WELCOME TO NASHVILLE’S BIG BACK YARD
Mike Wolfe’s latest passion project, Nashville’s Big Back Yard is a virtual showroom highlighting 12 small towns between Nashville, TN and The Shoals, AL, giving folks the opportunity to explore unique small town Main Streets and open spaces as an option for relocating to or visiting.
The communities in Nashville’s Big Back Yard represent a new lifestyle opportunity that will reshape the way America lives, works, and socializes.
Mike has always had a passion for small town preservation and community. He hopes Nashville’s Big Back Yard will be a resource for those that are looking to make a move away from the high cost of rent in cities. These rural communities are anchored by two creative urban hubs and the scenic Natchez Trace.
Small is the next big thing! It is time to embrace a simpler, more affordable life in Nashville’s Big Back Yard. The “Back to the Land” movement is here to stay.
Watch the video below to hear Mike with more…
“Uncertain times have a way of making us rethink how and where we want to live and work.”, says Mike Wolfe. “With the changing landscape of American business to include more opportunities for working remote or running a business online, now is the perfect time to make the move back to small town Main Streets and open spaces.”
This area is close to Mike’s heart not only because of his passion for small towns, but because this is his actual backyard! He lives, rides and plays throughout this region and along the historic Natchez Trace, a 500-mile footpath connecting Mississippi to Tennessee. This gorgeous Two Lane drive is known for fishing, hiking trails, picnic stops, and uninterrupted views—not a billboard in sight. Sitting quietly along this historic route are beautiful small towns and rolling landscapes waiting ready to be explored by you.
“We’re all at a crossroads,” explains Mike. “Times like this make us think about what is important for us and our families. What if we could move forward with one foot in the past and the other in the future? Why would we continue to watch the American Dream and it’s history crumble and fade away under our watch when these places still exist — and they need us just as much as we need them.” says Mike.
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READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE ON NASHVILLE’S BIG BACK YARD BELOW
PRESS RELEASE: PUBLISHED WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2020
MIKE WOLFE, COMMUNITY LEADERS LAUNCH ‘NASHVILLE’S BIG BACK YARD’
New Regional Movement Promotes Rural Quality of Life in Age of Coronavirus
MOUNT PLEASANT, Tenn. — American Picker Mike Wolfe is joining leaders from 13 rural Middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama communities to launch a new regional movement dubbed “Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”
Nashville’s Big Back Yard (NBBY) is a region anchored by 100 miles of the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway that connects communities with populations under 5,000 — from Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., down to The Shoals of Ala. In the age of coronavirus, small communities are seeing a surge of interest from people who are drawn to rural living, remote work, and an affordable lifestyle.
“This global pandemic is making folks rethink how and where they want to live and work,” said Wolfe, a rural Williamson County resident who has traveled tens of thousands of miles and gained millions of fans as the star and creator of HISTORY’s “American Pickers” series. “I know first-hand how much rural communities have to offer. Now is the perfect time to think about getting out of the cities, and back to small town Main Streets and open spaces. I’m honored to help shine a light on the communities in Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”
To help roll out Nashville’s Big Back Yard, Wolfe produced a series of social media messages and videos on location throughout the NBBY region. The content is being used on Facebook and Instagram to promote rural Middle Tennessee communities — including Centerville, Clifton, Collinwood, Hampshire, Hohenwald, Leiper’s Fork, Linden, Loretto, Mount Pleasant, Santa Fe, Summertown, and Waynesboro — as well as The Shoals area of Northwest Alabama.
“We appreciate Mike’s support of our movement to engage people who may be looking for a change of pace and a different quality of life,” said Lewis County Mayor Jonah Keltner. “We’ve always considered ourselves to be a vital back-yard support system for cities like Nashville, and we think now is the right time to promote a regional approach to living and working.”
Kevin Jackson, executive director of the Shoals Economic Development Authority, added, “We are pleased that The Shoals area is one of the major anchors for this movement. The Shoals area is uniquely positioned for growth as people move from densely populated cities in search of a better quality of life. This movement will draw national attention to our area and will drive more visitors, including investors, here to explore what we have to offer.”
NBBY is the result of lengthy conversations during COVID-19 spearheaded by Leiper’s Fork philanthropist Aubrey Preston and led by community leaders in a region long known as a destination for musicians, artists, and other creative talent.
“While COVID has dealt a devastating blow to our nation’s public health and economy, it also has led many people and communities to think about who we are and what we do,” said Preston, who has spent more than 25 years working on rural preservation efforts such as the internationally known Americana Music Triangle. “The land is calling people back, and Middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama have plenty of beautiful open space.”
Preston added: “We’re just saying, come and check us out. Come and play in our big back yard. Come and experience a simpler life.”
Many Americans already are heeding the call. In spring 2020 researchers at the Harris Poll conducted an online survey that found nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults living in urban areas said they would consider moving “out of populated areas and toward rural areas.” The top draws: More wide-open spaces and a more affordable lifestyle.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors, median home prices in Nashville’s Big Back Yard averaged less than $170,000 — nearly 30 percent below the national median home price of $241,300.
Meanwhile, the Pew Charitable Trusts has identified Tennessee as one of nine states implementing “promising practices” to speed the deployment of high-speed internet service into rural areas — enabling more effective remote-work options.
“For decades, our communities have been hit hard by loss of jobs and globalization,” said Rena Purdy, executive director of the Wayne County Joint Economic & Community Development Board. “Now, during this unprecedented public-health crisis, we have an opportunity to boost our rural economies and showcase our quality of life to Tennesseans and Americans who may be looking for a change of pace.”
For more information, visit nashvillesbigbackyard.org.
Contact: Cindy Dupree
Contact: Judy Hood