What You Can Do

Pick Up

To ensure that our beloved waterways stay clean and protected for current and future generations, it is essential that everyone does their part to reduce litter and pathogens that would otherwise enter our rivers.

It starts at home...but doesn’t end there.

One of the best ways to ensure your waste won’t end up in your nearby stream is to pick it up and properly dispose of any waste you see in a trash can. This may be in your driveway, while you’re walking in a park, on your daily commute to work, or adventuring in the wilderness. Even when your trash bags get picked up by the dump truck, those trucks travel often long distances to the landfill and trash often flies out onto our streets on route. Regardless of where the trash is dropped, most likely it will end up in our waterways.

Take action

Discover the many ways you can help our partner organizations plant trees and shrubs that will protect our waterways.


Our founding partners all offer year-round litter cleanups that get you outside and see the positive impact right away!

Cumberland River Compact Cleanups

The Cumberland River Compact offers fall, spring, and summer riverbank cleanups and volunteer opportunities for community members and businesses! They also offer summer kayak cleanups so you can get out on the water while removing trash along the banks.

If you see it, toss it

Most parks and public places have trash cans installed within the grounds and it only takes a few seconds to throw the trash away! When trash doesn’t get picked up, wind and rain events can easily carry the waste downhill to a nearby stream. Pick it up, even when it isn't yours.

Be River Responsible

The Harpeth Conservancy along with state and local partners lead efforts to organize river clean-ups and educate recreators on responsible, safe, and respectful use of our State Scenic Harpeth River.

Grab the Litter

​The Richland Creek Watershed Alliance is encouraging community members to stop litter before it reaches our waterways! Once a week, take a short walk in your neighborhood, park, urban center, or creek to grab the litter and recycle what you can. You can post a photo on social media, with the hashtag #grabthelitter, and we’ll find and repost it to spread the movement.


Encourage your company, local church, community center, school, or association to Adopt A Stream! The Metro Adopt A Stream program, organized by the Cumberland River Compact, started in 2007 with the goal of engaging volunteers in stewardship work that improves the water quality of our streams and rivers.

Pick up my dog's waste?

(Yes, it's important!)

Contrary to the popular myth that dog waste is natural fertilizer, our best friend’s poo is quite the opposite. While cow manure is considered safe and beneficial to our gardens because it is 100% plant-based (cows don’t eat meat). However, a dog’s diet largely consists of meat products which make their waste more acidic and prone too pathogens like giardia, cryptosporidium, leptospira, salmonella and E. coli, which are harmful to animals and humans.

Why pick up dog poo?