Students, staff protect environment with third tre...

Students, staff protect environment with third tree-planting

Cynthia Allen of the MTSU Stormwater Program puts soil around one of dozens of trees planted Nov. 9 along Garrison Creek in Murfreesboro. Allen coordinated a volunteer team of about 40 students for the tree planting event, which was hosted by the MTSU Stormwater Program in partnership with the Tennessee Environmental Council and the city of Murfreesboro.  (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

About 40 MTSU student volunteers turned out on a beautiful Friday afternoon for a tree-planting event along Garrison Creek in Murfreesboro.

Approximately 125 trees were planted along the creek, an effort organizers say will help provide a border and future canopy for the stream and in turn better protect the community’s groundwater supply.

Volunteers gathered near the Kroger on Lascassas Pike. The creek runs along the rear of the Kroger property, and though the creek was dry on Friday, it can fill quickly following sustained rainfall.

“About a week ago, it was full of water,” said Cynthia Allen with the MTSU Stormwater Program while taking a brief break Friday from planting trees. “We’re trying reestablish this stream … and some wonderful folks have come out to help us get these trees in the ground.”

The event was co-sponsored by MTSU’s Stormwater Program, the Tennessee Environmental Council and the city of Murfreesboro.

Kelly Poole, who’s in charge of stream restoration with the Tennessee Environmental Council, joined the volunteers Friday and was equally grateful for the students’ assistance. The trees will help shore up the creek banks, reducing the amount of mud and sediment polluting the waterways.

“We’re a nonprofit, so we definitely couldn’t do this work without the help of MTSU and the great students that are out here volunteering today,” she said. “We’ve been working this project in phases.”

This was the third planting in a series of several projects this year that will help re-establish this stream segment and support aquatic life within the creek. A similar event in October, that also included cleanup efforts, resulted in more than 200 trees being planted along different parts of the creek.

For more information, contact Cynthia Allen with the Stormwater Program at 615-898-2660 or via email at or TEC Executive Director John McFadden at 615-330-5364 or via email at

For more information about the Stormwater Program, visit

— Jimmy Hart (


MTSU student volunteer Aaron Curtis, left, a junior music major from Murfreesboro, and sophomore Maya Smith, a criminal justice major from Memphis, put soil around one of dozens of trees planted Nov. 9 along Garrison Creek.

MTSU student volunteers Deonna Bounds, left, a graduate student from Collierville, Miranda Denham, a junior from Chattanooga majoring in child development, and Donald Abels, a graduate student from Savannah, Tenn., help plant trees Nov. 9 along Garrison Creek in east Murfreesboro.