From Roadways to Waterways

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Green Interchange launched our Waterways program in 2021. Planting trees along waterways (riparian areas) helps filter pollutants before they reach the water, stabilizes stream banks and helps reduce erosion and sediment pollution, and provides countless benefits for aquatic ecosystems. Community benefits include improved drinking water, reduced flooding, and improved economic and recreational opportunities.

Garrison Creek in Murfreesboro - Spring 2022

Green Interchange has already begun work with Rutherford County and the Murfreesboro Stormwater Dept. to plant trees along Garrison Creek - a tributary of Bushman Creek this spring. We’ll 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 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 including the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC) teamed up to restore the LOWER portion of the creek in 2012. Green Interchange CEO John McFadden was CEO of TEC at that time.

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. This video shows the impressive 5-year progress. We're excited about the opportunity to achieve similar results on the UPPPER portion of the stream.

River Days of Action - June 2021

In Tennessee, we associate the Mississippi River with Memphis and the Western part of the state. Did you know all of Tennessee is part of the Mississippi River watershed? A watershed is an area of land where water/precipitation collects and runs to a common source. In Tennessee, water from all our land, rivers, creeks, streams, and waterways eventually flow into the Mississippi River.

In June 2021, Green Interchange along with partners TennGreen, Tennessee Environmental Council, and Blessed Earth Southeast participated Mississippi River Network's, River Days of Action. We hosted an online sweepstakes that inspired individuals and groups to that inspired and empowered individuals to take in-person action for the watershed. Participants took a total of 162 actions including picking up litter, visiting a park near the River, planting native plants, taking boat rides and signing up for the River Citizen program.

In September 2021, Green Interchange was officially recognized as a member of The Mississippi River Network. As a Network Member we will continue working to create a healthier Mississippi River by working for the well-being of the people, land, water, and wildlife of America’s largest watershed.

Waterways Launch - March 2021

In March 2021 we planted 250 large trees (6-8 feet each) along creeks, streams and/or rivers in Middle Tennessee. We planted in Lebanon at the Park Trail near the intersection of S. Hartman Drive and Hickory Ridge Road, near Turkey Creek at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in Antioch, and near the Duck River in Spring Hill.

Project partners included the TN Division of Forestry, Thurgood Marshall Middle School, City of Lebanon, TN Environmental Council’s Duck River Opportunities Project, Cumberland River Compact, and Sierra Club.

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