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.