Founded in 1999 Harpeth Conservancy’s mission is to restore and protect clean water and healthy ecosystems for rivers in Tennessee by employing scientific expertise and collaborative relationships to develop, promote and support broad community stewardship and action. Harpeth Conservancy works with landowners, businesses, community, local, state, and federal decision makers and others to foster solutions that reduce pollution and maintain healthy areas.
Harpeth Conservancy works with landowners, businesses, community, local, state, and federal decision makers and others to foster solutions that reduce pollution and maintain healthy areas. The rivers in Tennessee, including the Harpeth, are part of the unique freshwater river systems of the Southeast which contain some of the greatest variety of aquatic life in the world.
A State Scenic River, the 125-mile long Harpeth River flows through both rural and rapidly developing urban and suburban areas of the greater Nashville region, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. From the rural headwaters near Eagleville to the Cumberland River near Ashland City, the watershed includes more than 1,000 miles of tributaries that drain approximately 870 square miles across Rutherford, Williamson, Davidson, Hickman, Dickson and Cheatham counties in Middle Tennessee. The Harpeth is one of the few entirely free- flowing rivers in the state and one of the most ecologically, culturally, historically, and recreationally significant rivers in Tennessee. However, water and land use practices have critically impaired the river and it was cited as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers in 2015.
Over the past 15 years, the organization has broadened both the scope and geographic reach of its work as it applied lessons learned on the Harpeth to rivers and streams across the state. In response to this evolution, the board of directors voted in 2017 to change the name to Harpeth Conservancy.
Supported by a broad network of volunteers, donors, and professional staff, Harpeth Conservancy has expertise in a range of disciplines including water quality science, environmental and conservation law and policy, sustainable land use planning, agricultural best management practices, volunteer and community engagement, and others.
The organization engages in land development decisions, promotes smart growth and agricultural management practices, designs stream restoration plans, assesses sewer and drinking water challenges, conducts river studies, ensures pollution threats are removed, promotes recreation and public education, and serves as a catalyst for effective statewide conservation policies.
Harpeth Conservancy uses its expertise, applied science and relationships with landowners, businesses, residents and policy decision-makers to develop solutions inclusive of the people who live and work here.
By seeking water quality solutions developed with diverse stakeholders, Harpeth Conservancy builds broad stewardship and shared responsibility for streams and rivers that are vital for the state’s economic well-being and quality of life.