Blueways Blues

Blueways Blues

At Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures, we love the outdoors.  We are passionate about maintaining a clean, sustainable environment for all to enjoy, and it is our goal to get the community of Middle Tennessee involved in our efforts.  That’s why we incorporate as many community service events as we can to help raise awareness about environmental concerns.

Each year Team Green Adventures hosts multiple waterway cleanups to collect litter from our beautiful creeks and streams. In 2015, over 100 volunteers gathered for six different waterway cleanups; together we gathered 167 bags of trash and 118 tires!

“Why do people throw trash in our waterways?!” you might be thinking.

It’s not as vicious as that (most of the time).

Litter primarily enters our local waterways as a result of storm water runoff. Individuals may have litter in their yard, which is carried into a neighborhood creek, which eventually enters a tributary river, which then feeds into an even larger river. Individuals toss litter out their car window, which is eventually washed into the local blueway system. Recreational canoeists tip over in the river, and their personal belongings wash down stream. Sports leagues gather at a nearby soccer field, and choose to leave their litter on the ground because the trash cans are already too full…

In addition to these instances, Mother Nature takes her toll by introducing mass flooding, like Nashville’s 2010 Flood. In this case, many efforts took place to cleanup our waterways, but the blueways system in Nashville is so expansive that there are still sections of littered creeks and rivers in 2016.

Waterway cleanups are an ever-present need in Nashville, and that’s why Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures is at it again, ready to make a bigger impact than ever before.  To kick off our 2016 waterway cleanup season, thirteen Lightning 100 listeners, Team Green Adventurers members, and Bridgestone employees teamed up last Saturday morning to do some damage-control.  In 2012 Team Green Adventures adopted a one-mile section of Mill Creek along the Mill Creek Greenway at Ezell Park. The greenway ends at Ezell Park Soccer Stadium, which is so overburdened by litter that even a mild rain storm will wash the abundance of beverage containers, dirty diapers,  candy wrappers, and torn clothing downhill into Mill Creek.  This past weekend our volunteers went above and beyond their duties and did a clean sweep of the soccer fields in addition to the creek bed.  We collected a total of 38 bags of trash, 5 tires, a couple wood pallets, and random scraps of metal over a short 4 hour period!

Mill Creek Trash 4_2_16

While this event was wildly successful, Team Green Adventures is just getting started.  This event kicked off the first of three creek cleanups and three canoe float cleanups in 2016. If you want to get involved and give our local waterways some love, check out the Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures calendar throughout the year. Our next creek cleanup is already posted and waiting for volunteers. In July we’ll move away from our Adopt-a-Stream creek and instead help out Friends of Warner Park with our Little Harpeth River Bank Cleanup on July 24!

-Melanie Placke (Team Green Spring Intern)
Learn about other organizations and businesses in the Greater Nashville Area helping to cleanup not only our waterways, but also our air quality and trails, working to support our parks systems or local farming community, and helping you reduce your personal carbon footprint. Visit the vendors and enjoy the great live music at the 15th Annual Nashville Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 23rd from 11am-6pm at Centennial Park.

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