10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Bring a friend and join us for a walking workday in the Parks as we celebrate our great trails and team up to improve them for all to enjoy. Register online here.
Warner Park Nature Center
7311 Highway 100
Nashville, TN 37221
May 1, 2017 marks the 7th anniversary of a natural disaster that devastated Nashville, mourned 11 lives lost, saw $2 billion in damage, and ultimately brought our community closer together. Out of the rain that fell seven years ago – 13.5 inches in 36 hours – was born a greater resiliency, an engaged citizenry and stronger social cohesion.
Some 29,000 Nashvillians, many led by nonprofit Hands on Nashville, volunteered with flood remediation for homes, businesses, and natural areas. Many felt that a sense of community bloomed once the flood waters receded. Neighbors helping neighbors made a tragic event easier to bear.
In the storm’s aftermath, the city’s Chief Service Officer under Mayor Karl Dean’s administration developed the “Stormbusters Blueprint” to help cities across the country implement volunteer led flood mitigation and other climate resiliency efforts, based on the work Nashville accomplished post flood. Learn more here.
Hundreds of thousands of citizens pitched in to conserve water in the days and weeks following the flood, as the city’s water purification plants were under strain. When city officials requested that residents conserve water, Nashvillians happily obliged to ensure sufficient safe drinking water for all. Learn more about conserving water at home and in the office from Socket.
Land Use Decisions
In the aftermath of the flood, the city worked towards mitigating further flooding by converting floodplain areas to greenspace and non-residential uses. Metro conducted a buyout of properties in flooded areas. These areas now help to buffer waterways, reduce polluted runoff, and lower the possibility of loss of life and property damage in the case of a flood. In, many cases, the new green areas are community assets, providing education and recreation areas to area residents.
(The Hands onNashville Urban Farm is a great example of flooded land being re-used as green infrastructure and also volunteer and education site)
Nashville is a quickly growing city with new residents and infrastructure being added each day. In response to this rapid growth, city leaders passed regulations to deal with stormwater runoff.
One example is ORDINANCE NO. BL2014-910, requires that residential construction, if creating significant additional impervious surface, “shall include provisions for the management of the first inch (1”) of rainfall runoff from an impervious area equal to the net added impervious area.” In other words, these structures can use rain barrels, rain gardens, pervious pavement, and other catchment techniques to slow and purify rain water before it makes its way into the Cumberland River. More information here.
Nashville’s award-winning Low Impact Development plan details exactly how to achieve this management of the first inch of rainfall. More information here.
Public awareness is key to the city’s preparedness. Now in its 5th year, the city hosts the “Urban Runoff 5K,” a run/walk to boost awareness of stormwater issues. Our very own Socket mascot was one of the race contestants last year!
In an effort to keep our water clean for all, city agencies work to educate the public about water pollution. Recently, Metro Water Services partnered with Metro General Services to place these signs on storm drains throughout the Fulton Campus.
Signs were also installed to designate Fulton Campus bioretention areas, which capture and purify rainwater, resulting in less polluted runoff during a flood event.
Residents have access to a rich suite of informational resources to help manage risk and protect lives and property in the event of a natural disaster.
Metro Water Services provides a webpage with flood risk information, including maps and links to vital data. One such tool is NERVE, or Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine. Available on the Web and in mobile apps, NERVE shows which roads are closed, where emergency shelters are open, and where water and food distribution centers are located. Another program is Nashville SAFE, which allows Metro to monitor actual and forecasted river stages and acquire information that can be used to dispatch resources and respond more efficiently when the water rises to a hazardous level. A National Weather Service page contains an array of rich data related to the Nashville flood of 2010.
Now, in 2017, because of our volunteer spirit and our investments to prepare for the worst, if and when an historic flood affects Nashville again, our city is more resilient and better prepared to spring back even stronger. Indeed, We Are Nashville!
From its construction as an early center for learning in 1860, Howard School was a haven of education. Yet despite its heritage of academia, the building sat vacant during most of the ‘70s until city officials decided to use it for office space.
In 2008, Howard Hall was transformed into Howard Office Building and is once again a center for education. Only this time, it is teaching visitors the art of sustainability.
In November 2010, General Services completed major green renovations of Fulton Campus, including Howard Office Building. In order to achieve LEED® Silver certification, Howard Office Building’s sustainability features include rooftop solar panels with a display in the lobby showing the electricity produced.
Other sustainable building features within the framework of the Howard Office Building include:
Use of native plants and reuse of stormwater runoff
Use of T5 bulbs, dimmable ballasts, day lighting controls and occupancy sensors
Use of regional materials such as ceramic tile made in Crossville, Tenn.
Updated HVAC equipment and ventilation systems
Low VOC paint, adhesives and glues
One of the rarest sustainable features of the building are the reuse of the existing structure and site. General Services was able to maintain the historical features of the building while achieving significant building performance gains. The Howard Office Building follows a template that increases the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water and other materials.
When the Green Ribbon Committee was launched back in 2008, Nashville was set on course to let sustainability guide the city’s future.
With that came the decision to require new buildings over 5,000 square feet to become LEED®-certified.
Today, the Mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee and General Services’ new Sustainability Division plan to continue that work and continue to incorporate LEED into new and renovated Metro buildings.
The LEED® rating systems were established by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000, and were developed through an open, consensus-based process led by LEED® committees.
LEED® certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED® provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
In November 2010, General Services completed construction on its first LEED® facilities, with a major renovation to the Howard Office Building and Lindsley Hall. The renovation included a 30 kW solar photovoltaic system with a display in the lobby showing the public the electricity produced from the panels.
With Lindsley Hall, General Services was able to maintain the historical features of the building while achieving significant building performance gains. The campus parking lot includes low impact development measures, such as pervious pavement and natural plantings.
The Howard Building served as a school until 1969. Metro acquired the building in 2000 and utilized the space for several city services including Social Services until renovation began in March 2008. The $39 million renovation of the building took nearly four years to complete. The 145,00 square feet building also houses the city's Technology Information Services and Finance Department in addition to the county clerk and property assessor's office. Home to three elected officials, two Metro departments and the Center for Responsible Energy (CORE), HOB is a leader in environmental performance.
Now General Services manages over 21 LEED®-certified facilities and continues to renovate and construct new buildings to the rigorous LEED® standards. Learn more about our LEED® facilities here.