In February 2023, Green Interchange planted a total of 175 trees in the Northeast quadrant of the I840 and Central Pike Interchange in Lebanon, TN. Planting trees in highway interchanges is an important part of Green Interchange’s mission. This was the first interchange planted with a goal of reforesting most of Tennessee's 373 interchanges.
The tree-planting project involved 23 trained volunteers and seven Green Interchange contractors and occurred over two days in February, with an additional half-day effort in April to re-mulch and re-stabilize trees following wind storms that hit the area.
In collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry, seven native species were carefully selected for the planting. A total of 220 trees were sourced from two local nurseries, providing a diverse mix of species to promote ecological balance and enhance the visual appeal of the interchange.
The City of Lebanon Stormwater Department planted an additional 45 trees across two city parks near Tarver Branch, which is a creek, and focused on enhancing and expanding the urban canopy and replacing dead trees.
Planting trees in highway interchanges helps sequester CO2 and beautify Tennessee. These are important benefits, but the impact of our work goes far beyond this. Reforesting interstate interchanges positively impacts the triple bottom line, offering benefits for the whole community including filtering out and removing air and water pollution, helping manage stormwater runoff by absorbing water, reducing the risk of floods and erosion and more. Planting trees is an effective and sustainable way to make a difference for people, the planet, and our economy. Learn more about the benefits of planting trees in highway interchanges here.
The success of this event would not have been possible without the support of Tennessee Department of Agriculture (Community Forests Program TAEP), Bridgestone Americas, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation, the City of Lebanon, and Wilson County and our generous volunteers. Check out the video here.
Our Plant a Tree program will take place in Georgia on February 17, 2024 and in Tennessee on April 20, 2024. Our goal is to distribute 20,000 trees, so participants can plant the trees in their yard and improve our environment and communities.
This is a great community service project opportunity for churches, scout troops, and other organizations, and individuals. For businesses this can be a great way to attract new customers on a Saturday morning. There are two ways to participate as a volunteer.
1. Pickup Location Leaders: Your organization or business can be a Pickup Location Leader and Host a pickup site either at your location, or a nearby park or public space you have reserved.
2. Volunteers: You or your group may volunteer to help at a Firestone Complete Auto Care location near you. We will be publishing a list of sites in GA and TN soon.
NOTE: IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL LOOKING FOR TREES TO PLANT IN YOUR YARD, WE WILL BE SENDING INFORMATION ABOUT ORDERING TREES SOON - PLEASE SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST HERE TO GET UPDATES.
Here's a quick overview of the the program:
If you or your organization is willing to be a Pick Up Location Leader and host a pickup site, following are the requirements, please read carefully before you sign up. If you are volunteering at a Firestone Complete Auto Care location, these are NOT requirements, but you are welcome to help with some of these responsibilities. Your only requirement is to show up on the day of the event. We may also offer training sessions specifically for Pick Up Location Leaders and for Volunteers who plan to work at Firestone Complete Auto Care locations.
Supplies needed day of event:
Ready to sign up? Register here.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact us at the email below.
If you are a Pickup Location leader hosting a pickup site, you will be required to provide all information related to your pick-up location. The name, contact information and location you provide will be published to the public on our website along with the pickup date and time.
We hope you will join us for this historic effort as we reforest Tennessee and improve the environment one native tree at a time. This work also supports our work planting trees near Roadways, Waterways and in other public and private spaces.
I went to pick up my trees and some of my trees are missing.
If you are missing any trees please fill out this form. If there is a way to get your trees to you, we will do our best to find it! We will be in touch with you soon with next steps.
I missed my pickup. Can I get my trees?
If you missed your pickup for any reason please fill out this form. If there is a way to get your trees to you, we will do our best to find it! We will be in touch with you early the week of 4/23 with next steps.
I picked up my trees and don't know which species is which
The species can be hard to distinguish - that is why it is important to mark them when you pick them up. We have a few pictures posted here along with more information about each species. You may also plant the tree in a pot until it produces leaves, which will help you identify the species before planting it in the ground.
How do I plant my tree?
Here is information about the trees and how to plant them. If you did not call 811 to avoid underground utilities, or if you are unsure of where to plant it, you may want to plant your tree in a small pot or container until you are ready to plant.
I'd like information about Crabapples, Redbuds, Dogwoods, Wild Plum, and/or Deciduous Holly.
Here is some information about the trees species. You can also do a Google search for specific information. If you are unsure of where to plant your tree, you may want to plant your tree in a small pot or container until you are ready to plant.
Did you order Redbuds?
Due to a shortage at the nursery - anyone who ordered 2 or more Redbuds will receive 1 less Redbud than ordered and that 1 tree will be replaced with 1 Crabapple tree (both species are "understory" trees that tolerate shade and do not grow as tall as "overstay" trees). We apologize for this situation, while this possibility is spelled out in the program guidelines, we know this can be disappointing.
I'd like to share pictures of my trees
Please plant your tree and post pictures on social media with #plantatreefortn and please tag Green Interchange. We'd love to see you and your trees!
DAY OF EVENT INFO:
What if the weather is bad?
This event will happen rain or shine. Only if there is extreme weather such as torrential rain, severe lightening/thunderstorms, tornadoes, etc, will we consider rescheduling and will try to reach out to you via email.
Where is my pickup location?
The pickup location for Murfreesboro on 4/29 is the Kroger on Lascassas. We will be in the parking lot from 11am-1pm. Click here to find the exact pickup location addresses for 4/22. There have been a few location changes as follows: If you reserved trees for pickup in Hermitage you will be picking up in Nashville at Canvast Supply on Trinity Lane. If your pickup location was Mount Juliet you will now be picking up in Lebanon at Don Fox Park, and if your pickup location was Memphis on Madison Ave. your pickup location is now the Firestone on Austin Peay Hwy in Memphis. We apologize for any inconvenience. ALSO if you are picking up at Shelby Park in Nashville please note there is a Marathon and there may be some road closures. See map map below for the best route if you are not coming from East Nashville.
What if I can't pickup on Saturday 4/22 or 4/29 ?
Please ask someone to pick up your trees on your behalf if you can't make it. This is a one-day event run by volunteers. We do not have a physical location or another way to get trees to you. If you don't pick them up on April 23, you may not get your trees. Scroll down for more information on what to do if you miss your pickup.
What if my trees aren't at the site?
Make sure you go to the right pickup location.Pickup sites are run by volunteers so please contact us if there are any issues.
Bring your own bag to keep tree roots moist until planted!
Pickup sites will NOT have bags for your trees. Bring one plastic bag to cover the roots for each different species you ordered. The plastic bags used at a grocery store checkout or in the produce section are the perfect size. You can fit roots for up to 10 trees in one plastic bag. If you do not go straight home after pickup - bring some paper towels or newspaper, moisten with water, and cover the roots before putting in the bag. If the roots dry out, the trees will not survive. Please mark each bag with the species name so you can tell them apart when you go to plant them!
The map below is for those picking up in Nashville at Shelby Park
Get trees to plant in your yard. Planting trees is one of the most important things you can do to make a difference for our air, land, water, and communities. Learn how you can reserve trees for pickup on 4/2 in Georgia (or on 4/22 in Tennessee) and help us to plant 12,000 trees for Earth Month!
On April 22, 2023, Green Interchange is seeking volunteers to participate in our Plant a Tree Tennessee 2023 event in various locations throughout the state. Come celebrate Earth Day through helping to distribute trees! This is a great opportunity for people who are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference in their community.
Plant a Tree for Tennessee is a one-day volunteer event taking place at 23 locations across Tennessee. Participants will make a donation online and reserve trees to plant in their yard before April 17. Then they will visit one of the 23 locations to pick their trees up on April 22. This is where you come in….
Sign up to volunteer at one of the various pickup location sites. Volunteers will be needed from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and will help with tasks such as sorting trees, looking up participant information on spreadsheets we provide, directing traffic, keeping trees hydrated during the event, and handing out trees to participants and other simple tasks as needed.
Volunteers who participate in this event will receive 10 free native seedlings to take home and plant after the event. No prior experience is required to participate in this event – however if you are knowledgeable about trees or tree planting it may help because the Participants who are picking up trees may have questions. Volunteers need to be 18 and up unless accompanied by an adult, are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes, as well as to bring sunscreen, a hat, and a reusable water bottle.
If you are interested in volunteering for this event, you can sign up below. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and make a difference in your community.
Get trees to plant in your yard. Planting trees is one of the most important things you can do to make a difference for our air, land, water, and communities. Learn how you can reserve trees for pickup on 4/22 in Tennessee (or on 4/1 in Georgia) and help us to plant 12,000 trees for Earth Month!
On January 28 from 9am-1pm volunteers will plant trees at Donelson Christian Academy (DCA) in Nashville to improve our waterways. And on Feb 8 from 12pm-4pm Green Interchange volunteers will plant trees at the intersection of I-840 and Central Pike in Lebanon to improve our roadways.
Planting trees near roadways and waterways is an important part of our mission and offers important benefits for healthier communities, economies, and quality of life. Learn more here.
Click the links below to register for either or both events. Volunteering is always free. If you choose to donate you are supporting important work planting trees across Tennessee. The events will take place rain or shine. Please register in advance so we can send any updates or contact you as needed.
The DCA program in Nashville is made possible by support from:
Cumberland River Compact | Root Nashville
The I-840 program in Lebanon is made possible by support from:
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee | Bridgestone Americas | TN Department of Agriculture Forestry
As the new year begins, we can't help but be thankful for all of YOUR support! You have helped Green Interchange to accomplish much for our economy, communities, and quality of life. Here's how you helped us in 2022:
There are many more great things we can accomplish together! Plans for 2023 include:
Thanks for all the ways you have supported this work. You made a difference this year, and your end-of year investment of $50, $100, $250 or more will go a long way to making 2023 a success. Can we count on your support?
On October 8, 2022 Green Interchange volunteers planted 50 trees along upper section of Garrison Creek in Murfreesboro - a tributary of Bushman Creek. This work is helping restore the stream and bring improvements for people, land, water, and wildlife.
Trees help stabilize stream banks and prevent erosion, they help mitigate stormwater damage by helping water infiltrate into the soil, trees shade a stream and keep it cooler which helps fish and aquatic habitat, trees also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, they also absorb nutrients and pollutants to help clean the water.
The goal is to restore the upper section of this heavily impacted stream by planting along approx. 1,781 feet of the creek bank with about 300 native trees and 1,000 live stakes (willow or other cuttings that will take root). We’ll also maintain about 100 trees in the lower section of Garrison Creek with mulch, pruning, and replacement as needed.
Work on Garrison Creek was originally started on the lower section of Garrison Creek in 2012: Because of a lack of stream-like characteristics, Garrison Creek was managed as a ditch for years. The stream is listed on TN's polluted streams list (i.e. 303 d list). Partners include 1 Mississippi/The Mississippi River Network, Tennessee Environmental Council, Water Walkers, McFadden Community Center, Middle Tennessee Electric, Rutherford County and the Murfreesboro Stormwater and Street Departments.
Over the years, the partnership has targeted issues facing the lower section of the creek through: tree plantings, education and outreach, algae pulls, and clean-ups. Garrison Creek is slowly transitioning to a healthy stream with diverse habitat. The videos below show the impressive progress since 2012. You can also see how much fun this work can be. Kids from McFadden Community Center filled out surveys and some of their answers can be found below.
We're excited about the opportunity to achieve similar results on the UPPER portion of the stream. If you would like to join us at a future tree planting event, please contact us.
Did you know that water from Garrison Creek flows into the Mississippi River? Nearly all the streams and rivers in Tennessee ultimately flow into the Mississippi River - it truly connects us. River Citizens are people who want to clean up and protect our country's greatest River and the surrounding watershed. The program is free to join at 1 Mississippi.