Local volunteers added nearly 1,000 plants Saturday near the site of one of the bloodiest engagements of the Battle of Stones River.
Volunteers from the Stones River Watershed Association, MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, the Backpacking class, and the Master Gardeners of Rutherford County assisted park staff in planting nearly 1,000 native plants including Carolina buckthorn and swamp milkweed along the Stones River floodplain at McFadden Farm.
Before planting, park staff cleared non-native invasive plants like Chinese privet, which quickly dominate and outcompete native plants. The restoration of native plants improves water quality in the Stones River and habitat for wildlife and other organisms, according to a news release.
Volunteers play a critical role in the life of Stones River National Battlefield. In 2011, they contributed 14,000 hours devoted to clearing invasive plants, building fence, operating the visitor center, presenting talks, tours, living history programs, and working with the museum collection and library. Much of the work accomplished by the park would not be possible without volunteers.
The park’s next volunteer work day will be during National Park Week on Saturday, April 21. Volunteers will assist park staff with invasive plant removal and fence building projects. You can make a difference. If you
would like more information or want to contribute as a volunteer, please visit the park website www.nps.gov or call 615-893-9501. The new entrance to Stones River National Battlefield is located at 1563 N. Thompson Lane,