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WHO WE ARE

Our vision is clean and abundant water

Three million people and thousands of species depend on clean water from the Cumberland River. Our job is to make sure they get it.

The Cumberland River Basin, one of the top three most biodiverse regions in the world, encompasses cities, farms, schools, factories, and neighborhoods. Our efforts in education, restoration, and outreach all contribute to keeping our water healthy.

We work on root problems of water pollution, both urban and rural. Our goal is to give people the tools to be smart, impactful stewards of their watershed and to constructively partner in policy planning with government agencies.

OUR HISTORY

2019

Root Nashville plants the first 5,000 trees in a thirty year effort to restore Nashville’s tree canopy.

2018

Launch of Compensatory Mitigation program opens opportunity for large scale stream restoration to restore habitat of imperiled species.

2017

The Cumberland River Compact brings Depaving to Tennessee with volunteers peeling up asphalt and replacing oversized parking lots with gardens.

2016

The Cumberland River Compact and the Nature Conservancy of Tennessee, with generous support from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation, partner to write a strategic plan for dam removal and then inventory and prioritize dam removals throughout Tennessee.

2015

First year of Waterfest in Cumberland Park - a free, fun science fair with water slides and sno-cones attracts thousands each summer.

2014

River Talks, An Educational Series at the Cumberland River Center is born.

2013

The Cumberland River Compact moves into the Bridge Building.

2012

The Cumberland River Compact launches Water for Schools initiative to Nashville Schools that harvests rainwater in 300-gallon cisterns for use in school gardens.

2011

The Rain Garden Manual wins Tennessee Association of Landscape Architect’s highest honor.

2010

The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency to promote the reduction of pesticides in conventional farming.

2009

The Compact partners with the Model Forest Policy Program’s southeast pilot case study for climate adaptation planning.

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.

2007

The Cumberland River Compact partners with World Wildlife Fund and Coca-Cola Bottling to promote rain barrel use, and offer education about water reuse and conservation. World Wildlife Fund replicates the project internationally.

2006

The Cumberland River Compact hosts the First Annual Dragon Boat Race and River Festival with 35 teams and over 800 paddlers. The Cumberland River Compact receives the TN Governor’s Conservation Stewardship Award for Building Green

2004

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

2003

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

2002

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.

2000

The Cumberland River Compact’s Marina Committee develops the Clean Marina program with the Army Corps of Engineers.

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.

1998

The Water Quality Advisory Committee is established. The open committee is 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.

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Meet Our Team

Mekayle Houghton

Executive Director

Contact Mekayle with inquiries related to:

  • Environmental concerns of the region

Will Caplenor

Green Infrastructure Manager

Contact Will with inquiries related to:

  • Stream Restoration Projects
  • Rain Gardens
  • Depave

Nicholle Gerde

Marketing & Communications Manager

Contact Nicholle with inquiries related to:

  • Media & Promotions
  • The Compact’s Website
  • River Friendly Farms

Jed Grubbs

Watershed Planning and Restoration Manager

Contact Jed with inquiries related to:

  • Watershed Planning
  • Compensatory Mitigation
  • Recreation in the Basin
  • GIS and Mapping

Catherine Price

Education and Outreach Manager

Contact Catherine with inquiries related to:

  • Waterfest
  • River Talks
  • K-12 Education Programs

Gray Perry

Clean Streams Initiative Manager

Contact Gray with inquiries related to:

  • Adopt-A-Stream
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Rain Barrels

Libby Cheek

Development Director

Contact Libby with inquiries related to:

  • Donations and Giving
  • Event Sponsorships

Chandler Kucera

Root Nashville Program Coordinator

Contact Chandler with inquiries related to:

  • Urban Tree activities
  • Root Nashville
  • Tree Plantings

Meg Morgan

Root Nashville Campaign Manager

Contact Meg with inquiries related to:

  • Root Nashville

Ross Miller

Streams Coordinator

Contact Ross with inquiries related to:

  • Adopt-A-Stream
  • Rain Gardens

Melinda Melton

Operations & Events Manager

Contact Melinda with inquiries related to:

  • River Center Rentals or Use
  • Dragon boat

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Greg Shiflett
    Board Chair
  • Andy Michael
    Vice Chair
  • Michelle Scopel
    Secretary
  • Durham Pettigrew
    Treasurer
  • Kim Carpenter Drake
  • Tom Motzny
  • Keith Aulson
  • Berdelle Campbell
  • Chris Cannon
  • Paul Davis
  • Rob Foss
  • Cynthia Lee
  • Brooks Matthews
  • Karen May
  • Cayce McAlister
  • Art Rebrovick
  • David Rutter
  • Lonnie Sharp
  • Alex Wade
  • Valetta Watson
  • Zach Smeykal
  • Craig Phillip

Emeriti

  • Phil Armor
  • George Cate
  • Bill Coble
  • David Duhl
  • Bill Forrester
  • Pete Kopscak
  • Skip Lawrence
  • Courtney Masters
  • Art Newby
  • Paul Sloan