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.

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Ken and Ellie Westman Chin (right), along with Susan and Brian Smallwood (left), are combining their talents to be chairs of the 2019 Raise the Roofs event.

Ken and Ellie Westman Chin (right), along with Susan and Brian Smallwood (left), are combining their talents to be chairs of the 2019 Raise the Roofs event.

Chairs named for eighth annual Raise the Roofs

BY: THE WILLIAMSON HERALD

If previous years are any indication, Friends of Franklin Parks’ eighth annual Raise the Roofs fundraiser promises to be the best event of the summer, and the event chairs will bring some new twists and surprises to the Park at Harlinsdale Farm on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Ken and Ellie Westman Chin, along with Susan and Brian Smallwood, are combining their talents in event curation, design, marketing and production to create experiences that showcase Franklin’s diverse offerings across the entire parks and trails system, all while demonstrating the range of enhancements that are continuously being implemented as a result of private-sector support. Each of the chairs brings unique expertise and perspectives to the event.

Ken Chin is president of KAC Sports and Events, LLC and a Friends of Franklin Parks Board member; Ellie Westman Chin is president and CEO of the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Susan Smallwood is owner and principal designer of Susan Smallwood Interiors who also serves on the Friends Board, and her husband, Brian Smallwood, travels the world as an executive in the steel and cement industries. 

As creators and tastemakers, they understand what it takes to make an event unique, and what an asset Franklin has in its open-space offerings.

“Visitors to Franklin are attracted to what’s different, what helps create our community’s identity, and the parks and trails and greenspace are a big part of that,” Ellie Westman Chin said. “Sometimes, we as locals don’t fully understand all that we have available to us. This event will celebrate everything that’s great about our park system, from things to do and see to major initiatives for Franklin’s parks that are coming soon. It’s rewarding for Ken and I to work with the Smallwoods to support Friends of Franklin Parks, recognize what’s been accomplished and build excitement for the future.”

The event, to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 17, will incorporate more of the Harlinsdale Park campus and include a buffet dinner along with traditional elements, such as the polo match held in the Tractor Supply Co. Arena. Patrons can expect plenty of great food, drink and cheer, live music and an after party beginning at 8:30 p.m. 

Tickets are available for $125 per person, and all proceeds benefit the Friends of Franklin Parks and the organization’s efforts to continually enhance and connect the city’s incredible park system.

Tickets are available online now at www.friendsoffranklinparks.org. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible. 

For sponsorship information and other details, contact Friends of Franklin Parks Executive Director Torrey Barnhill at tbarnhill@friendsoffranklinparks.org or by phone at (615) 674-5388.


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2019 Raise the Roofs

Save the date for the 2019 Raise the Roofs event! This 8th annual event promises to be the best party of the summer! Raise the Roofs, to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 17th, will take over the Tractor Supply Co. Arena at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, with the party next to the main barn. The event includes food, drinks, live entertainment and silent auction.

Raise the Roofs supports the Friends of Franklin Park’s efforts to improve trails and connectivity, the restoration of Harlinsdale Farm, and projects in the City of Franklin Parks.

Interested in being a Raise the Roofs sponsor? Contact Torrey at tbarnhill@friendsoffranklinparks.org for more information.

Raise the Roofs Tickets
Raise the Roofs Sponsorships


“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

700+

acres of parkland in Franklin, Tennessee

95%

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

44%

of Franklin's Parks are still being completed

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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.