The MTSU community has been busy throughout the spring semester helping clean up the city of Murfreesboro, protecting the local water supply and improving the environment in a series of volunteer efforts from MTSU students, faculty and staff.
MTSU’s Stormwater Program has implemented multiple cleanup events this spring to increase environmental awareness. Some of these events consisted of garbage clean up, enhancement of riparian zones to improve waterways and even a tree giveaway.
One of the more recent events was the April 1 “Parks Day” at Old Fort Park where volunteers gathered to cut and spray invasive plant species and to remove trash from the area.
“Nearly 170 volunteers and partners helped with Parks Day,” said Cynthia Allen, stormwater environmental coordinator.
“Together we cut and treated 9,375 invasive exotic plants and removed more than 70 bags of trash and recyclables from Fortress Rosecrans, Old Fort Park and the Murfreesboro Greenway.”
Cleanup efforts took place over the month of March in a series of events called March Madness. Over spring break, 10 volunteers got together and picked up 365 pounds of trash. The trash cleanup began at Kroger on Lascassas Pike and ran along Garrison Creek and Lascassas Pike beside the road.
On March 9, the city of Murfreesboro’s Stormwater Department and MTSU’s Stormwater Program worked together on the Jordan Farm Project to enhance the riparian zones to improve waterways. The riparian zone is the interface between the land and a river or stream.
There were 21 volunteers from Dr. Kim Sadler’s EXL class for experiential learning and from instructors Becca Seul and Cassie Higginbotham’s health class. Both classes partner with MTSU’s Stormwater program each year.
Together the groups planted 125 bare root seedlings to help develop a riparian area to create a canopy and shade for the creek in the future.
March 18 began the Free Tree Giveaway, when 35 citizens helped distribute 622 bare root seedlings for planting. The annual event, which also is a partnership with the city of Murfreesboro, was publicized via 176 invitations and educational letters to property owners and shared with three different schools as a conduit to parents.
“The goal of this event is to hand out free bare root seedlings to the public, especially homeowners that live beside or near a stream to help encourage stream bank plantings for a healthy riparian area, stream canopy, reduced erosion and protection against flooding,” Allen said .
For more information on MTSU’s Stormwater Program and to find out about opportunities to volunteer, visit www.mtsu.edu/stormwater, or contact Cynthia Allen at Cynthia.Allen@mtsu.edu.
— Faith Few (firstname.lastname@example.org)