Putnam County

Hope Park

PROJECT PARTNERS Putnam County and the City of Cookeville

In March of 2020, a deadly overnight tornado outbreak struck Middle Tennessee, causing significant damage, loss of power, hundreds of injuries, and lives lost forever. To honor the lives lost during this tragic event and honor the resiliency of our communities, TennGreen Land Conservancy, Putnam County, and the City of Cookeville launched a joint effort to raise funds to create and establish a new memorial park, named Hope Park, in their honor.

The seventh in a catastrophic storm of tornadoes to strike the region, a violent EF-4 rated tornado touched down in the early morning hours just northwest of Baxter, TN, traveling along U.S. 70 North. The tornado quickly intensified and wrecked everything in its path, abruptly dissipating after its more-than-eight-mile journey before reaching downtown Cookeville. The resulting damage included devastating harm to businesses, roads, forests, homes, and 19 deaths.

Aerial view of a subdivison damaged by a tornado. Destroyed homes, scattered debris, flipped cars, and destruction left in the wake of a tornado.
Residents of a subdivision west of Cookeville clean up after the tornado.

Once built, Hope Park will be a passive place of remembrance for those who lost loved ones and will include walking trails, a children’s playground, a pavilion, and benches.