Richland Creek Watershed Alliance blog

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photos of Downstream Debris and Erosion Enabled by Higher Creek Levels

RCWA asks- what do you see and think looking at these Richland Creek photos?
You can right-click on photos to download and view closer.

Dr. Thomas Byl sent RCWA these photos this October to share with RCWA stakeholders. "Due to the considerable rain we got this year and resulting higher creek levels," he writes, "I was able to canoe a mile further upstream from the mouth, portage around a blockage from fallen trees, only to encounter some serious litter floating down Richland Creek."

He discovered an egregious amount of debris build-up in the creek. These photos "capture the feeling I had as I was paddling upstream and speak for themselves."

Dr. Byl adds he saw and documented, beyond the visible hoses, bags and bottles, 10 submerged shopping cars, mattresses, a stove, rusty barrels, shingles, wire etc... at the bottom of the creek and thinks the causes for the build-up of debris settling here is due to storm water in-flow and creek flow anomalies that result from storm events. Contemplating causes for his discovery he portends some contributing factors to also be re-occurring dumping and poor management practices near this area of Richland Creek- Briley bridge and Cockrill street.

Let us know what you think by clicking a reaction below, sharing a comment to our blog or emailing us at
Do you agree, one could extrapolate from these photos that this is causing long-term damage to water quality, aquatic life and stream bank stabilization?

Monday, October 5, 2009

TWRA Flow Study

August 14, 2009 photos
1) Fish collection
2) TWRA Team- Inflow Biologist, Kim Elkins, Watershed Coordinator Frank Fiss and Hutton American Fisheries Society Intern, Diane Perry
3) Approximately 6 year old Rock Bass.

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Conducts Flow Study on Richland Creek

Early last spring, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) contacted RCWA to address concerns regarding water withdrawals on Richland Creek. A discussion with TWRA Inflow biologist, Kim Elkins, followed and a partnership to conduct a flow study on Richland Creek decided as the best next step to maintain healthy stream flow. The flow study began in May on Richland Creek along the greenway.

The purpose of the flow study is to relate how water withdrawals are affecting the stream. The TWRA Instream Flow Program states, “it’s important to maintain instream flows because humans and aquatic animals need water to exist and function on a daily basis.” TWRA is currently working on standards for setting instream flows in Tennessee. To read more about this TWRA program visit their webpage at

The type of Information collected for the flow study includes biology, geomorphology, water quality and hydrologic data. In August the TWRA team conducted a fish assessment at the flow study area. Among the species counted were Rock Bass, Greenside Darters, Rainbow Darters and Fantail Darters. After the study is completed, a full report will be generated and released.

RCWA is grateful to TWRA for their dedicated work and attention to our beloved creek.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bank Stabilization Project August 15, 2009

On Saturday August 15th, 2009 Tennessee Environmental Council and Richland Creek Watershed Association partnered to stabilize an area of stream bank on Richland Creek. The volunteers installed 12 revetments (cedar timbers wrapped in coir matting) on to the eroded stream bank to prevent further deterioration of stream bank. This particular streambank deterioration is occurring from high volumes of run-off inflow and no buffer protection.
Later on, once the revetments collect biota and silt, native creek plants will be inserted into the revetments to re-establish the riparian vegetation here. This will not only help to prevent wasting of the stream bank but improve the stream's water quality.

RCWA appreciates the leadership and financial assistance to purchase the revetments by Tennessee Environmental Council and the hard work put forth by the volunteers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Third Annual Creek Clean Up Photos

Richland Creek Clean Up at Charlotte Pike 2009
Thanks to 30 Volunteers we filled a roll-off bin with trash and pulled several piles of cut brush from stream for pick up. 
   Thanks to our sponsors for providing provisions!
  • Blinker Lite
  • Jack in the Box
  • Krogers
  • Metro Beautification & Environment Commission
  • Metro Water Services Adopt A Stream Program

Friday, March 13, 2009

Third-Annual Spring Creek Clean Up is April 11th

It's that time of year again-
to get the trash before the creek does!

We hope many will join us for a fun and community building day to clean up and see our creek first hand.
The past two years volunteers removed three tons of trash from this very short segment of Richland Creek. This area of the creek repeatedly receives trash from upstream inflow, street litter and illegal dumping.
Trash produces pollution that impacts water quality and is harmful to aquatic life.

Meet us at 9 AM at the parking lot adjacent to the creek on Charlotte Pike. This is just east of Las Palmas Mexican restaurant, in the 5500 block and west of 54th Avenue North. There will be a tent and sign visible from the street. Please park at the church on 54th avenue, just off Charlotte Avenue and a half block from registration tent, to provide retailers plenty of parking for their customers and a safe area for event volunteers.  Click on the map above to enlarge and see parking and event locations.

Email us at and let us know you are coming and so we can get a good head count for supplies.  We are grateful to our business sponsors for providing the volunteer provisions- sandwiches from the Charlotte Pike Jack in the Box restaurant, water and ice from Krogers and for the Port-A-Pot provided by Blinker-Lite.  We also appreciate the continued support from Metro Water Services and Metro Public Works for providing trash bags, gloves and debris removal. Together~ we make a difference.

This creek segment has steep slopes with several types of hazards and is at a busy intersection so children are not recommended.  All volunteers are required to sign waivers at event and those under 18 will need an adult signature.

See you there!
Richland Creek Watershed Alliance

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

RCWA Documentary debut a success


A Creek Story debut, presented February 22nd at the West Nashville United Methodist Church, received an enthusiastic response and accolades by attendees. Approximately fifty stakeholders attended the showing including the distinguished State Senator Douglas Henry and loyal Council Representative, Jason Holleman. The church setting made for warm surroundings and their representative, Randy Horrick, introduced and welcomed the RCWA cause and event.

Following the viewing at reception were multiple displays of current RCWA projects, CreekVoice publications, and educational resources. Available for purchase were both A Creek Story dvd and the handbook, Rain Gardens: A Do-It-Yourself Guide for Homeowners in Middle Tennessee.

The thirty-minute RCWA story features colorful scenes, stakeholder interviews and information about the Richland Creek watershed, documenting many treasures and challenges of our streams from the ground and air. The documentary dvd will make for a useful educational tool for schools, scouts, churches, groups and other organizations and is now available for purchase from the RCWA website, for only $5 plus shipping. Also available on our website is the Rain Garden handbook for $10 plus shipping.

RCWA is grateful to everyone that helped make the project happen and with special appreciation to A Creek Story underwriters: Singh Technology Solutions, LLC in Franklin, TN and Hillside Gardens Fresh Herbs at 6668 Jocelyn Hollow Road, 615 943-7436.

Comments RCWA received from those that have seen the documentary:
"The video is WONDERFUL and the reception was very, very nice."
"The film is GRAND!"
"I absolutely LOVE the documentary."

"Thanks for all your efforts and the pleasant volunteers you had.."

Friday, January 23, 2009

James Park Updated for West Nashville Community Plan

Richland Creek Watershed Alliance (RCWA) has resubmitted the vision for James Park as part of the West Nashville Community Plan Update public process. Our main objective is to present environmental and community values into the character planning for West Nashville- to preserve and enhance Richland Creek and it's connection to the larger ecological corridor. Thank you to graphic designer and RCWA member, Chris Veit, for his contribution creating these illustrations.
Click on maps to enlarge.

We are proposing James Park to be considered to the greenway Master Plan as a urban bird watching connector park. This type of park would establish this historic and environmental significant area to remain less disturbed for wildlife feeding, improving water quality and restoring native species. The community could participate, learn from and enjoy James Park for generations to come by protection of this habitat for migrating birds, bees, butterflies, waterfowl and other wildlife to exist and to remind us of what was observed when Nashville was first founded.

RCWA submitted this vision to Metro- Planning, Parks and Council District 24 Representative Jason Holleman.

-To add your support or comment to the West Nashville Community Plan Update contact Anita McCaig at 862.7156 or email or Cindy Wood at 862.7166 or email
-To add your support or comment on the Metro Parks and Greenways Master Plan call 862-8400.
-To add your support or comment to Councilman Jason Holleman email him at