Green Interchange has been working on the restoration of Garrison Creek located in Murfreesboro, TN. With the help of our partner organizations and volunteers, we're removing invasive species and planting native trees. The trees help stabilize the stream bank and prevent erosion, they help minimize flooding during storms, and provide an environment where wildlife can flourish.
When complete, this multi-acre project will include a walking trail and reading nooks the community can come to enjoy nature.
THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS:
Partners include the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, 1Mississippi / The Mississippi River Network, Tennessee Environmental Council, McFadden Community Center, Middle Tennessee Electric, Rutherford County and the Murfreesboro Stormwater and Street Departments.
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.
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.
In Tennessee, we associate the Mississippi River with Memphis and the Western part of the state. Did you know nearly ALL of Tennessee is part of the Mississippi River watershed? That includes Garrison Creek in Murfreesboro.