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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.

Meet Our Team

Mekayle Houghton

Executive Director

Contact Mekayle with inquiries related to:

  • Environmental concerns of the region

Will Caplenor

Field Operations Supervisor

Contact Will with inquiries related to:

  • Stream Restoration Projects
  • 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

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

Liam Ulasevich

AmeriCorps, Urban Forestry Coordinator

Tyrah Cobb-Davis

AmeriCorps, Urban Forestry Coordinator

Joe Chapman

AmeriCorps, Clean Streams Coordinator

Makinsy Fitzgerald

AmeriCorps, Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

Morgan Florsheim

AmeriCorps, Environmental Education Coordinator


  • Craig Philip
    Board Chair
  • Durham Pettigrew
    Vice Chair
  • Michelle Scopel
  • Scott Ringenberg
  • Keith Aulson
  • Kim H. Bailey
  • Berdelle Campbell
  • Chris Cannon
  • Kim Carpenter Drake
  • Paul Davis
  • Treanor Granbery
  • Jamieson Gray, Intern
  • Cynthia Lee
  • Brooks Matthews
  • Kaaren May
  • Cayce McAlister
  • Mark McDonald
  • Andrew Michael
  • Tom Motzny
  • Olawale Ogbonlowo
  • Art Rebrovick
  • Greg Shiflett
  • Alex Wade
  • Renée Wray-Davis


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



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


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


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


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.


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


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


The Cumberland River Compact moves into the Bridge Building.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


The Cumberland River Compact begins its work inside Nashville with the Mid Cumberland Watershed Association.


The Cumberland River Compact starts the Red River watershed initiative.


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


The Cumberland River Compact starts the Harpeth River Watershed Initiative funded by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation and the Greater Nashville Regional Council.


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.


The Cumberland River Compact’s Charter is written.