North Ewingville Creek
The purple boundary in the map below outlines North Ewingville Creek's watershed. When it rains, water that falls within this boundary eventually finds its way to the creek. This section of North Ewingville Creek is directly impacted by all land within the purple drainage boundary. The blue line represents North Ewingville Creek, while the highlighted yellow portion is the section adopted by EnviroScience. Stewardship activities performed on land or water anywhere within these purple watershed boundaries will improve the condition of North Ewingville Creek
Altered Streamside Vegetation negatively impacts instream and streamside habitat and destabilizes stream banks. It involves the removal or modification of a waterway's naturally vegetated banks. Common causes of this type of impairment include the removal of trees from stream banks and/or the mowing of stream banks. In agricultural areas, destabilization can result from animals grazing on and trampling streamside vegetation.
Silt refers to the dirt, soil, or sediment that is carried and deposited by our water. While some silt in water is normal and healthy, many additional tons of silt find their way to our water every year, negatively impacting water quality. Excessive silt clogs gills, and smothers eggs and nests. It can bury habitat aquatic insects need for survival, which impacts organisms up the food chain that eat these insects for survival. Siltation can also interfere with photosynthesis in aquatic plants resulting in a decrease in needed dissolved oxygen. Siltation also increases levels of treatment needed for drinking water, fills up reservoirs and navigation channels, and increases a waterbodies likelihood of flooding.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are many things you can do to help your creek. We've got some ideas and resources below, but don't be limited to these alone. If you've got ideas for other activities or questions in general, feel free to contact the Cumberland River Compact.
- Always ensure Franklin's permission has been obtained and that no City event is occurring on planned stewardship dates before doing stewardship work on your site. Feel free to contact the Compact, if you need help obtaining permission. The adopted section of North Ewingville Creek that runs along Pinkerton Park is owned by the City.
- Please provide at least two weeks notice prior to any planned stewardship activity.
- Want a waiver for volunteers to fill out? You can create your own from a generic waiver here.
Schedule a walk/cleanup.
There's no better way to get to know your creek, than by visiting it in person. Whether your wading, paddling, or walking alongside it, you'll end up with a much better sense of where it's healthy and where it's hurting if you pay it a visit! Consider combining a cleanup with a scouting effort. While your picking up trash, photograph or record the locations of destabilized banks, needed streamside vegetation, invasive species, dams, or other potential water quality concerns. Resources include:
- Supplies (trash bags and gloves) for cleanups - Cumberland River Compact (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 615-837-1151)
- Example Stream Survey Guidelines - Cumberland River Compact
- Litter Cleanup Supplies - Keep Williamson County Beautiful
- Report Litter (if near road) - TN Department of Transportation
Plant (or allow for) natural growth near your waterway. Remove invasive species.
If permission from property owners along the waterway can be obtained, organize a planting of native trees, bushes, and groundcover. You could combine the event with invasive removals. Allowing a 35′ to 100′ no mow zone on a streams banks can filter pollutants before they reach our waterways and provide other water quality benefits that far exceed those of a mowed lawn. Natives plants also require less watering and fertilizer. Resources include:
If you can't do a planting, consider distributing free trees and educational information to the public somewhere in your adopted segment's watershed. Resources include:
- Free Trees for Properties Near Waterway (Late Fall - Early Spring) - Cumberland River Compact (615-837-1151)
- Shovels, Gloves, and Invasive Removal Tools - Cumberland River Compact
- Free Trees for TEC's Statewide 250K Tree Day - TN Environmental Council (615.248.6500)
- Purchase Native Wildflower/Grass Alternatives to Mowed Grass - Roundstone Native Seed and/or Seedland
- Tennessee Aquatic Stream Clean Up and Riparian Tree Grant (Scroll to bottom of linked page for more info) - TN Wildlife Resources Agency
- Area plant suppliers advertising sale of natives include: Nashville Natives, GroWild, and Gardens of Babylon, Moore & Moore Garden Center, Native Gardens in Greenback.
Monitor water quality.
A significant effort to monitor water quality in the Harpeth River Watershed is underway. Additional monitoring in N. Ewingville Creek or in the Harpeth may be of use. Please contact the Compact if interested in supporting this effort.
Observe species and/or organize a "Bioblitz" in your watershed.
Work with the Cumberland River Compact and use the mobile app iNaturalist to collect species data in your watershed. You can also schedule a bioblitz, where your group observes and records species over a set time period of time, gaining insight into the many flora and fauna that rely on water within your adopted watershed. All you need is a phone! When you make iNaturalist observations, these observations can become independently verified as "research-quality data" and can contribute to the larger scientific community.
2018's City Nature Challenge will be April 27 - May 1. This event is a fun way to obtain species data in your watershed and engage with the larger region within a regional BioBlitz. Contact the Cumberland River Compact for help getting set up on iNaturalist or to participate in the City Nature Challenge.
Distribute stewardship and educational materials in a public place for your waterway.
Consider passing out free soil sampling kits, pet waste bags, native wildflower seeds, and educational materials somewhere popular or public in the watershed. Soil sampling kits will help address nutrient issues from over-fertilized lawns, pet waste bags will address pathogen problems, and native wildflowers will help address altered streamside vegetation.
- Soil Test Mailers (Courtesy of UT Soil, Plant and Pest Center), Pet Waste Bags, Native Wildflowers - Cumberland River Compact (Contact email@example.com / 615-837-1151)
Support public funding of water treatment plants and sewer infrastructure, as well as stormwater fees. Report sewer leakages and other water quality concerns.
Water related infrastructure is expensive and obtaining funding for necessary sewer and water treatment improvements is often a challenge for communities. However, public dollars are critical to our water quality and public health. Support your community's efforts to properly maintain it's water related infrastructure. Resources include:
- America's Infrastructure Report Card - American Society of Civil Engineers
- How Sewage Pollution Ends Up in Rivers - American Rivers
- Greening Water Infrastructure - American Rivers
- Report Stormwater Pollution - City of Franklin
- Stormwater User Fee - City of Franklin
Organize with others in your community. Make your voices heard and your votes count.
Participate in community planning efforts and advocate for relevant measures that improve or protect water quality. Write to your elected official or to the media and let them know this is a concern or invite them to speak about the impairment with your home-owners association. When elections come up, vote for candidates who will address the problem and hold them accountable to their promises. Support local watershed / environmental associations. Resources include:
- Advocacy Toolkit - TN Environmental Council
- Find Your Legislators - Federal Legislators; State Legislators
- Citizen Action Guide to Watershed Assessment and Restoration - TN Environmental Council
Spread the word!
Do your neighbors, family, or roommates know about your creek? Now that you know how to be an effective steward, enlist the help of others in North Ewingville Creek's watershed. Share this website or iCreek with your neighbors and encourage them to join the effort to support North Ewingville Creek.