Green Alleys Project
The Cumberland River Compact’s Green Alley project is transforming alleys from asphalt stormwater conveyances that transport pollution to our most vulnerable streams into areas that percolate and clean polluted stormwater, thereby improving water quality throughout the city.
We work with the public to build rain gardens in yards, at schools, churches, parks, and businesses. Rain gardens can capture and percolate tens of thousands of gallons of stormwater a year. This prevents the transport of pollutants into our waterways. The Cumberland River Compact hosts classes, offers site visits, and organizes volunteer groups to build rain gardens.
The Cumberland River Compact plants hundreds of trees every year – big trees and seedlings – along roadways and streams. Trees are the least expensive, most impactful tool we have to improve water quality. Trees shade streams and keep the water cool for fish and macro-invertebrates. A robust urban tree canopy slows the rain and prevents stormwater runoff from carrying pollutants to streams. Tree roots also hold dirt and prevent erosion. As the Chinese saying goes, ”The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today!”
Stormwater Management Retrofits
Because our understanding of urban water pollution and stormwater management is always improving, the Compact embraces opportunities implement state of the art technologies. Most recently a Compact project redesigned a Nashville Zoo detention pond with native species, berms designed to maximize infiltration, flow velocity control structures and a layered use of space that will soon accommodate a grazing elk exhibit. This retrofit of existing stormwater management provided the engineering community with examples of environmentally progressive practices for preventing urban water pollution and restoring the health of our urban streams for people and for nature.