MTSU Stormwater Program reaches out to student volunteers for local litter, pollution cleanup events

Photo by Sarah Taylor / MTSU Sidelines Archive

Story by Ariel Reiter / Contributing Writer

Volunteers are needed for the Stream and Greenway Cleanup on Thursday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 29 at the Stones River Battlefield and McFadden Farm in Murfreesboro. The cleanup is part of an effort to help preserve and keep Rutherford County clean of litter and pollution.

According to the volunteer cleanup MTSU Stormwater Program, most local pollution and litter in Rutherford County goes directly into streams and rivers. Stormwater is one of the main reasons that pollution ends up in local streams, and the water that is supplied to most of the households in Murfreesboro comes from Stones River.

The Stream and Greenway Cleanup are examples of some events that hope to address local pollution and are available to volunteer for throughout the year. For the cleanups on Sept. 27 and Sept. 29, 150 volunteers are needed. 

“Volunteers are the heart of our program,” said Cynthia Allen, an environmental specialist and one of the organizers for the MTSU Stormwater Program. “One side benefit is that these (events) give us a chance to build relations and spend time with our student volunteers too while having a good time.”

Allen added that volunteers are always needed for this cause, and they will need all the help they can get to ensure that Rutherford County’s land is clean and taken care of.

“We work really hard to go through campus, and we try to work really closely with the avenues on campus that the students go through,” Allen said. “For ongoing outreach, we try and share pollution prevention education as well so that the volunteers can take home knowledge and continue to protect our streams through simple, easy actions.”

The MTSU Stormwater Program is also teaming up with MT Outdoors for the cleanup effort.

MT outdoors will be renting out kayaks to volunteers so trash that is unreachable by walking alongside the river can be retrieved. There are limited boats available, and volunteers must pre-register to ensure their place for cleanup.

To register or for more information, contact Community Volunteer Ambassador Claire Casey at 615-893-9501 or by email at Students can contact MTSU campus contact Cynthia Allen at 615-898-2660 or by email at Kayak or canoe rentals can be reserved here. Carpooling may also be available.

Stream and River cleanup is Sept. 27 at 2 p.m., and volunteers will meet at the Manson Pike Trailhead. Greenway and National Public Lands Day is Sept. 29 at 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at McFadden Farm (Battlefield Tour Stop #6). Volunteers are encouraged to bring work boots, long-sleeved shirts, work pants, work gloves and water bottles.

To contact news Editor Caleb Revill, email

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