What You Can Do

Plant a Tree

Trees are the unsung heroes of the natural world. In addition to lending their beauty for landscaping and their limbs for climbing, they benefit people in numerous ways. And, better yet, they help our streams as well.

Why plant trees?

Since trees take up and store ground water—and lots of it!—more trees means less flooding. 

Planting more trees and native vegetation in your yard, near a stream, in a park, or along your street help slow stormwater from entering streams too fast and reduces erosion of riverbanks.

Cities without trees suffer from increased air temperature and are known as heat islands. According to the EPA, air temperatures in cities, after sunset, can be 22°F warmer than the air in nearby, less developed areas.

In addition, heated stormwater from hot pavement runs into streams and lakes warming the water above the temperatures of what the native aquatic wildlife need to thrive.

Tree roots help stabilize the soil, and reduce it from being swept away by fast moving torrents. Not only does erosion due damage to property, increased sediment (loose soil particles like silt, sand and clay) is considered non-source pollutant and can make it difficult for fish and other creatures to breathe.

One of the best ways to remove carbon dioxide from the air is through trees. Not only do they do that, they release oxygen back into the atmosphere. And this is good for streams and the rest of the planet!

Trees do a lot of cool things for air and water, but they also have a positive impact on us humans. Trees help minimize the cold and harsh effects of concrete and asphalt by adding color and life, by providing shade to read a book or a limb for a tire swing for our kids to play on.

Get involved!

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

Root Nashville

Root Nashville is a public private campaign, led by Metro Nashville and the Cumberland River Compact, to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050.

Did you know?

Tennessee Tree Project

This is Tennessee Environmental Council’s program to plant and care for 1 million native trees in Tennessee. We have worked with the public and state agencies across Tennessee to distribute and plant trees in all 95 counties of Tennessee. As a result, the Tennessee Environmental Council has planted 540,000 trees since 2007.

Tennessee Tree Day

The TEC holds an annual tree planting day to plant a predetermined number of trees as a yearly goal to help. To date, TEC’s efforts has resulted in more than 637,100 ​trees planted statewide. 

Riparian Renewal

Planting trees in your yard is not the only way we can stop stormwater runoff, join Richland Creek Watershed Alliance and Harpeth Conservancy in their continued efforts to enhance our riparian buffer zones along riverbanks.  

With the increase of hard surfaces and more development in Nashville and the surrounding region, stormwater draining quicker into our waterways and increasing erosion of soil and plants along riverbanks. By removing invasive species and planting native species along with banks, their proactive approach is helping restore Nashville’s waterways, such as Richland Creek, and Nashville’s very own State Scenic Harpeth River and other local waterways.

Build a Rain Garden

Improving the health and beauty of our waterways is crucial for ensuring we all can continue to enjoy and benefit from our local rivers and streams for generations to come. Rain gardens are a large part of this local solution plus they create beautiful spaces in your yard that can reduce localized yard flooding. 

Plant native!

Native plants are plants have a functioning role in the local ecosystem, providing food and shelter for native wildlife like birds, squirrels and insects.