McMinnville Water Week 2022
July 11 @ 8:00 am - July 16 @ 5:00 pm
Barren Fork River at Pepper Branch Park, Photo by Chuck Sutherland
Join us in celebrating Water Week in McMinnville, TN! Businesses across the city are sharing about the importance of clean and abundant water for the city. Learn more about how you can participate during each day of water week!
Share how you are participating in Water Week by sharing on social media with #McMinnvilleWaterWeek.
Get Involved! We are actively looking for businesses and community organizations to get involved in Water Week! You can get involved by sharing Water Week information on your social media or in your newsletters, host an event, put up a poster in your local business, or something else entirely. Send us an email to get involved.
Day 1: Welcome to Your Watershed!
The City of McMinnville withdraws water from the Barren Fork River, a tributary of the Collins River located within the Collins River watershed, which includes all the lands and waters that drain to the Collins River—about 789 square miles! The Collins River itself is 67 miles long and it flows to the northeast to join the Caney Fork River at Center Hill Lake. Both the South Cumberland and Rock Island state parks are found within the watershed, and the Collins River is a Tennessee State Scenic River.
Savage Gulf is a majestic canyon in the region, where the waters of the Collins River, Big Creek, and Savage Creek dance between narrow canyon walls and sheer sandstone cliffs. One of the most agriculturally active watersheds of the entire Cumberland basin, the Collins River watershed sees substantial cattle and grain production, and is home to highly productive tree and landscape plant nurseries.
The watershed’s aquatic biodiversity is fascinating. Amongst the many species that inhabit the watershed, Barbara’s Buttons (a species of Aster) can be found on the rocky, wet, banks of area streams, and slender glass lizards inhabit sandy soils near streams and ponds. The subterranean waters of this watershed’s remarkable cave systems provide a home in the dark to translucent southern cave crayfish.
The Collins River and its tributaries are not immune to the impacts of pollution. The most common water issues within the Collins River Watershed are sediment pollution, altered streamside vegetation, heavy metal pollution, and pathogen pollution. The sources of impairment include pasture grazing, silviculture, specialty crop production, land development, and abandoned coal mines.
Thankfully, there are many people dedicated to keeping the Collins River Watershed clean—including you! Stay tuned as we add more information about how you can support the health of your watershed during #McMinnvilleWaterWeek. In the meantime, you can read up on your watershed here!
Day 2: Water & Art
Water has been a continual source of inspiration for artists throughout time. Likewise, art can be used to inspire people to take care of the natural spaces and waterways around them.
Here’s what you can do:
• Got kids? Challenge them to create a piece of art inspired by water OR to inspire others to take care of their waterways. Share it with us by hashtagging #McMinnvilleWaterWeek and we’ll post it to our Instagram story!
• Participate in the Storm Drain Art contest! The City of McMinnville Stormwater Department is seeking artists to paint (8) storm drains. The goal of this project is to educate and communicate with the public about storm drains leading directly to our creeks, rivers or streams and discourage anything except rainwater from going down the storm drains. More information on how to enter can be found here. Entries are due July 7th.
• Even if you aren’t participating in the Storm Drain Art contest, keep an eye out for artists painting along Morford St. this week. Existing storm drain art from past contests can be found near the intersection of Morford and Spring streets outside Pure Wealth Partners, so check those out too!
Day 3: River Friendly Farming
Farms are an absolutely vital part of both the economy and the livelihoods of people in Tennessee. They also play an important role in protecting water quality. At the Cumberland River Compact, we use our River Friendly Farms certification to recognize farmers that are exemplary stewards of their watershed.
Here’s what you can do:
• Want to get certified as a River Friendly Farm? Learn more here.
• Read about a River Friendly Farms project happening at tree nursery in McMinnville here.
• Interested in learning more about Best Management Practices for supporting water quality on your farm? Check out this link.
• Got a story to share about what you are doing to protect clean water on your farm? Email us or use the #McMinnvilleWaterWeek to tag us on social media.
Day 4: Litter in Our Water
Heard about the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans? Much of the pollution that ends up in the ocean comes from polluted rivers. There are five massive patches of plastic in the ocean, one of which is the size of the state of Texas. If we continue down the path of business as usual, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight).
Here’s what you can do:
- Attend Saturday’s litter clean up with the McMinnville Breakfast Rotary or organize your own in your neighborhood! Even if you aren’t right next to a waterway, rain can carry litter to the nearest stream and contribute to plastic pollution.
- Reduce the plastic you use by bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.
- Encourage local businesses to implement an opt-in system for plastic silverware and/or to switch from plastic or styrofoam containers to paper or cardboard for takeout. Curious about why? Read up on styrofoam pollution here and plastic pollution here.
- Sign up to volunteer with the Cumberland River Compact stream clean-ups!
Day 5: Recreation
We protect what we know and love! So spending time out in nature and on our waterways is a great way to bring attention to them!
Here’s what you can do:
• Check out one of the 10 river access points in the McMinnville area to get on the water!
• If fishing is more your speed, both Pepper Branch Park and Riverfront Park have great fishing sites where you can find a variety of fish including bluegill, rainbow trout, rock bass, walleye, smallmouth bass and catfish according the Middle Tennessee Fly Fishers.
• Speaking of Riverfront Park, there is also a trailhead there for the Barren Fork Greenway. Walking, biking, or running along it is a great way to enjoy water while staying dry!
• Share how you enjoy water by tagging #McMinnvilleWaterWeek
Day 6: Celebrate Clean Water
McMinnville Breakfast Rotary is hosting the 15th annual River Ride and Clean Up on Saturday, July 16th at 7:30 A.M. starting at Pepper Branch Park. It is a great way to give back to your community and take care of your watershed! You can register here.
Stay tuned for details about a post clean-up celebration.