youth access to baseball and softball.”

“The Nashville Sounds utilize the power of baseball to positively impact our community,” Adam English, General Manager, Nashville Sounds, added. “Through our participation in “The Nine” program, this project is a great way for us to make an impact in giving all kids access to the best baseball facilities possible. My hope is that renovating these fields will yield a new generation of great ball players in Nashville, just like six-time MLB All-Star Mookie Betts.”

“Our mission is to build homes, communities and hope by partnering with the Parkwood Board and all our funders who understand this is an important community investment, we will not only save a vital community landmark, but also add quality-of-life resources to an underserved community,” Sherry Stinson, Parkwood and Collaboration Project Lead and SVP of Brand Engagement for Habitat of Greater Nashville, continued. 

Parkwood Ballfield Rendering
Parkwood Ballfield Rendering

The MLB-MLBPA YDF functions as a collaborative endeavor between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, dedicated to supporting initiatives that focus on enhancing the quality, efficacy, and accessibility of amateur baseball and softball programs both within the United States and internationally. The YDF plays a significant role in financing projects aimed at renovating fields within underserved communities, contributing to the revitalization of existing baseball and softball facilities. Notable examples include the Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx and the 100th Development Park at Reedbird Park in Baltimore, MD.

In the Metro Nashville region, a striking statistic reveals that over 100 elementary and middle schools, along with seven out of ten Metro high schools, lack baseball and softball programs due to insufficient field resources. Situated within the confines of Davidson County District 2, the Parkwood Community Club caters predominantly to an underserved Black/African-American population, with the district recording the lowest median household income of all 35 Districts in Davidson County at $34,000.* By means of this revitalization endeavor, Habitat for Humanity and its partnering supporters aim to enrich the lives of youth and families residing in the Parkwood neighborhood by augmenting the recreational and field offerings available to them.

*Statistics based on information available at the time of the last data update.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville remains committed to securing financial support for a community-driven initiative aimed at the restoration of the historic baseball park, as well as the creation of a planned 59-acre Metro Park that seamlessly connects with the Parkwood Community Club ballfields. Additionally, their efforts encompass the construction of 26 new affordable Habitat homes within District 2.

For more information on how to become a sponsoring donor, or learn more about the project, visit www.parkwoodballfields.org.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.