The mission of the Cumberland River Compact is to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries through education, collaboration and action.


Since Vic Scoggin’s swim of the Cumberland River, a group of concerned citizens came together using collaborative approaches and strong partnerships to find solutions to address the water resource concerns in our region. Over the years we’ve accomplished much, and we are proud to count the following among our accomplishments.

2014: River Talks, An Educational Series at the Cumberland River Center is born. River Talks includes a variety of different educational series, and will feature public lectures and events on topics ranging from the History of the Cumberland, to Travelers on the Cumberland, to Innovations and Solutions for the Cumberland. These lectures will bring artists, researchers, professionals, and characters of the river together to share their knowledge and experience. All lectures are free and open to the public.

The Cumberland River Compact moves into the Bridge Building. Currently, the Bridge Building is the highest scoring LEED core and shell building in the world.

2012: The Cumberland River Compact launches Water for Schools initiative to Nashville Schools.

  The Cumberland River Compact begins work in the Little River Watershed, Kentucky and the Rain Garden Manual wins Tennessee Association of Landscape Architect’s highest honor.

The Compact continues its work with Climate Solutions University. A new TN in Greene County, TN, led by the Middle Nolichucky Watershed Alliance, participates in CSU and becomes the second TN community to create a forest and water climate adaptation plan.

2011: The Compact partners with the U.S. Green Building Council and creates the first Green Homes Tour of Middle Tennessee.

  The Cumberland River Compact hosts its first farm field day at the Delvin Farm as part of its newest initiative.  The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to promote the reduction of pesticides in conventional farming.

2010: The Compact joins forces with the Model Forest Policy Program to bring climate resilience to our watersheds.  Together we launch Climate Solutions University: Forest and Water Strategies.  Sumner County, TN participates in the program and develops a forest and water climate adaptation plan that is integrated into the 2035 Sumner County Comprehensive Plan.

2010: The Compact hosts its first “LID Sites for Sore Eyes” low impact development educational bus tour for design professionals in middle Tennessee.

2009:  The Cumberland River Compact builds the first of three hundred rain gardens in the Whitland neighborhood.  The project will improve the health of Nashville’s small streams and promote greater awareness of the urban eco-system.

The Compact partners with the Model Forest Policy Program’s southeast pilot case study for climate adaptation planning. As a result of the Cookeville Planning Commission is educated on climate and water and becomes the first in Tennessee to incorporate climate provisions into its new Comprehensive Plan.

2008: The Compact’s sustainable building partners with Metro Nashville Parks receives the TN Governor’s Conservation Stewardship Award for building three new Nature Centers with EarthCraft certification and demonstrating green building features of green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, and solar power.

2008:  Cumberland River Compact is honored by Metro Park’s Nature Centers for their role in bringing a green roof, solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling system to the parks nature centers.

The Cumberland River Compact partners with World Wildlife Fund and Coca Cola Bottling on a rain barrel pilot program.  The program promotes rain barrel use, and education about water reuse and conservation.  World Wildlife Fund replicates the project internationally.

2007: The Compact’s sustainable building partners with Morgan Park Place receives the TN Governor’s Conservation Stewardship Award for Building Green for their 100% EarthCraft House certified multi-family mixed use development in north Nashville.

  The Cumberland River Compact hosts the First Annual Dragon Boat Race and River Festival with 35 teams and over 800 paddlers.

2006: The Cumberland River Compact receives the TN Governor’s Conservation Stewardship Award for Building Green for its work in sustainable building demonstration projects.

The Compact’s program director, Gwen Griffith, is honored by the U.S. Green Building Council with a Green Star Educator of the Year Award.

2005: The Cumberland River Compact begins its policy work, helping local officials establish buffer ordinances in rapidly developing counties like Robertson and Wilson.

The Cumberland River Compact receives an USEPA Targeted Watershed Initiative Grant, one of twenty awarded nationally.  With this grant, the Building Outside the Box program was born and green building practices came to the Cumberland River Basin.

2003:  With the Catfish Out of Water City Art Festival, the Cumberland River Compact auctions public sculptures for placement throughout Nashville.

The Cumberland River Compact begins its work inside Nashville with the Mid Cumberland Watershed Association.

2001: The Cumberland River Compact starts the Red River watershed initiative.

  The Cumberland River Compact’s Marina Committee develops the Clean Marina program with the Army Corps of Engineers. The project teaches best practices for marinas and certifies.

1999:  The Cumberland River Compact starts the Harpeth River Watershed Initiative funded by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation and the Greater Nashville Regional Council.

  The Cumberland River Compact establishes the Water Quality Advisory Committee, an open committee composed of scientists, policy makers and government agencies to discuss and coordinate issues related to water quality in the Cumberland River Basin.  The committee would go on to write the Sediment Study that identified sediment as the primary pollutant in the Cumberland River.

1997:  The Cumberland River Compact’s Charter is written.