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Protecting our Streams
Streamside buffers
Puckett Creek Water Quality Protection AreaStreamside buffers or a riparian zone are a vital part of the stream which provides habitat, holds the bank in place and regulates water temperature. An inadequate buffer along a stream causes more bank erosion and poor water quality. Sediment is lost every year from our local streams which results in acres lost. The city has several programs to improve streamside buffers.

Water Quality Protection Area (WQPA)
In 2007, Murfreesboro established a Water Quality Protection Area (WQPA) policy and ordinance. The WQPA requires any new land development along a stream to establish a 35 or 50 foot buffer, depending on the size of the stream. Residential yards are mostly likely within a WQPA if the residence was built in or after 2007 and are located next to a stream. WQPA buffers are a protected area including a no-touch zone with few exceptions. Residents are not allowed to remove vegetation, do earth work or construction, or apply herbicides.

In many cases a stream buffer is allowed to grow up for the first time after development occurs due to long time practices of tilling or mowing up to a stream.

Riparian Education and Tree Day 
Tree DayFor almost a decade the stormwater program has given out tree seedlings at its annual Tree Day event. Tree Day is an event where residents living along streams in a selected watershed are encouraged to pick up trees for planting along the stream banks. In addition to tree seedlings, all resident living along these streams receive information on how to set and the benefits of streamside buffers.

Watershed Management
Stream health is directly connected to land use is in the surrounding watershed. Typically as watersheds urbanize and become more impervious water quality goes down. Recent implementation of green infrastructure and LID techniques help the watershed function as it did before development. 

Watershed are analyzed on a regular basis to understand changes.

Change in imperviousness in Overall Creek

Stream Restoration Projects
Transforming Big Ditch into Garrison Creek
The channel formerly known as Big Ditch has a confusing history. Some say it was formed when a ditch was cut running alongside Rutherford Blvd causing groundwater to seep into the channel during the wet season. On the other hand, the there is a long history of a channel meandering through the farm fields which occupied the area.