Friends of Franklin Parks Executive Director Torrey Barnhill and Franklin Synergy Bank Chairman Richard Herrington

Friends of Franklin Parks Executive Director Torrey Barnhill and Franklin Synergy Bank Chairman Richard Herrington


By: Brooke Wanser, Franklin Homepage

Franklin Synergy Bank has renewed a three-year sponsorship with the non-profit Friends of Franklin Parks supporting the Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. The Arena, built and operated through a public-private partnership between the City of Franklin and Friends of Franklin Parks, opened for community events in 2016.

Franklin Synergy Bank was among the first corporate sponsors to lend financial support to the Arena as funds were being raised for construction. The $1.6 million facility, which includes restrooms, a concession stand, a warm-up ring and a scoring tower in addition to the multi-purpose equestrian arena, has been used for horse shows, arena polo and various public events, such as Franklin on the Fourth and the Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival.

“We chose to support Friends of Franklin Parks and the Tractor Supply Co. Arena for several reasons. First, we wanted to honor the Harlin family, as Bill Harlin was a founding Director of the Bank in 2007, and his son Wirt was instrumental in raising capital to start the Bank,” said Franklin Synergy Bank Chairman Richard Herrington. “Second, we saw it as a way to enhance the quality of life in our community through this special place that means so much to our history and heritage. Finally, we wanted our bank to be a part of something unique that would give back to our community.”

Herrington said the Arena – as a facility that helps draw people from all over to visit Harlinsdale – helps showcase Franklin’s balance of economic growth, historic preservation and strong family values that make it a great place to live.

“We have such an outstanding quality of life here, and organizations like Friends of Franklin Parks focus on preserving that unique blend and remind us that family is an important part of our everyday lives,” he said.

Torrey Barnhill, Executive Director of Friends of Franklin Parks, said the organization expects to continue attracting events that bring the public together, celebrating the legacy of the property as a historic horse farm while offering opportunities for education and family entertainment.

“This Arena has not only brought the horses back to Harlinsdale with multi-discipline equestrian shows, but it’s also given children a chance to interact with horses for the first time, spawned an inter-scholastic arena polo program, and hosted thousands of people from around the world for major events,” Barnhill said. “None of that would have been possible without the support of Franklin Synergy Bank.”

Founded in 1937, the 200-acre Harlinsdale Farm was a nationally recognized breeding operation for more than 75 years before it was acquired by the City of Franklin, placed under a permanent conservation easement and opened as a passive park. A long-range plan to bring horses back to the historic farm was advanced with the establishment of Friends of Franklin Parks in 2011, a public-private partnership designed to leverage corporate and individual support to enhance and grow public spaces around Franklin.

For more information on Friends of Franklin Parks, the Tractor Supply Co. Arena, sponsorship opportunities and upcoming events, please visit


2018 Fall Newsletter.jpg
2018 Fall Newsletter2.jpg
2018 Fall Newsletter3.jpg

Friends of Franklin Parks, Inc. exists to cultivate stewardship within our community to preserve our cultural and natural resources, enhance the park experience and expand its legacy for future generations.

Our Mission
Friends of Franklin Parks is a not-for-profit organization that formed to bridge the gap between the services and amenities offered by government funding and those that allow us to take full advantage of the incredible natural and historic resources of our community. 

Working closely with the City of Franklin and its Parks Department, the public-private partnership is dedicated to identifying needs that exist within the 16-park system, casting a vision for future enhancements and connecting the dots between existing public open spaces. 

Learn more about us here.

Become a Friend of Franklin Parks!

Choose Your Level

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.”

— John Muir

Our Projects
In April 2016, the Tractor Supply Co. Arena at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm was opened to the public, and now holds polo matches, equestrian events and other fun activities throughout the year. Friends of Franklin Parks raised the funds to construct the Arena, in conjunction with the City's Parks Department and a host of corporate and individual partners. As a result, the horses have come back to this historic farm at the northern gateway to Franklin. 

Learn more about our Projects.

  The Harpeth River  by Tom Thomson

The Harpeth River by Tom Thomson


acres of parkland in Franklin, Tennessee


of Franklin residents rate the Parks system as important to our quality of life


of Franklin's Parks are still being completed


Get Involved

Become a Friend of Franklin Parks! As a public-private partnership, our work depends on the support of individuals, families, corporate partners and other non-profit organizations. By becoming a Friend, you can help us preserve our community's historic and natural resources and enhance our incredible park system. 

Click here to learn more!
If you would like to volunteer, please send us a note.