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Collaborative Restoration Work Underway at Edwin Warner Park

 

On November 19th, volunteers with the Cumberland River Compact and Friends of Warner Parks planted more than 100 trees in Edwin Warner Park. The trees were planted as part of the Compact’s Fall Planting Party, an event organized in support of their Root Nashville campaign.

During the event, 40 volunteers planted 123 native hardwood trees along a riparian buffer in the park. Trees planted at the site will effectively stabilize the riverbank, slow the flow of runoff in the area, and reduce the rate of erosion. 

 

Volunteers gather at Edwin Warner Park for the Compact’s inaugural Fall Planting Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These trees are part of a larger initiative to improve land and water quality within Edwin Warner Park. The Edwin Warner Park Land and River Restoration Project is a collaborative effort between the Cumberland River Compact, Friends of Warner Parks, Metro Parks and Recreation, and Metro Water Services that aims to restore the riparian buffer zone along the Little Harpeth and improve the deterioration and erosion of the riverbank. 

 

“This is a restoration project we have hoped to accomplish for 20 years,” said Jenny Hannon, President of Friends of Warner Parks. “We are proud to make a collective impact with these organizations that will benefit the health of our riparian ecosystems for years to come.” 

 

The Edwin Warner Park project began in May 2022 with the removal of 3 picnic shelters and associated asphalt drives along the Little Harpeth River. Since the spring, 64,000 square feet of asphalt have been removed from the area and replaced with remediated soil, trees, and native plant species. These efforts will help to decelerate runoff and mitigate erosion in the area, improving the floodway and restoring integrity to the riverbank. 

Shelter 10 area BEFORE asphalt removal
Shelter 10 area AFTER asphalt removal

 

Mekayle Houghton, Executive Director of the Cumberland River Compact, stated: “This project will significantly improve water quality and habitat in the Little Harpeth River. It is the result of patient and collaborative project planning from many partners.”

 

This project will continue in 2023 with plans to

  • Rebuild and relocate park shelters #9 and #10 away from the floodway. Shelter #9 will be expanded with ample green space for special events up to 300 people
  • Establish a tree and buffer planting maintenance plan to continue monitoring the area
  • Develop specific access points for the public along the Little Harpeth River to protect restored bank areas
  • Execute a comprehensive water assessment in Warner Parks streams, springs, ponds, vernal ponds, wet weather conveyances, and riparian zones to protect and enhance other riparian buffer zones in Warner Parks
Shelter demolition at Edwin Warner Park
Soil remediation at former shelter site

 

“After years of dreaming, discussions and planning, this project is well on its way to repairing the land and restoring the riparian zone for a healthier waterway and more beautiful park,” said Cammie Claybrook of Warner Parks.

 

In January 2023, we joined Friends of Warner Park on NewsChannel5’s OpenLine program for a conversation about the project and reforestation efforts in Nashville. Watch the full interview here.

The Cumberland River Compact is proud to be a partner in this restoration work. Stay tuned for updates about this project!

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