Greetings from Your Stones River Watershed Association. March 2010.
We have two important events coming up: our Annual Meeting on March 20 and the River Relay two weeks later. Plus dates for other activities in the coming year. Hope we’ll see you at one or more.
Saturday, March 20. SRWA Annual Meeting at the historic Readyville Mill in Cannon County, 2 to 5 p.m. Owner Tomm Brady will host our event after he finishes his weekly grind of corn meal. A brief business meeting will be followed by a presentation by Beth Chesson, a certified storm water and erosion control engineer with CEC Inc. who is conducting a study of Puckett Creek west of Murfreesboro with the goal of identifying problems and designing mitigation options.
The work is funded through a grant to SRWA given by the Greater Nashville Regional Council.
Her presentation will consider how a stream that is now reasonably healthy can be protected from degradation as development continues in the watershed.
This event also provides the opportunity to tour the old mill, which was established in 1812 on the East Fork Stones River near the boundaries of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. If you’ve never been to the mill or have only seen it during its years of abandonment you will be amazed at the meticulous restoration that Mr. Brady has accomplished in a few short years. As an added bonus, anyone who pays their annual dues of $20 on the day of the meeting will receive a free bag of freshly milled meal! Beverages and snacks will be served and there will be plenty of time to meet other members. Learn more about the Readyville Mill and get directions. http://www.readyvillemill.com/).
As an added incentive, we will have trees to give away! Thanks to the Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture and help from Laura Alex of the Cumberland River Compact, we will have large Shumard oak trees to give away on the day of the meeting. These are 2-3 foot bare-root trees, not tiny seedlings. They are suitable for most yards and moderately dry areas. They will need to be planted soon and will require regular watering during the growing season for at least two years.
Float for the adventurous: The Annual Meeting will be preceded by a cool weather float from the Arts Center of Cannon County to the mill. This will be a trial run on the stretch of river included in the April 3 River Relay Race to the Mill (see below). Because the water may be fast and the cold, this float is restricted to intermediate and advanced paddlers. All participants must pre-register with trip leader Randle Branch (email@example.com). All participants must provide their own boat and have a wetsuit or other clothing suitable to the weather.
Business at the Annual Meeting will include election of the Executive Committee for the 2010-2011 year. Our slate of nominees is listed below. Additional nominations may be made on the day of the meeting:
President: Randle Branch
Vice-President: Neal Appelbaum
Secretary: Jim Barden
Treasurer: Terri Hogan
Saturday, April 3, River Relay: Race to the Mill. This is a 22 mile fun event that will have participants running, biking and paddling from the top of Short Mountain east of Woodbury to the Readyville Mill. The course is 22 miles long — and it’s all downhill. The brainchild of Neal Appelbaum and Randle Branch, this ambitious first annual event will raise money for SRWA programs. Registration is only $25 for individuals or entire teams. You can do one, two or three sections alone or as a relay team. Participants will start at the Short Mountain Bible Camp to run/walk to Short Mountain School, where they will mount bikes for a fast pedal to the Arts Center of Cannon County. There, canoes and kayaks will launch for a final push to the Readyville Mill. Prizes will be awarded but this is not a highly competitive event. Details are on the event website: http://stonesriverrelay.com/.
Other coming events:
Saturday, April 19. SRWA will return to the Murfreesboro Civic Plaza to staff a table at the annual Earth Day event. This is one of our best opportunities to talk to people about the importance of our rivers and we get to meet a lot of kids from the community. If you’d like to help staff the table contact Mayo Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org / 615-890-2081).
Saturday, May 15. Stones Throw Away cleanup on the Murfreesboro Greenway. We will partner with the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department on this annual event. SRWA provides volunteers for the cleanup each year.
Stream cleanups in Smyrna: Saturdays March 20, April 10 and May 22. These events will be coordinated by the Town of Smyrna at sites to be announced. Watch for more information.
Saturday, June 26. BOAT DAY! in Murfreesboro and Smyrna. We’ve moved the date into June this year to avoid conflicts with other events and, perhaps, to have more water and less heat for the event. We will again bring our boats to the Manson Pike trailhead of the Murfreesboro Greenway and to the Stewart Creek Recreation Area in Smyrna. Watch for more details and a call for volunteers.
SRWA will also hold several fun floats during the warm months. We’ll get those dates posted as soon as the events are firmed up.
Greetings from Your Stones River Watershed Association. October 2009
Saturday, Dec. 12, Annual planning retreat. When the days are short and the water is cold we set aside a Saturday to look ahead to the new year and plan our activities. This is an excellent opportunity to meet SRWA members and add your input for activities in 2010. We will meet from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m. at the Smyrna Town Hall. The day includes a potluck meal and some quality social time along with the business. This always energizes us for another year. We hope you will come.
Saturday, Nov. 7. Fall Colors float from Percy Priest Dam to the Cumberland River. This event is held jointly with the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association. We hope weather will be good but plan for anything and watch for updates as the date approaches. This is a 6.7 mile trip and because of recent rains the Corps of Engineers will be releasing water from the dam with sufficient flow to get us to the Cumberland in 3-4 hrs with play and lunch time. We will meet at the east side of the river below the dam and begin our shuttle at 9:30. Takeout will be at Heartland Park. Email Randle.email@example.com or call 615-686-3602 to register and for details. There are a few extra boats if you have a need.
Saturday, Dec. 5. Shoreline Cleanup at Long Hunter State Park, 9 a.m. to noon. This partnership with the Friends of Long Hunter State Park will tackle decades of trash along a portion of the Volunteer Trail. Please be at the park headquarters by 9 a.m. We can use up to 25 people. It will be helpful if you let us know you’re coming by emailing Jim Barden (firstname.lastname@example.org). Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Lunch will be provided after the event. Watch for email updates as the date approaches.
Saturday, Dec. 5. GLOBE Water Monitoring workshop for educators. This is a repeat of a program that we did last year to train classroom teachers to involve students in monitoring the conditions of streams near their schools. The classes then take the data that they have gathered and log it into the international GLOBE site (www.globe.gov). Our trainer will again be Dr. Kim Sadler, Professor of Biology at MTSU and Director of the Center for Cedar Glade Studies. Cynthia Allen, SRWA Board member and staff with the MTSU Center for Environmental Organization, is coordinating the day. Teachers who are interested in this session should contact her at 898-2660 or email@example.com. Participating teachers earn 6 hours of continuing education credits.
Looking Ahead: Saturday, April 3: Stones River Relay Race to the Mill. This three-part relay will cover 11 miles from the top of Short Mountain to the Readyville Mill in Cannon County. Racers will run the first stretch to the top of Stones River Rd. then mount bikes for a peddle to the Arts Center of Cannon County and switch to boats for the final mad dash to the Readyville Mill. Details are under development but this is going to be really fun. Hang onto that date too. A separate website is under development: http://www.stonesriverrelay.com.
Proposed change to by-laws of the Stones River Watershed Association.
The Executive Committee voted at its September meeting to forward the following by-laws amendment to be voted on by the membership at the December meeting. The reason for the change is that in recent years our annual July Boat Day event has become a major effort for us and we have found it difficult to devote adequate time to the Annual Meeting that is mandated for June. For 2010 our co-sponsors in the City of Murfreesboro and Town of Smyrna would like to move Boat Day forward, into June, which will complicate things further. The Executive Committee felt that the new wording gives greater flexibility by specifying a meeting at the start of the calendar year but within a three-month window.
Article V: Membership, dues and meetings.
Pt. 3: The SRWA will conduct an annual meeting in June the first quarter of each calendar year and all members will receive written notice of the meeting at least 15 days in advance.
Here are a few updates on our other projects.
Watershed Summit: The 3rd Annual Watershed Summit held Sept. 18-20 near Normandy was well organized and included some excellent presentations. Congratulations to the Duck River Watershed Association for a fine event. Preliminary plans are for a 2010 event in the Swan Creek watershed.
Growing plants for restoration: With support from the World Wildlife Fund we are working with students at Cannon County H.S. to propagate and grow out plants that will be used for restoration projects. We hope to work with second campus as well.
Puckett Creek Project: Working with Civil Engineering Consultants and with funding from the Tn. Dept. of Environment and Conservation and Greater Nashville Regional Council SRWA is participating in a project that will assess the current conditions of Puckett Creek and propose management practices to protect the stream during the ongoing development of that area. Puckett Creek is in the Blackman area west of Murfreesboro and flows into Overall Creek.
What can you do?
If you’ve read this far you must be interested in what this organization is up to. If that’s the case, please consider making a tax deductible contribution for 2009. We value all of our newsletter subscribers and appreciate your interest in the Stones River Watershed Association. We truly cherish those of you who show up on work days or play with us on our fun floats. But there is another elite group of individuals who go one step further and support us financially as well. If you’re in all three groups, hurrah! If not, you can be.
Basic membership in SRWA is $20 per year. The only benefit to you (other than the tax deduction and a good feeling) is a couple of print mailings each year with details of our programs. However, the benefit to the organization is significant both for the direct value of your gift and as a measure of our support in the community. We’ve been fortunate to have a steady stream of small grants to keep us going, but times are tougher and grants are harder to come by this year. Your donation of $20 or more will go a long way to keeping us healthy.
Checks should be payable to SRWA and directed to: P.O. Box 2336, Murfreesboro TN 37133
Better yet, come to the Dec. 12 planning meeting and pay in person.
Greetings from Your Stones River Watershed Association. Sept. 2009.
Just a few notes on upcoming events.
1. The Watershed Summit is just around the corner, Friday-Sunday, Sept. 18-20. Our friends in the Duck River
watershed have planned an informative, fun and inexpensive event. Come for a day or for the whole weekend. We
understand that the event site is pretty fabulous and there are walks and floats mixed in with the programs.
Get the whole scoop: http://tennesseewatersheds.org. This year you can register online!
2. SRWA members are invited to a special presentation at the Sanctuary on Short Mountain, Thursday Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. Brad Lancaster is a noted expert on rainwater collection. His presentation, titled “Turning water scarcity into water abundance,” focuses on harvesting rainwater for use as close to the source as possible. He also discusses greywater collection and water conservation. Learn more about the speaker: http://www.HarvestingRainwater.com.
Short Mountain Sanctuary is a community of gay men located about 8 miles from downtown Woodbury on the slopes of beautiful Short Mountain. The address is 247 Sanctuary Ln., Liberty TN.
3. Public Lands Day, Sept. 26. This annual effort brings tens of thousands of volunteers to public sites nationwide to do the hard work of maintenance and improvement. We have two sites in our area, at the Stones River National Battlefield and at Percy Priest Lake. To see these and all Tennessee sites: http://www.publiclandsday.org/involved/sites.htm?state=Tennessee. SRWA is listed as a partner for the Percy Priest site but we would love to have our members report for duty at both sites.