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Bioswale at Antioch Middle School – Antioch, TN


In 2020, the Cumberland River Compact partnered with the Nature Conservancy in Tennessee to install an innovative stormwater bioswale at Antioch Middle School along the banks for Mill Creek. Stormwater run-off is one of the main contributors to water quality issues in our region. When heavy rain falls on surfaces like parking lots and roads, that water rushes faster, warmer, and dirtier to nearby streams.

At Antioch Middle School, a 75,000 sqft parking lot was directing large quantities of unfiltered rainwater into Mill Creek. The velocity of this water leaving the parking lot was contributing to bank erosion, sedimentation, and flooding of Mill Creek. 

To address this issue, we worked with Collier Engineering on an innovative bioswale solution. Traditional bioretention was not possible because the site was in the floodplain. Instead, the site was treated with proper grading, soil amendment, Gabion baskets, and dense plantings of native plants and trees. The large-scale bioswale now slows down, naturally infiltrates, and filters run-off from the parking lot before it enters Mill Creek. The site is planted with a suite of native plants and trees including dogwoods, redbuds, cherries, and maples.

The Compact also installed bilingual interpretive signage about the project for users of the popular Mill Creek greenway. We also anticipate a forthcoming training for Antioch Middle School teachers about how to use the site with their students. 

The project was made possible by a partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, The Nature Conservancy, Collier Engineering, and KCI Technologies

Project Sponsors: The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Patagonia, and The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee


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Project Tags

Urban Waters