Rotary Park Wall Branch Creek Restoration Project
Rotary Park and Wall Branch Creek lie in the heart of Montgomery County along the edge of the City of Clarksville. The area is dominated by high intensity agriculture, a large military base, and urbanization. Wall Branch Creek meanders through Montgomery County’s Rotary Park and provides cool vistas for park visitors and habitat for a broad variety of native wild life. This stream has a segment that receives concentrated storm water runoff from a relatively large grassy area, and this may be degrading the stream’s natural systems. Wall Branch Creek is currently on the State of Tennessee's 303(d) Impaired Streams list.
In an effort to protect and enhance this stream, the Montgomery County Storm Water Program, The Montgomery County Parks Department, the Tennessee State University Extension Service, and the Cumberland River Compact have joined forces to plant trees and understory plants to area that will help protect the stream. The “Stream Team” has collaborated to conduct several tree planting events in the last two years and recently received the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Five Star Restoration and NRT 2010 grant. This grant will enable us to reforest at least 15 acres of hillside in the park. We will stabilize 50 feet of stream bank along Wall Branch Creek. We will install a pervious concrete trailhead, establish a 43,560 square foot wildflower meadow, and remove a significant amount of invasive plants from the park. This will positively impact 950 linear feet of stream and significantly improve the 70 acre park.
The vegetation will slow the flow of storm water and act as a natural filter to prevent pollution and sediments from being deposited in the stream. In addition, slowing the runoff will reduce erosive damage to the stream floodway and riparian areas. Members of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Boy Scout Venturing Program, the Montgomery County Master Gardener's Association, the Cumberland River Compact, Tennessee Trails Association, Clarksville High, Northwest High, Rossview High, the Montgomery County Storm Water Program and concerned citizens participated in the latest tree planting project held at Rotary Park on Saturday, October 23rd. For this “Make a Difference” Day project, 75 1 ½ - 2 ½ inch caliper trees were planted as well as an assortment of over 50 1-gallon container native grasses.
Work will continue over the next few years at Rotary Park as we persistently remove invasive species such as privet and Japanese Hilt grass from the area and plant native species.