Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford County)--Rutherford County Stormwater, City of Murfreesboro, and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) are gearing up for the 12th Annual "FREE Trees for Streams" event which places free trees in the hands of property owners near streams.
On Monday, March 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Salem Creek Church of Christ (2525 Salem Creek Drive, Murfreesboro), there will be a public meeting to discuss educational programs prior to the free tree distribution. The event team reaches out to residents in the Spence Creek and Upper West Fork Watershed in hopes to create relationships and recruit those owners and residents to protect and preserve local streams in the community. Properties near the streams have first priority and are encouraged to call or email their order to reserve selections.
Representatives from Rutherford County, City of Murfreesboro, and MTSU will distribute the trees and shrubs and recommend planting them along stream banks (also known as riparian areas). Species include: Bald Cypress, Button Bush, Elderberry, Indigo Bush, Paw Paw, Persimmon, Redbud, Red Mulberry, and Staghorn Sumac.
"These native trees and shrubs are beneficial and thrive in these environments," said Sheila Huffmire, Rutherford County Assistant Engineer.
Property, Stream and Wildlife Benefits
Riparian buffers are important for preventing erosion, stabilizing soil, reducing water temperatures and providing important habitat for fish, beneficial insects, and other wildlife. They also protect property from flooding and erosion. Naturally growing trees, shrubs and deep-rooted grasses stabilize a stream bank, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce water temperature. Plants take up excess water and filter trash, and act as buffers protecting streams from chemical pollution. The native flowering plants are critical to pollinators, which are essential to many of the foods we eat.