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River Talks

River Talks

By Cumberland River Compact
River Talks is an educational series presented by the Cumberland River Compact. River Talks features conversations with experts, artists, researchers, professionals, and characters from around the Cumberland River Basin and beyond. In each episode of River Talks we explore a new topic related to the health, enjoyment, and protection of the Cumberland River basin’s water, people, and special places. Join us as we explore the Cumberland River in each new episode.
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Throwing Shade: Environmental Injustice and the Urban Tree Canopy (featuring Dr. Jeremy Hoffman)

River Talks

Throwing Shade: Environmental Injustice and the Urban Tree Canopy (featuring Dr. Jeremy Hoffman)

River Talks

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The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Tennessee and Beyond (ft. Matthew Gailani and Amanda McCrary Smith with the Tennessee State Museum)
From 1933 to 1942 thousands of men across Tennessee created some of our most treasured outdoor places like our Tennessee State Parks and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. These men were part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal-era program to employ and train young men to complete projects in support of the environment and conservation. Across our state and country, the impact of this program can still be seen today. In this episode of River Talks, we talk with Matthew Gailani and Amanda McCrary Smith from the Tennessee State Museum. Matthew is a museum curator and Amanda is the curator of Textiles and Fashion. Together they share the history and impacts of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Tennessee and beyond. Finally, we will share how history may be repeating itself with the Civilian Climate Corps.
42:49
August 23, 2021
Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice (featuring Rachael Hood)
Climate change is one of the most pressing problems faced by today’s global community. Across the United States, we see constant reminders that climate change is here: record heat in the Pacific Northwest, wildlife smoke that hazes the air in Tennessee, or 100-year flood events happening way more frequently than expected. And climate change is not just an environmental issue: it’s a social, cultural, economic, and political issue. Today’s climate movement is centering justice and equity in its approaches to solutions. Young people did not cause the problem of climate change, but across the world, they are becoming some of the most vocal advocates for change. Youth, like Greta Thunberg, are household names and are using their voices to stand up to world leaders with calls for action. And more and more young people are finding their place in the climate movement. In today’s episode of River Talks, we talk with Rachael Hood, an organizer with Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice. Rachael is a Master’s Student at West Virginia University and is one of several young people who recently started Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice to address climate change across Appalachia. We chat about climate justice, climate change in Appalachia, and the work her group is tackling in the region. About Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice connects youth organizers working on transformative climate justice across the region. You can keep up to date with their work on Twitter and Instagram or reach out via email (youthforacj@gmail.com). In this podcast: What is Youth for Appalachian Climate Justice and how did it get started? What is climate justice? Why is it important to have a space exclusively for Appalachian youth? What are the climate impacts in Appalachia? What is the petrochemical buildout in Appalachia and what are the impacts? How can you support climate justice in Appalachia?
29:09
July 27, 2021
Hill's Island: An Inspiring Nashville Island is Gifted to the Compact (featuring Kaaren May, Tara Armistead, Alice Hudson Pell, and Christie Henderson)
As Nashville continues to grow, properties along the banks of the Cumberland River have become coveted parcels of land for developers. There are plans to dramatically change several areas of the riverfront in the coming years, but one section will remain untouched, and under the continued stewardship of a conservation group. The TennGreen Land Conservancy has generously gifted Hill’s Island, located on the river in Madison, to the Cumberland River Compact. Hill’s Island is a 20-acre parcel of wooded land that stretches nearly a half-mile, creating a channel on the western side of the island. The area attracts a variety of wildlife, such as nesting birds and deer, along with various trees and plant life. Hill’s Island had been under the ownership of TennGreen Land Conservancy (formerly the Tennessee Parks and & Greenways Foundation) since 2006. TennGreen is the oldest accredited statewide land conservancy in Tennessee and will continue to help landowners and communities to protect large connected natural areas. In the years following TennGreen’s acquisition of the island, the organization planned to use the land as an outdoor classroom and wilderness park. These plans reflected both the values of keeping the land wild and rustic, while also providing a unique and responsibly managed educational venue for the community to build a stronger connection to the Cumberland River, along with the species residents who rely on it. TennGreen approached the Cumberland River Compact with this vision after determining the endeavor laid outside its primary mission. The Compact acquired Hill’s Island in June 2021 and looks forward to continuing to explore the opportunities to share the island for education, research, and recreation as well as become deeply familiar with the island’s historical significance.
46:03
June 16, 2021
Urban Streams: Challenges and Opportunities
Criss-crossing our city are thousands of miles of urban streams that we see near our homes, on our way to work or school. These urban streams are often highly visible and open peoples’ eyes to the beauty and wonder of water. But urban streams also face water quality challenges as they flow through densely populated urban areas. In this River Talk, we speak with Mary Bruce and Michael Hunt from Metro Water Services about the urban stream syndrome along with some of the opportunities to make improvements in our urban waters. Then we’ll chat with Gray Perry and Will Caplenor with the Cumberland River Compact about a current restoration project in the Brown’s Creek watershed and how we use science and data to inform our innovative restoration work. There are many ways that you can get involved in caring for urban streams. You can easily learn the name of the closest stream near you with the Cumberland River Compact’s tool iCreek. Or come out and volunteer with us! Our Brown’s Creek project will have several volunteer opportunities coming up where you can get involved in this work. Join us on Saturdays in June to DePave an old parking lot near Brown's Creek. Check out our volunteer calendar for all the upcoming opportunities. You can even adopt a stream near you to commit to be a steward for your local urban stream.  The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/ 
01:00:15
May 4, 2021
Backyard Biodiversity (featuring Kim Bailey and Richard Hitt)
The Cumberland River watershed is part of the third most biodiverse freshwater in the world. Thousands of species rely on the land and waters in our region. Yet across the world biodiversity is declining at unprecedented and alarming rates. When many of us think about where wildlife lives, we probably picture wide-open parklands, protected national parks, and remote areas away from people. But biodiversity is also found right near our cities. From April 30-May 3rd Nashville is one of over 400 cities around the world participating in the City Nature Challenge. During this one-weekend, people across the world get out to find, observe and share wildlife in their city. By using the app iNaturalist, these observations help scientists around the world understand what’s happening with biodiversity. You can find all the details about the event on our website. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/event/city-nature-challenge-2021-nashville/. In today’s episode, we talk with two biodiversity experts. First up, we’ll hear from Kim Bailey, a lifelong nature enthusiast and naturalist extraordinaire with Warner Park Nature Center. She’ll share more about how you can explore biodiversity in our cities. Then we hear from Richard Hitt, with the local chapter of WildOnes. Richard will share about what we can do in our own backyards to make them great habitat for Tennessee biodiversity. Resources mentioned in today's episode: Native Plant Finder: https://www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder/ Field Guide to Insects of North America: http://www.kaufmanfieldguides.com/insects.html Butterflies of Tennessee: https://ritavenable.com/?page_id=22 Wildflowers of Tennessee: The Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wildflowers-of-tennessee-the-ohio-valley-and-the-southern-appalachians-dennis-horn/1100003358 A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Including the Midwest: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-field-guide-to-eastern-trees-roger-tory-peterson/1119268741
36:33
April 20, 2021
Nature-Friendly Spring Gardening (featuring Bates Nursery, UT Extension, and Tennessee Invasive Plant Council)
Spring has sprung and for many people, it's time to refresh their gardens. The green spaces near our homes, whether they are simply raised beds or fully landscaped yards, can provide a place of joy and wonder right out our own back doors. But these spaces can also help support our waterways and nature. In today’s episode, we hear from three experts on best practices and tips for nature-friendly spring gardening. In this episode, we talk about native plants and home gardening with Tyler Blankenship from Bates Nursery, soil health with Dr. Robert Florence from the University of Tennessee Extension Soil, Plant, and Pest Center, and invasive plants with Kitty McCracken from the Tennessee Invasive Plant Council.  Find more resources from this episode on our blog: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/blog/ The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/ 
01:00:26
April 6, 2021
Water as a Human Right: Ep 4. Time to Thrive
Clean, accessible, and affordable water is a human right, but challenges across our water system impact how that right is realized. Aging infrastructure impacts the ability to provide water, contaminants of emerging concern impact safe water, and the cost of water burdens some populations more than others. Throughout our series, we have seen the ways that water issues today are connected to what has been done in the past. Since our present will soon become the past, we know the decisions we make today will influence people from decades. So how can we ensure we thrive in the future? We would like to thank Humanities Tennessee for their support of this series. Humanities Tennessee is a non-profit organization that fosters community and civility in Tennessee through engaging programs that examine and reflect upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture. https://www.humanitiestennessee.org/ Learn more about the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/ The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/  This project was funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Music: Courtesy of the Artist
34:39
March 16, 2021
Water as a Human Right: Ep. 3 Challenges to our Water
Challenges to our water system are nothing new. In the early days of our cities, the distribution and access to drinking water was a challenge. Today, we still see issues from aging infrastructure to emerging contaminants that impact water. In this episode, we’re going to go deeper into some of the present challenges to water and what we are seeing for the future. We’ll consider how these challenges impact whether water is water safe, sufficient, and accessible. And finally, we’ll look closer at the last component of water as a human right: affordability. Information on water rate structures was gathered from River Network's Drinking Water Guide. Available here: https://www.rivernetwork.org/connect-learn/resources/drinking-water-guide/  We would like to thank Humanities Tennessee for their support of this series. Humanities Tennessee is a non-profit organization that fosters community and civility in Tennessee through engaging programs that examine and reflect upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture. https://www.humanitiestennessee.org/ Learn more about the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/ The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/  This project was funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Music: Courtesy of the Artist
19:40
March 9, 2021
Water as a Human Right: Ep 2. The Water System
Water is central to life as a Tennessean. From industry to recreation and tourism, we use water in many ways. And of course, we need water to drink, clean, and bathe. Yet we often don't think about what it takes for our water to get to us. In this episode, we’ll explore our water system: the source of our waterways, the distribution systems, and how water is budgeted for its many uses. We will consider how Tennessee’s challenges to safe, sufficient, and accessible water impact how water as a human right is championed in our state. We would like to thank Humanities Tennessee for their support of this series. Humanities Tennessee is a non-profit organization that fosters community and civility in Tennessee through engaging programs that examine and reflect upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture. https://www.humanitiestennessee.org/ Learn more about the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/ The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/  This project was funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Music: Courtesy of the Artist
22:35
March 2, 2021
Water as a Human Right: Ep 1. History of Water in Tennessee
From a young age, water brings a sense of wonder and joy. Even as our childhood wonder of water may fade, water continues to be ever-present in our lives. In 2010, the human right to water was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council. In this season of River Talks, we are exploring water as a human right and how this has been championed and challenged in our state. We will take a close look at the past, present, and future of water in Tennessee through four episodes that weave together the perspectives from a variety of experts in water access, water distribution, and water equity. Throughout this series, we will de-construct current issues and develop a collective understanding for a path forward. In our first episode, we explore the history of water in Tennessee and how decisions of the past have implications today.  We would like to thank Humanities Tennessee for their support of this series. Humanities Tennessee is a non-profit organization that fosters community and civility in Tennessee through engaging programs that examine and reflect upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture. https://www.humanitiestennessee.org/ Learn more about the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/ The Cumberland River Compact is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance the health and enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its tributaries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Your donation today will help us ensure that the Cumberland Basin continues to enjoy the precious resource of clean and abundant freshwater. https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/  This project was funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Music: AudioJungle & Courtesy of the Artist
23:22
February 23, 2021
Notes on Nature
Nature has long been a muse of artists. And art inspired by nature is a powerful tool to communicate about the joy of nature exploration, the sorrow of environmental change, and the hope of our future. To inspire young nature writers, the Cumberland River Compact recently partnered with Student Literary Artists of Nashville (SLANT), a youth program from the non-profit The Porch, to host a student writing competition, Notes on Nature. For this competition, student writers explored nature through a scientific investigation and then used their close observation of nature to create their own original piece of writing. A panel of experts selected 6 pieces of writing from over 90 entries to digitally publish on our blog. And today we are excited to share the audio of the short stories and poems from these talented Middle Tennessee students. If you’d like to follow along or read the pieces featured, you can visit our blog at Cumberland River Compact.org/Blog Support the Cumberland River Compact through a Donation: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/ 
32:56
January 12, 2021
Life in Balance: Biodiversity in the Cumberland River Basin
In the Cumberland River Basin, we are lucky to share a home with amazing biodiversity. From birds to bugs to flowers and fungi, our region is full of awe-inspiring natural wonders. In this bonus episode of River Talks, we hear two stories about our region’s biodiversity. First, we will hear from the Cumberland River Compact’s Program Manager Jed Grubbs as he shares his personal journey of loving and discovering nature and his grandiose dream of knowing every plant and animal species in the Cumberland River Basin. Then, we will hear from Dr. Chris Barton who was part of our earlier podcast episode about the Reforestation of Appalachia’s Mine Lands. He will share about the unconventional restoration of the native and threatened white fringeless orchid found in our region. If you'd like to learn more about biodiversity in our region, visit cumberlandrivercompact.org/explore  Read Jed's Original Blog Post: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/2020/01/21/life-in-the-balance/ Listen to our earlier episode on the Reforestation of Appalachia's Mine Lands: https://anchor.fm/thecompact/episodes/Reforestation-of-Appalachias-Mine-Lands-el9c6a Support the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/
16:05
December 29, 2020
The Challenges, Vision, and Leadership that Launched EPA 50 Years Ago
On December 2, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrated its 50th anniversary. In this bonus episode River Talks we hear from Paul Davis on the challenges, vision, and leadership that launched the EPA. Paul Davis is a member of Cumberland River Compact’s Board of Directors. His career was with Tennessee’s Water Pollution Control Agency where he was state director for 24 years. Since leaving government service, Paul teaches classes on Clean Water Act programs through the National Stormwater Center. Read the article on our blog: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/2020/12/02/the-challenges-vision-and-leadership-that-launched-epa-50-years-ago/ Support the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/donate/
11:46
December 15, 2020
Telling the Story of Nature’s Unknowns (featuring Brooke Jarvis)
Nature’s stories are plentiful. From the drama when predator meets prey, to the beauty of spring’s first flower, nature always has something to say. But the story of nature is more than just science. It’s the lattice-work of connections between people and nature. Through storytelling, we can all begin to unravel and share these important stories. Brooke Jarvis is a writer who tells the complicated stories of nature’s unknowns. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the California Sunday Magazine. Her work has also been featured in the New Yorker, Wired, GQ, Harper’s and more. In this River Talk, Brooke joins me in conversation about how we can tell the story of nature’s wonder, amazingness, complexity, and beauty while also sharing the reality of biodiversity decline and environmental degradation around the world. Learn more about Brooke: https://www.brookejarvis.net/ Recommendations Mentioned in the Episode Brooke's Articles: The Teenagers at the End of the World The Insect Apocalypse is Here Paper Tiger Slippery Truths Books: Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell The Overstory by Richard Powers Other Recommendations: Margaret Renkl's NYTimes Column Discover Life in America Article: "Humans and Big Ag Livestock Now Account for 96 Percent of Mammal Biomass"
35:42
December 1, 2020
Regenerative Agriculture in the Fight Against Climate Change with Caney Fork Farms
Do you know where your favorite food comes from? We all eat, yet people are often disconnected from where their food comes from and how it gets produced. We may not realize the harmful impacts of what we eat on the environment and our climate. But agriculture can also be a powerful tool to protect our environment and mitigate climate change. Through implementation of sustainable best management practices, farms across the world have the power to make a big impact. In Tennessee, Caney Fork Farms is a leader in carbon farming and other practices to address the climate crisis. In this River Talk, the Cumberland River Compact’s Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager Nicholle Gerde joins Ranan Sokoloff the Vegetable and Agroforestry Manager with Caney Fork Farms to discuss their innovative practices and approach. Resources shared during the conversation:  Book Recommendations Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard Cultivating Resilience by Laura Lengnick Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver Cooperative Farming:  Route 9 Cooperative River Hills Harvest Ocean Spray Organic Valley Articles: The Biblical Flood That Will Drown California  Video of soil holding water / infiltration rate Iowa derecho in August was most costly thunderstorm disaster in U.S. history Food Justice:  Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition Trap Garden Growing Culture: Hunger for Justice Whetstone Magazine Casa Azafran Bliss and the Trash Plants Ranan's Recommendations: Get Outside! Read The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko 
43:19
November 17, 2020
World Class Kayaking in Tennessee and Beyond (featuring Dane Jackson)
Kayaking looks a bit different with elite kayaker, Dane Jackson. Dane is a professional kayaker with a deep appreciation for exploring, enjoying, and protecting our waterways.  He has won the Freestyle World Championships, the Whitewater Grand Prix three times, and kayaked over the second-tallest waterfall ever attempted by a kayaker. His name may also sound familiar; he comes from a family of kayakers including his father, Eric Jackson, who is also a professional kayaker and founder of the local Tennessee company Jackson Kayak. In this River Talk, Dane is joined by Meg Littman, Nashville-based journalist and writer, to discuss kayaking in Tennessee and beyond. Meg is an avid paddleboard and the founder of Nashville Paddle Company. She is also a former Board member of the Cumberland River Compact and former chair of the Dragon Boat Festival. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Send us your thoughts on this episode! Email us at rivertalks@cumberlandrivercompact.org or leave us a voicemail at 615-933-8837 Learn more about what was mentioned in this episode: Follow Dane on Instagram & YouTube Jackson Kayak Rock Island State Park Ruins Wave in Ottawa Learn more about Meg Littman Find recreation on the Ocoee River Watch Jojo Rabbit Find a recreation access point in the Cumberland River basin.
45:09
November 3, 2020
Reforestation of Appalachia’s Mine Lands (featuring Dr. Chris Barton)
Across Appalachia, thousands of acres of formerly mined land sits barren or has been converted to gravelly grassland. These sites were once home to thriving forest ecosystems and some of our region’s most astounding biodiversity. Through a specific reforestation process known as the Forestry Reclamation Approach, these sites can be improved by removing invasive and non-native plants, loosening compacted soil, and finally planting a mix of native trees. After reforestation, these sites have higher biodiversity, help naturally clean and filter rainwater entering into nearby streams, and provide long-term economic benefits to the communities they surround. In this River Talk, Cumberland River Compact Executive Director Mekayle Houghton and Senior Program Manager of Watershed Planning, Jed Grubbs, join Dr. Chris Barton with Green Forests Work to discuss this approach in the region. Chris Barton is the Founder and President of Green Forests Work, a non-profit restoration group, and also a professor of forestry hydrology and watershed management at the University of Kentucky. Through these dual roles, Chris leads research efforts and on-the-ground action to restore mine lands throughout Appalachia. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Send us your thoughts on this episode! Email us at rivertalks@cumberlandrivercompact.org or leave us a voicemail at 615-933-8837 Learn more about what was shared in this episode.  Chris Barton’s Research Forest Reclamation Act Green Jobs Blue Heron Historic Mining Community Kentucky Coal Museum  American Chestnut Foundation  Cumberland River Compact’s Recreation Map Big South Fork  How to Grow Truffles 
43:26
October 21, 2020
Throwing Shade: Environmental Injustice and the Urban Tree Canopy (featuring Dr. Jeremy Hoffman)
The cool shade of a tree is a welcome relief on a hot day. But in cities across the United States, tree cover is not equally distributed between neighborhoods. All cities experience the urban heat island effect, where cities are warmer than the surrounding rural areas due to the way urban surfaces, like parking lots and buildings, absorb heat. However, within cities themselves, some neighborhoods are hotter, and this discrepancy is often directly linked to urban tree cover. A recent study further linked today’s hottest neighborhoods to the historic and inequitable practice of redlining.  In this River Talk, the Cumberland River Compact’s Root Nashville Campaign Manager Meg Morgan joins Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Chief Scientist with the Science Museum of Virginia, to learn about his groundbreaking work on the connections between historic redlining, urban heat, and urban trees, and the implications for how we make equitable, inclusive, and just decisions for our community moving forward. Dr. Jeremy Hoffman is the Chief Scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia and an Affiliate Faculty in the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jeremy specializes in Earth science communication, data-driven and community-based participatory science, and science center exhibit content development. His work has been written about in the New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Richmond Magazine, the Richmond Times Dispatch, UPWORTHY, and many others. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Send us your thoughts on this episode! Email us at rivertalks@cumberlandrivercompact.org or leave us a voicemail at 615-933-8837 Learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode: Redlining Map of Nashville Article: “How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering”  NASA and Groundwork Map Climate Vulnerability  Video: Urban Heat Islands Community Science and Urban Heat Project  Park in a Truck City of Philadelphia  Root Nashville Neighborhood Planting Captain program  99 Percent Invisible, Podcast  Not Built for Us, Podcast  Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago  Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, Documentary
40:52
October 7, 2020
Black Faces, White Spaces: Systemic Racism and the Environment (featuring Dr. Carolyn Finney)
In May 2020, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minnesota. Within the same week, Christian Cooper, a Black man, avid birder, and member of the New York City Audubon Society was birding in Central Park when a white woman called the New York City police on him after he asked her to leash her dog. In her phone call to police, she portrayed Cooper as a threatening black man. As these events unfolded simultaneously, many people working in outdoor and environmental spaces reckoned with the traditional centering of white experiences in nature and the role that systemic racism has played in the environmental movement. In her book, “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors”, Dr. Carolyn Finney explores why African Americans are underrepresented in environmental movements. In this River Talk, Cumberland River Compact Executive Director Mekayle Houghton joins Carolyn Finney for a conversation on the historic and lived experiences that have brought us to where the environmental movement is today and how we can build a more inclusive, equitable and just future. Dr. Carolyn Finney is a storyteller, author and a cultural geographer whose work aims to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action.  She is currently a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College’s Franklin Environmental Center. Read more about Carolyn Finney and purchase her book at her website: https://www.carolynfinney.com/ Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Send us your thoughts on this episode! Email us at rivertalks@cumberlandrivercompact.org or leave us a voicemail at 615-933-8837 Learn More about the Resources Dr. Carolyn Finney Shared: Carolyn Finney's TED Talk MaVynee Betsch / The Beach Lady   John Francis Audrey and Frank Peterman Rue Mapp and Outdoor Afro Angelou Ezeilo and Greening Youth Lovecraft Country Sundown Towns Orion Magazine "I Am Not Your Negro" Documentary Film Article: "Liberal, progressive — and racist? The Sierra Club faces its white-supremacist history." Robert Hanna's Podcast with Carolyn Finney
54:22
September 23, 2020
Innovative Approaches to Litter Collection: An Interview with Vanderbilt University Engineering Students
The Cumberland River experiences a high concentration of litter after rainfall events. This litter eventually degrades into microplastics which can negatively impact wildlife and human health. Most of this litter flows into the Cumberland River through smaller streams. The Cumberland River Compact worked with Vanderbilt School of Engineering students to design a device that can be placed in smaller streams in Nashville to capture surface litter before it ever reaches the Cumberland. In this interview, we hear from the students about the creation of the device, lessons learned, and next steps for implementation.  Student Team: Andrew Albert, Mechanical Engineering Student Eric Shanahan, Mechanical Engineering Student Jim Kirk, Mechanical Engineering Student Mathew MacDonald, Mechanical Engineering Student Nicholas Spurlock, Biomedical Engineering Student Sam Rowland, Civil Engineering Student Serena Hostetter, Mechanical Engineering Student Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ SHOW NOTES: See photos from the project in this slideshow. Get involved in the Compact's Adopt-a-Stream program. Contact Ross Miller for more information: Ross.Miller@cumberlandrivercompact.org
26:34
May 28, 2020
Archaeology All Around Us: An Interview with Pre-historic Archaeologist Aaron Deter-Wolf
Archaeology is all around us in Middle Tennessee, whether we know it or not. Join us as the Tennessee Division of Archaeology's pre-historic archaeologist Aaron Deter-Wolf shares about the unique history of our region. Aaron will share about the history of Mound Bottom, the impact of the 2010 flood on ancient sites, how we know about plague in the historic record, and the crucial importance of our waterways through time. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Learn more about the Tennessee Division of Archaeology: https://www.facebook.com/TNArchaeology/ Harpeth River State Park: https://www.facebook.com/HarpethRiverStatePark/ Mound Bottom: https://www.facebook.com/MoundBottomTN/ Contact the Division of Archaeology: https://www.tn.gov/environment/program-areas/arch-archaeology.html
39:34
May 21, 2020
Here Comes the Sun: A Solar Energy Conversation with Jason Carney
Solar energy continues to grow in Nashville and beyond as a viable alternative to traditional sources of energy. Jason Carney with Energy Electives and the Tennessee Solar Energy Association has been a leader in developing solar across Tennessee for over 10 years. In this interview, Carney will share about the current and future of solar energy in Tennessee. He will also share his work to ensure that communities of color will not miss out on the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy and solar power. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ SHOW NOTES: Stepping Into The Sun: A Mission To Bring Solar Energy To Communities Of Color https://www.npr.org/2019/07/23/741952615/stepping-into-the-sun-a-mission-to-bring-solar-energy-to-communities-of-color Learn more about Energy Electives: http://energyelectives.com/ Get involved with the Tennessee Solar Energy Association: https://www.tnsolarenergy.org/   Check out the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association: https://tenneseiasolar.com/  Read about Jason's project at Whites Creek High School: http://energyelectives.com/wchs/
28:54
May 14, 2020
Nashville's Stories: An Interview with Dr. Carole Bucy
Nashville wasn't always known as Music City. Did you know it was at one point referred to as Powder City? Join us as we talk with Davidson County Historian Dr. Carole Bucy on stories from our region. Hear how the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic impacted Nashville, the role our waterways played in the Trail of Tears, a brief history of our drinking water system, and much more. Plus, you'll hear how powerful family storytelling and trips to a cemetery led to a career in history and Dr. Bucy's personal calls to protect water in our region. Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Check in with the Historical Commission for updates on Nashville 101 courses: https://www.nashville.gov/Historical-Commission.aspx   Learn more about the Trail of Tears in Nashville from the National Parks Service: https://www.nps.gov/trte/planyourvisit/places-to-go-in-tennessee.htm  Discover the history of Metro Water Services in Nashville: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5UBA20XC1A
34:43
May 7, 2020
10 Years Since the Flood: Nashville's Resilient Response
In May 2010, Nashville experienced severe flooding across the city. As Nashville recovered, the city aimed for policies and practices to ensure we can be more resilient to future flooding events. Roger Lindsey, the Floodplain Manager with Metro Water Services, will share how the city has responded, including new low-impact development guidelines, stormwater infrastructure, and floodplain buy-outs. Roger will also discuss flood mitigation work at our water plants that provides protection from future flood events. Check out Roger Lindsey's full presentation on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2AZ9hGYOGg Learn more about building a rain garden or installing a rain barrel with the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/what-we-do/urban-water-stewardship/ Learn more about Nashville's Low-Impact Development Manual: https://www.nashville.gov/Water-Services/Developers/Low-Impact-Development.aspx Sign-up to join the Citizens Water Academy: https://www.nashville.gov/Water-Services/Community-Education/Citizens-Water-Academy.aspx Contact Metro Water Services to report an issue: 615-862-4600 option 4 Support the Cumberland River Compact's River Talks program: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/
01:04:24
April 30, 2020
An Interview with Annie Goodhue: Retired Aquatic Biologist
Annie Goodhue is a retired Aquatic Biologist who now teaches the Creek Critters program with the Cumberland River Compact. In this interview, she shares about her work as a biologist, some of her favorite stories as a scientist, and why clean water is so important. Learn more about the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/ Donate to support River Talks programming and the River Talks podcast: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/ Check out our curated at-home environmental education resources, including the nature journal activity mentioned in the interview! https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/2020/04/08/activities-resources-for-environmental-education-at-home/
25:49
April 23, 2020
Mississippian Hero Twins of the Cumberland River
Kevin E. Smith, Professor of Anthropology at Middle Tennessee State University, will discuss some of the stunning human effigy ceramics created between A.D. 1300 and 1475 by ancient Native Americans centered in Nashville.  Two key characters presented time and again are the Middle Cumberland Hero Twins – revered deities whose stories center on their adventures at the Time of Creation. Like this talk? Support the free River Talks programming by donating today: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/
57:59
February 26, 2020
Going for Gold: Metro Water's Biosolids Program
Learn how Nashville reclaims water and valuable nutrients from the wastewater treatment process and generates methane gas for energy use. This sustainable recycling process benefits the neighborhood, the environment, and the local economy. Using naturally occurring microbes, the biosolids facility produces an organically rich, slow-release fertilizer, called Music City Gold, used by farmers and home gardeners to improve the health of the soil. Sonia Allman with Metro Water Services will explain the complete process and how it benefits the environment and contributes to the livability of surrounding neighborhoods and the downtown section of the Cumberland River Greenway. Support River Talks today by donating to the Cumberland River Compact: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/
42:55
February 26, 2020
Greenways: A Path to Mobility, Health, and Economic Investment
Greenways are more than just a scenic walking or biking trail. They provide alternative transportation, greater mobility, and a healthier lifestyle. In some cities, greenways have been the catalyst for economic investment. Mark Deutschmann will discuss the benefits of greenways, Nashville’s greenways network, and the development of the 23-mile City Central Greenway. Deutschmann is a community builder who has worked with neighbors, city leaders and social profits for 30-plus years revitalizing and creating walkable neighborhoods. Ever engaged in the community, he is the former chair of the Urban Land Institute Nashville, past president of Greenways for Nashville, and the author of One-Mile Radius – Building Community from the Core. Deutschmann founded Village and Core Development and leads The CityLiving Group team. To help us to continue to provide this free programming, you can donate here: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/
44:38
February 26, 2020
Stories and Lessons from an Antarctic Adventure // John Guider
Follow John's Talk with his photo presentation. In December 2018, John Guider boarded the 100-year-old, 3 masted sailing vessel Bark Europa as part of the volunteer crew and sailed over 2400 nautical miles to the frigid waters of Antarctica. The Europa was able to access remote bays, too small for the larger cruise ships and enabled landings to view the nesting grounds of the Continent's unique summer inhabitants. Many of the species are in danger of extinction due to the effects of climate change. In this episode, we hear stories from his journey crossing the famed Drake Passage and connect how our actions in relation to the environment can affect the landscape and well being of its wildlife halfway around the word. Donate to support River Talks programming and the River Talks podcast today: https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/get-involved/donate/
55:31
February 12, 2020
Tennessee’s Historic Bridges: TDOT’s Historic Preservation Successes
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 Follow along with the presentation slides referenced in this talk: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1filwmHq24B8uqAV4HqaA14W8nzGltNUx/view Did you know that TDOT historians work to save historic bridges on the state’s roadway network?  Tammy Sellers, a historian with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, will discuss historic bridge preservation in Tennessee by telling the stories of several of the historic bridges throughout the state that have been preserved by TDOT.  These preservation successes range from the only Baltimore-Petit Truss bridge remaining in the southeast to an early concrete arch bridge built by the state highway department.  Learn the stories of these bridges and the efforts TDOT has made in preserving these unique pieces of history that we drive over daily.
47:24
November 15, 2019
Tennessee's Sustainable Spirits, with Jackalope Brewery & Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 If you would like to follow along with the presentation slides, you can do so here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bzf_uxReF_ioUXhBNmh1Mkx3WnVfRlNON2lDSjdzMi1WcUFB/view Tennessee is home to world-class whiskey, wine, beer, and other fine spirits. The craft spirit producer's connection to the people, land, and resources is a relationship in which sustainability plays a vital role. Tennessee Sustainable Spirits is a voluntary recognition and technical assistance program administered by TDEC which seeks to reduce operational costs and environmental impacts for wineries and winegrowers, breweries, and distilleries as well as serve as a gateway to sustainability education through popular brands. This talk covers the ways the breweries can prioritize sustainability with the help of programs like Tennessee Sustainable Spirits, from water conservation to energy, to packaging and more. Are you a homebrewer or just like local wine, brews, and spirits? This talk is for you too! Learn some tips for small scale operations, and how to buy more sustainable products.  https://cumberlandrivercompact.org/events/river-talks/
48:01
November 11, 2019
The Taming of the Cumberland: A Brief History of Floods, Locks, and Dams on the Cumberland River and its Tributaries
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 If you would like to follow along with the presenter's slides you can do so here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iqx5oUMhiVIo0OS59zOaPl0gnfK7nYZm/view Annual flooding was a fact of life that early settlers had to contend with. As early as 1841, concerned Nashville citizens were holding meetings to develop a plan to construct a canal and a lock and dam above the city  to improve navigation, create water power for manufacturing, and decrease flooding.  The  editors of “The Nashville Daily Gazette” called for finding a way to “arrest the annual destruction of property, and the distress and misery”  caused by flooding.  The responsibility for doing this fell to the  Army Corps of Engineers.  After the Civil War,  the Corps  began to consider ways to make the channel of the river deeper for year-round navigation and prevent flooding  that included building a series of locks and dams  that could be raised and lowered as needed.  Thus began the taming of the Cumberland.
58:38
November 4, 2019
What's Up With Climate Change Denial?
DONATE:  https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309  Follow along with the presentation slides referenced in this talk: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vQ2qU8epHwuGs1q4vAVQd9URddEvRkyEKlXZ8QSDgpAHC0Ta-0p7pZBcgB0h-FEnw/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=30000&slide=id.p5 Emily shared a video during her presentation. Pause the podcast at 5:17 and follow along here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2euBvdP28c&feature=youtu.be Why do some people readily accept the science of climate change and others do not? Why do we see such differences in climate change skepticism in the U.S. as compared to other countries? Sociologist and sustainability professor Emily Stutzman will present on the social science behind the phenomenon of climate science denial. Drawing from sociology and psychology, as well as media studies, Dr. Stutzman will present strategies for engaging in productive conversations between those who accept climate science and those who do not.
30:27
October 28, 2019
River North: A Look at Nashville's Bold Riverfront Development
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 River North will reshape Nashville’s urban riverfront, ushering in a new era of connectivity between Downtown and the East Bank of the Cumberland. Just across the water from Germantown, the 125-acre River North district is the first work-shop-play-live development to incorporate the Cumberland River into a multi-faceted urban lifestyle. At this talk, Hal B. Clark, a Principal at Civil Site Design Group will give an update on the plans for the development, including preliminary designs for the community riverfront park.
48:40
October 21, 2019
Federal Rollbacks, Local Impacts: How National Policies Affect Tennessee's Clean Water
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309  Follow along with the presentation slides referenced in this talk: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vSDXg6CwDYIn_cMgyWHWzzl8PkM_fxuM3STV8PUXGomDzm3T_RmaYWuNE27gS0bCg/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=60000&slide=id.p1 Amanda shared two videos during her presentation. To view them, follow the links below: video one timestamp - 5:02 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGbO_5Hwqy0 video two timestamp- 11:52 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sce3hAOVxgI Amanda Garcia, Managing Attorney of the Nashville office of the Southern Environmental Law Center, will explain recent federal proposals from the EPA, Forest Service, and other agencies, and discuss their potential impacts on Tennessee’s clean water.
30:55
October 14, 2019
Restoring Habitat for the Eastern Hellbender on Private Lands
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 If you would like to follow along with the presenter's slides you can do so here! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-9oTYaknsUnmUwVh_f5sd-7p-Wu956Ce/view?usp=sharing Approximately 75% of the land base of the Southeastern US is devoted to farming, ranching and forestry.  Privately owned working lands play a crucial role in the provision of water quality and quantity, connectivity, and habitat availability, which are essential to the survival of many aquatic species, including the Eastern hellbender. The most serious threats to this once widespread aquatic species can be linked to unsustainable agricultural practices. Defenders of Wildlife is spearheading the Southeastern Hellbender Conservation Initiative (SEHCI); an effort to utilize Farm Bill programs to benefit both producers and hellbenders on agricultural lands in the Southeast. This partnership is a novel collaboration between conservationists, the research community, the US Department of Agriculture and the landowners themselves. Through SEHCI, funds are directed to producers who help stabilize stream banks, restore riparian vegetation, and improve soil and water health in important hellbender habitat. SEHCI provides an opportunity to address the root cause of dwindling hellbender populations to benefit both agricultural producers and wildlife.
46:40
October 7, 2019
The Importance of Water Quality and Microplastics in the Tennessee River and Beyond
DONATE: https://crc.kindful.com/?campaign=1038309 If you would like to follow along this talk with the speaker's lecture slides, check out this link! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hbp1Bx0eBfNLOEGXRBqyHDLwPazYWqyl/view During the summer of 2017, the Tennesswim Project saw Andreas Fath set a new world record for swimming the entire 652-mile length of the Tennessee River. Together with Project Director Martin Knoll, the swim also included the most comprehensive water quality analysis ever conducted on the river. A major finding of the project was the highest concentrations of microplastics ever recorded in any river of the world. The talk will include details of the swim, as well as results and implications of the water quality study.
58:23
September 30, 2019