McCrory Creek

ADOPTED BY: Pace Analytical National Center for Testing & Innovation
PROGRAM: Metro Adopt-A-Stream

The purple boundary in the map below outlines the adopted portion of McCrory Creek's watershed. When it rains, water that falls within this boundary eventually finds its way to the creek. This section of McCrory Creek is directly impacted by all land within the purple drainage boundary. The blue line represents McCrory Creek, while the highlighted yellow portion is the section adopted by ESC Lab Sciences.

Any stewardship activities you do within these purple watershed boundaries will improve the condition of your waterway.

Information on this page was compiled using resources from iCreek

McCrory Creek is considered unhealthy by the State of Tennessee as a result of three problems — Altered Streamside VegetationNutrients, and Siltation

Photo by Jed Grubbs

Photo by Jed Grubbs

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.

Photo by John Moran

Photo by John Moran

Nutrient issues in streams result from over-fertilized urban lawns and gardens. Other sources include pet waste, municipal wastewater systems, and dishwashing detergent. When fertilizers exceed plant needs, are left out in the open, or are applied just before it rains, nutrients can wash into our waterways over land or seep into groundwater. High concentrations of nutrients, found in human and pet waste, can contaminate our waters via leaking sewer lines or neglected pet waste. Increased nutrient concentrations cause nuisance or toxic algae blooms in waterbodies, killing fish and aquatic life. High concentrations of nutrients must also be filtered from our drinking water, since they can cause methemoglobinemia, also known as blue baby syndrome.

Photo by Paul Sloan

Photo by Paul Sloan

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.




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 questions or ideas for other activities, feel free to call the Cumberland River Compact at 615-837-1151.

If you see pollution occurring in your waterway, call Metro Stormwater at 615-880-2420 or email If possible, send pictures and/or video. 

Stones River Watershed Association plays a big role in stewarding water resources in your creek. Connecting with them to do activities below or to come up with other stewardship activities is highly recommended. 

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:

Photo by Jordan Meeter

Photo by Jordan Meeter

Allow for natural growth near your waterway. Allow for natural growth near your waterway.
If you live or work next to a waterway, leave a 35′ to 100′ no mow zone on its banks. Allow natural and native plant growth in this buffer area or plant native trees, bushes, and groundcover. Natives require less watering and fertilizer. This vegetation can filter pollutants before they reach our waterways and provide other water quality benefits that far exceed those of a mowed lawn. 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:

This stewardship activity will address the altered streamside vegetation, nutrient, and siltation problems in your creek.

Plant a rain garden.
Rain gardens can filter and infiltrate stormwater that flows across your yard. Resources include:

This stewardship activity will address the altered streamside vegetation, nutrient, and siltation problems in your Creek.

Photo by Jed Grubbs

Photo by Jed Grubbs

Reduce paved/impervious surfaces.
Impervious or impermeable surfaces, like pavement, contribute significantly to polluted stormwater runoff and alter stream flow habitat. If you've got excess pavement you'd like removed, consider a de-paving project with the Compact. Elsewhere, ensure that your downspouts drain to vegetation, gravel, or rainbarrels, rather than impervious surfaces. If you constructing or repairing your driveway, pervious pavement allows stormwater to infiltrate and filter through the ground. If you can’t do the whole drive, consider making only the portion closest to the street pervious. Resources include: 

This stewardship activity will address the altered streamside vegetation and siltation problems in your creek.

Photo by Jed Grubbs

Photo by Jed Grubbs

Remove unused dams or other human made stream obstructions.
If you have an antiquated or unneeded dam on your property, contact the Cumberland River Compact and/or The Nature Conservancy of Tennessee to discuss the feasibility of removing it. Walk the stream and inventory the location of any dams or obstructions, and let the Compact know so we can add these to our database or potential removal projects. Resources Include:

This stewardship activity will address the siltation problem in your creek.

Limit fertilizer and pesticide use. 
Fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants can attach themselves to soil particles and find their way to your creek. Only use fertilizers and pesticides when it's absolutely necessary. Follow application directions, and use only in recommended amounts according to the needs of your soil. Do not apply before rainfall. Consider passing out free soil sampling kits and educational materials somewhere popular or public in the watershed. Resources include:

This stewardship activity will address the nutrient and siltation problems in your creek.

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: 

Spread the word!
Do your neighbors, family, or roommates know about the problem? Now that you know how to be an effective steward, enlist the help of others in your neighborhood. Share iCreek or resources within it with your neighbors and encourage them to join the effort to protect your creek.



The Cumberland River Compact proudly works with Metro Water Services
to facilitate this and all other Metro Nashville stream adoptions.