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Urban Water Stewardship

Collaborating for Change

The Compact is proud to collaborate with cities like Nashville, Franklin, Clarksville, Gallatin and more to address urban stormwater issues through programs like Adopt-A-Stream, rain gardens, rain barrels, DePave, and tree plantings. Pollution to urban streams and rivers is lessened when we slow the rain and sink it into the ground before it hits a hard, impervious path to the Cumberland River and its tributaries.

Why Should I
Plant a Rain Garden?

A rain garden can be thought of as a personal water quality system because it filters the runoff from your roof and lawn and recharges the groundwater.

A properly constructed rain garden can capture and filter more than 40,000 gallons of stormwater each year! In highly urbanized areas, rain gardens can help reduce water leaving your property thereby reducing the threat of flash flooding for downhill neighbors.

Rain gardens also:

  • Attract beneficial insects that will help eliminate those pesky ones
  • Attract pollinators and song birds
  • Reduce standing water which will, in turn, reduce mosquito breeding

JOIN OUR RAIN GARDEN COMMUNITY

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RAIN GARDENS FOR NASHVILLE

The Cumberland River Compact is thrilled to lead Nashville in an effort to build rain gardens for healthier water. Since 2009, we’ve worked with our network of trusted engineers, landscape architects, and nurseries to assist us in this effort and planted over 500 rain gardens.

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NASHVILLE RAIN GARDEN MAP

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RAIN BARRELS

A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from the rooftop, that would otherwise be lost to runoff and be diverted to our neighborhood streams and storm drains.

Harvesting your own rainwater provides benefits for the environment and you:

  • Reduce the amount of polluted runoff that reaches our streams
  • Provide plants the water they like
  • Save energy and money used when water is processed to drinking quality standards
  • Save you money on your water bills
  • Provide water during drought periods

HOW TO MAKE A RAIN BARREL

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PURCHASE A RAIN BARREL OF YOUR OWN

The Compact will be holding an annual spring sale for rain barrels. Make sure to check our events calendar for the day/time.

DEPAVING

Stormwater runoff is the primary source of water pollution in our urban streams.

Asphalt, concrete, and metal are impervious materials that do not allow water to sink into the soil, causing stormwater to flow into our streams at a much faster rate and in increased volumes. These heavy flows carry oils, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and trash into our streams.

Nashville, and the Cumberland River Basin as a whole, is experiencing rapid growth. Where population growth occurs, an increase in manmade impervious surface is sure to follow. As we gain impervious surface, we are actively losing the pervious, water-absorbing surfaces essential for clean water and aquatic habitat.

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WHAT IS DEPAVE?

Depaving projects are a cost-effective way to reduce urban water pollution from stormwater runoff.

It removes impervious surface and introduces a new pervious surface that actively absorbs stormwater. By utilizing volunteers, we are able to cut traditional concrete/asphalt removal costs in half.

If you have a site that needs depaving, please fill out the form below for more information.

TREES

Trees are crucial to water quality, air quality, and quality of life.

Trees filter pollutants from stormwater and air, regulate temperature, prevent erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife and shelter for those hot days at the park. Like so many other cities, as Nashville grows, it is losing trees. That’s why we’re working to preserve and restore Nashville’s tree canopy.

Through the Root Nashville campaign, The Compact is working in partnership with Metro Nashville to plant 500,000 trees in Davidson County by 2050. This is an ambitious goal, but one that will benefit all Nashvillians. The campaign plants native and adapted species from Tennessee nurseries to establish an equitable distribution of trees — so that all communities and neighborhoods can fully enjoy the benefits.

While it’s important to plant trees, it’s just as important to maintain them. Through our Tree Care Program, newly planted trees are watered, pruned, and cared for to ensure their long-term survival. Volunteers can help plant and maintain our critical urban canopy by signing up through the campaign.

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