Our Staff

Mekayle Houghton

Mekayle Houghton

Executive Director

Mekayle began with the Compact in 2005 as Stream Restoration Manager for the Building Outside the Box’s Antioch site. Prior to joining the Compact, she worked as a consultant to YMCA of the USA, program manager for projects in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa in the International Division of the YMCA of the USA. With Hull House Association in Chicago, she launched refugee economic development programs. Mekayle is from Sarasota, Florida and earned an interdisciplinary M.A. in Social Science and a B.A. in Anthropology both from the University of Chicago. When not at work, Mekayle can be found spending time with her husband, four sons, and two dogs, probably adventuring in Richland Creek (her favorite urban stream).

Contact Mekayle with inquiries related to:
The Compact’s programs and events
Environmental concerns of the region
Rain gardens
Starting a downtown Nashville Cumberland River swim club (Two Bridges Swim)


Program Manager 

Will Caplenor joined the Compact in April of 2016 as a Program Manager. Will graduated from MTSU with his B.S.in Geoscience and is currently enrolled at Lipscomb University where he will graduate with an M.S. in Sustainability in 2017. Before joining the Compact, Will worked for the Tennessee Environmental Council, leading their Stream Restoration program. Will is a native Middle Tennessean, growing up in Lebanon and experienced some of his fondest memories wading through Spring Creek. When not working, Will can be found reading, hiking or attempting to train/control his dogs. 

Contact Will with inquires related to:
Stream Restoration Projects
Water Quality Issues
Rain Gardens
Tree Plantings


Program Manager
Heather joined the Compact in July 2017 to help manage restoration projects. She is working closely with Metro departments, partner conservation groups, and volunteers to plant trees install rain gardens, remove outdated dams, and to maintain Nashville’s canopy. She graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Science, and loves to spend her spare time gardening, kayaking, and exploring the Cumberland River Basin.

Contact Heather with inquiries related to: 
Regenerative Stormwater
Rain Gardens
Dam Removals
Urban Canopy Maintenance
Root Nashville Tree Plantings

Nicholle Gerde

Nicholle Gerde

Marketing & Communications Manager

Nicholle joined the Compact in September of 2016. She came to Nashville in 2015 from Upstate New York to enjoy the warmer weather and explore careers in the environmental field. Nicholle graduated from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a B.S. in Environmental Communications. She is now working with partner conservation groups to deliver a campaign to raise awareness about water quality in Nashville. Shes also runs the Compact’s Adopt-A-Stream program. While Nicholle continues to explore the Cumberland Basin, her favorite place is the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York.

Contact Nicholle with inquiries related to:
RIVIVE! Nashville Adopt-A-Stream

Jed Grubbs

Jed Grubbs

Program Manager of Watershed Planning and Restoration

Jed joined the Compact in July of 2013 to provide strategic leadership, coordination, and support for the Compact’s and The Nature Conservancy’s partnership to develop and implement watershed restoration, protection, and management planning throughout the Cumberland River Basin. Jed earned a B.A. in Religion from the University of Richmond and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. He grew up in Chattanooga, TN, but has also lived in Richmond, VA, Portland, OR, Blacksburg, VA, and Charlottesville, VA. Jed’s favorite spot in the watershed is Radnor Lake. When not at work, Jed can be found exploring the watershed and Nashville, studying area trees and birds, making music, watching movies, reading, or playing soccer.

Contact Jed with inquiries related to:
Watershed Planning
Stream Adoptions
Recreation in the Basin
GIS and Mapping

Catherine Price

Catherine Price

Education and Outreach Program Manager

Catherine joined the Compact in 2017 to manage Education and Outreach programming including Waterfest and River Talks. Catherine received her Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Miami University and her Master of Science in Zoology from the University of British Columbia where she studied animal behavior. Before joining The Compact, she worked in environmental education and citizen science. When not at work, Catherine can be found enjoying the basin biodiversity at our parks and greenways or eating delicious food.

Contact Catherine
with inquiries related to:
River Talks
K-12 Education Programs
Gray Perry

Gray Perry

Program Coordinator

Gray joined the Compact as an Americorps Volunteer in January 2017 to assist with the Compacts volunteer opportunities, rain barrel program, and Creek Critters Program. Through the volunteer program, Gray hopes to connect residents with outdoor recreation opportunities within the Cumberland River Watershed.

In 2016, Gray received his B.S. in Geology and Environmental Studies from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Before joining the Compact, Gray worked as a facility supervisor at Williamson County Parks and Recreation, where he had many opportunities to help with various recreation activities. His favorite spot in the watershed is the Harpeth River State Park, especially the Hidden Lake section. When not at work, Gray can be found recording music with his band, hiking, perusing McKay’s, and microwaving various soups.

Contact Gray with inquiries releated to:
Volunteer Opportunities
Rain Barrels



Allison joined the Compact as an AmeriCorps VISTA in June 2018 to assist with the Compact’s rain barrel program, River Center management, and Creek Critters Program. In May 2018, Allison received her B.A. in International Studies: Environment from Kenyon College in central Ohio. Through the volunteer program, Allison hopes to help the Compact grow awareness about the organization as well as the wonderful programs the Compact offers.

Contact Allison with inquiries related to:
Creek Critters Program


Development Director
Libby joined the Compact in August 2018 to manage the Root Nashville campaign, an initiative to plant 500,000 trees in Nashville by 2050. Libby received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. Before joining the Compact, she worked for Iroquois Steeplechase, Nashville Tree Foundation, Vanderbilt University/Peabody College and First American National Bank. When not at work, Libby enjoys hiking in Warner Parks and spending time with family at Tim’s Ford Lake, Monteagle, and UT football games.

Contact Libby with inquiries related to:
Root Nashville


Urban Tree Coordinator
Chandler joined the Compact as an AmeriCorps service member in November 2018 as the Urban Tree Project Coordinator. He is currently assisting on the Root Nashville Campaign through the Compact as well as working on all urban tree related activities and outreach events. Chandler is a Tennessee native who graduated from Belmont University with a B.B.A. in Entrepreneurship and a B.B.A. in Business Administration with a Music emphasis. Through the volunteer program, Chandler hopes to educate others and have a positive impact on the environment. When not working, Chandler enjoys hiking, backpacking, playing music, and reading a good book.

Contact Chandler with inquiries related to:
Urban Canopy Maintenance
Root Nashville Tree Plantings


Rivive! Project Coordinator
Georgia joined the Compact as an AmeriCorps servicemember in September of 2018 to help with the Rivive! Nashville education campaign. Through this opportunity, Georgia hopes to empower the  community to become involved with small change to benefit the health of Nashville’s rivers and city. Georgia received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Ithaca College in Upstate New York. Before becoming an AmeriCorps member, she was the Eco Rep Program Manager at Ithaca where she led programs that encouraged students to adopt more sustainable actions into their own lives. She is originally from Long Beach, California and is excited to explore the abundance of outdoor activities Middle Tennessee has to offer.

Contact Georgia with inquiries related to:
Rivive! Nashville


Streams Coordinator
Ross Miller joined the Compact as an AmeriCorps service member in January 2019 as the Urban Streams Coordinator. He is currently assisting on the Adopt-A-Streams Program with Compact as well as working on the Compact’s rain garden program, and assisting the Sumner County Resilience Program. Ross is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, receiving a B.A in Anthropology with an emphasis on Economics. With his work with Adopt-A-Streams, Ross hopes to leave a mark on the health of the streams along the Cumberland River Basin. When not working, Ross enjoys fishing, reading, and working his way up the Nashville Hot Chicken temperature levels.

Contact Ross with inquiries related to:
Rain Gardens


Graphic Designer (Owner, Bika Creative)

w: BikaCreative.com
p: 615.440.7662 

Contact Stephanie with inquiries related to:
Graphic Design
Web Design