Polluted fairgrounds-area creek set for restoration

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:36pm
Staff reports

In a move that could impact the future re-invention of the former Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Mayor Karl Dean announced Wednesday that Metro will receive assistance from statewide nonprofit Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program in restoring Brown’s Creek.

Brown’s Creek runs the length of the fairgrounds property in south Nashville. Its restoration, a price tag for which was not released, will coincide with plans to add a park and greenway on the 40 acres of fairgrounds land that is located in a flood plain.

A polluted waterway, Brown’s Creek flows into the Cumberland River, the main source of drinking water in Davidson County.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation administers TSMP, which has restored nearly 35 miles of streams and more than 400 acres of natural habitat.

“We learned from the May flood the important role that creeks and streams play in developed areas,” Dean said in a release. “Brown’s Creek has been greatly impaired by the asphalt parking lots that surround it throughout the fairgrounds site. TSMP will bring resources and expertise that we wouldn’t otherwise have in helping us restore this important waterway. At the same time, we’ll be creating a park and greenway that the south Nashville neighborhood greatly needs.”

Brown’s Creek is listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 303(d) list of impaired streams for failure to meet state water quality standards. Pollutants found in the creek include nitrates and nitrites, phosphorus, oil and grease, and E. coli.

The creek’s restoration will improve the water quality and aquatic habitat by addressing the “urbanized watershed” and limited natural buffer, according to Joey Woodard, TSMP director.

“A successful urban stream restoration project must include a watershed-based approach,” Woodard said, adding the agency plans to work with Metro Water Services, the Metro Parks Department, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Cumberland River Compact to improve Brown’s Creek. 

7 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/4/10 at 5:37

Thank you, Mayor Dean! This shows that you care about the neighborhood - unlike the so-called "preservation" groups who only care about some outdated race track.

By: racer84 on 11/4/10 at 6:48

Blanket, You're just the type of closeminded idiot this press release was made for.

Cleaning up 300 yards of creek and when it flows thru 10 miles of industrial Before and After the Fairgrounds isn't going to benefit the drinking water.

I'd bet that more pollution flows from the parking lots at LP field into the River than the Fairgrounds.

By: orangey on 11/4/10 at 9:30

This is great news for the future of the soon to be redevolped fairground property. Thank you Mayor Dean! And Racer84, you should have learned in kindergarten that name calling is bad form. It will get you and your group nowhere.

By: racer84 on 11/4/10 at 9:52

I'm no "group" and You'd be surprised where this is going

Just because ya'll are too uneducated to see what's going on, doesn't mean everyone is.

Just ask the former mayor of birmingham who currently sits in a prison cell after his closing of the Birmingham Fairgrounds.

Thank you

By: bfra on 11/4/10 at 9:57

Hey Karl, what has been wrong with cleaning the creek before now? You have been Mayor long enough for this to already be done. Your priorities have lots to be desired!

I go thru Wedgewood quite often and have yet to see all the undesirable people hanging around, that people like to talk about.

By: sojourner on 11/4/10 at 12:53

It's sort of funny to see what the mayor is going through to make headlines--

This project was approved by the Fair Board in 2009, and was scheduled to be completed by April or May of 2010. For some unstated reason, was put on the back burner and never started.

So now the mayor steps in wanting to take credit for something already done, that he had little or nothing to do with.

And Blanket- i guess when you talk about a "preservation group" you're referring to the Fairgrounds Heritage Preservation Group. Well... not only are they for the entire Fairgrounds, but in 2008, they submitted a proposal to the Fair Board for the re-vitalization of the Fairgrounds, which included not only a green way and park area, but also the cleanup of Brown's Creek, including stocking it with catch-and-release fish. You can see the proposal in it's entirety at http://fairgroundsheritage.org/index.php/p=pr

And one last note for the city paper-- we can understand why nobody wanted to put their byline on this article, as full of factual mistakes as it is-- but please keep the editorializing out of it-- the property is currently the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, not the "former" fairgrounds. At least the Tennessean got that part right. The mayor does not have the horsepower on his own to either rename or divest metro of the property without the approval of Metro Council, which hedoes not have at this time. Check your facts. And next time you're hiring, see if you can get someone who at least worked on a high school paper, or better yet, actually attended a journalism school. This could greatly improve the accuracy and balance of this "paper."

By: Blanketnazi2 on 11/4/10 at 5:11

seems as though everything the fair board or the fairgroundsheritage group did ended up on the back burner. that's why it has become the delapidated mess that it is. I'm happy to see a mayor who will step up to bat and fix it.