Today is Friday, July 21, 2017

Grant to create wetlands, arboretum at fairgrounds

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Coordinator of the Healthy Watershed Initiative Trisha Johnson said the grant did not require a specific match from local government, but she noted there is $35,000 calculated into the project budget for in-kind work from local governments.

I am sure by the end of the project there will be a lot more contributed through in-kind work and labor, Johnson said.

Vaden noted the project will not only help improve stormwater runoff at the Ag Center, but will implement green infrastructure improvements that can meet new requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency and be applied across the county.

One of the first phases of the project will include pervious parking, which Vaden explains is a way to lay concrete, asphalt and pavers so that stormwater can still infiltrate into the ground.

Its going to infiltrate into the ground like its supposed to, which will greatly help the runoff at the fairgrounds, Vaden said.

One of the more unique aspects of the project will be a constructed wetland, which Vaden said is to be located where the current runoff accumulates at the fairgrounds.

As it stands right now, Vaden said the majority of runoff flows into one area and they plan to construct the wetland there to not only alleviate that runoff but also to provide some educational opportunities.

Wetlands are major contributors to stormwater management, its the way nature intended it, Vaden noted.

After the wetland is constructed, Vaden said universities in Middle Tennessee can send students to monitor and track stormwater changes and study how the projects and green infrastructure affects runoff for municipalities. He also said the wetlands could be a unique biology study as well as it develops.

Vaden said they plan to have other educational opportunities as well for local schools such as a planned arboretum, or a collection of tree species, which will be the first in Wilson County.

Vaden noted the plan is to have at least 30 species of trees across the fairgrounds that can provide learning opportunities for local science teachers and their students.

Weve met on-site and talked to contractors, he said. I think we were selected for this project because of the way we work together in the county. This is going to be a great project.

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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