With 2016 well under way and 2015 fading in the distance in our rear-view, it can be easy to forget all that we accomplished over the last year. Supporting the Nashville community through service is a core part of Team Green’s mission, and 2015 was our best year yet in terms of how much we gave back to Middle Tennessee. Before we dive too deep into the new year, let’s take a look back at all of the great opportunities we had over the last year to lend a hand to the community that so enthusiastically support us day in and day out:
in 2015, we planned 20 different volunteer events with a broad range of community partners, allowing us to contribute our time, energy, and passions in a variety of ways. Here are a few of the highlights from the year that was in volunteering:
Throughout the year, we visited our adopted section of Mill Creek in south Nashville three separate times, combining the efforts of 38 volunteers to pull 92 bags of trash, 7 tires, and hundreds of other pounds of debris from one of the Cumberland River’s main local tributaries.
We continued our long-standing partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank to sort more than 21,000 pounds of food and help feed local families in need.
We canoed three of Middle Tennessee’s most crucial waterways this summer (the Harpeth, Buffalo, and Piney Rivers), removing 75 bags of trash and 109 tires our of these scenic gems. Every tire we removed was collected and recycled by Bridgestone Americas’ Tires4ward program, giving new life to these old tires.
We partnered with Hands On Nashville and The Oasis Center to refurbish 24 bikes for local kids, promoting healthy lifestyles for Nashville’s youth.
We participated in our first-ever stand up paddleboard waterway cleanup, getting a group of 8 Team Greeners together to pull several bags of trash from the Cumberland River near downtown.
We worked with Hands on Nashville, the Harpeth River Watershed Association, and the Nashville Tree Foundation to plant nearly 330 full size trees and tree saplings throughout Davidson County, helping to improve local air and water quality.
We formed a partnership with RAGNAR Relay TN and Soles 4 Souls to host our first-ever used shoe drive, collecting roughly 280 pairs of shoes for those in need this past fall.
We teamed up with the Nashville Food Project and Second Harvest Food Bank to contribute nearly 100 volunteer hours to tending community gardens in Nashville, helping to close the loop on food insecurity and provide access to healthy meals for those who need them most.
None of our volunteer efforts would be possible without our community partners who help provide us with opportunities to give back to Nashville. In addition to those mentioned above, our 2015 volunteer partners also include the Cumberland River Compact, Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury, and Big Willie’s SUP. We also wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything in 2015 without the help of our dedicated Team Green volunteers, of which there were 232 last year.
Thank you, Nashville, for a great year of community service in 2015, and we can’t wait to get started on another round of projects in 2016! Itching to get out there and help us out? Check out our trail building day on the Fiery Gizzard in March or our first stream cleanup of the year coming up in April!
– Matt (Lightning 100’s Director of Community Engagement)