2011 Harpeth River Stewards



Scenic Rivers Administrator

Jane Polansky has been vital to HC’s successful efforts with our Waterway Flood Recovery Project.  She put HC In touch with Work Force Essentials which included much needed support for 3 clean-up coordinators for HC for 6 months in 2010 via a federal stimulus grant.  Jane attended most of the clean-up events, scouted for clean-ups, and helped with logistic and recruiting volunteers.   Jane’s efforts to help with waterway flood clean-up included coordinating with many HC partners throughout the region.  Jane has also been the driving force behind the vision for the Harpeth River Blueway which is a series of public access points along the Harpeth River that has resulted in several new accesses in Cheatham and Davidson Counties.  She launched the state Blueway effort during her time as the Manager of the Harpeth River State Park where over 250,000 people come to enjoy the Harpeth River each year.  She also spearheaded the effort to secure several new properties for the Park that have enabled land access to the Mound Bottom archaeological site and to have a better paddling access at the Narrows.

STATE ELECTED OFFICIAL: Representative Phillip Johnson 

As the State Representative for District 78 that represents Cheatham County, parts of Fairview, and western Montgomery County, Phillip Johnson has been very supportive, both personally and financially, of HC’s Flood Recovery Project.  Phillip Johnson helped out on clean-up projects and underwrote the costs for dumpsters as part of HC’s efforts that have removed over 50 tons of debris from the Harpeth River in Cheatham County alone.   Rep. Johnson has been instrumental with the Harpeth River Blueway as well by getting all of the signs produced that will be installed along the river and at bridges crossing the river in Cheatham County.  The signage is an important part of the Blueway that will contribute to the safety and enjoyment of people floating the Harpeth River.


Director of Metro Water Services 

As director of Metro Water Services, Scott has championed the development of extensive capital improvement plans that continue to upgrade the Nashville’s sewer system.  In addition, he has also spearheaded key efforts on storm water management with new ordinances and incentives for new and re-development and for retrofitting existing areas.  These significant efforts are the foundation for improving water quality and enhancing community economic value.  Scott also worked tirelessly along with a dedicated staff during the historic May flood of 2010 to protect and minimize damage to critical drinking water and sewage treatment infrastructure that serves most of Davidson county and Brentwood in Williamson County, and to get the systems functional again as soon as possible after the flood.

See Metro Press Release for Scott Potter’s Service:


Metro Nashville Council Member (District 6)  2003-2011

Mike Jameson, in his eight years as metro councilman for district 6, was a champion for sustainability, water quality and overall environmental protection.  He was lead sponsor or co-sponsor on many important ordinances that were adopted related to stormwater, green parking, and green streets.  Mike has been a driving force for river front park that includes the redevelopment of an industrial brownfield into a significant community green space along the Cumberland River.

RESTORATION AWARD:  Luke Sullenger, Boy Scout Troop 13, Eagle Scout Project

Luke Sullenger contacted HC as an Eagle Scout candidate looking for a project that would benefit the river and the community.   Luke organized a restoration project to protect part of the City of Brentwood’s greenway trails on the Little Harpeth River close to the city’s River Park.   He coordinated the entire Franklin based Troop 13  to help protect over 150 feet of river bank that was eroding toward the greenway trail.   In addition, Luke and his troop helped remove several large, downed, trees from Fivemile Creek in Franklin that were blocking the water flow and causing severe bank erosion.

AGRICULTURE AWARD:  Rex and Ginger Shirling- Osburn Family Farm

Rex and Ginger Shirling have participated in several Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs to implement various farm practices on their Osburn Family Farm that have created wildlife habitat, improved farm production, and enhanced water quality.  They are working with HC on additional efforts to create more vegetated stream buffer and limited stream cattle crossings on more fields of their farm that is a part of Arrington Creek subwatershed in Williamson County.


Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association’s Canoe Access Committee  

For over six years TSRA’s Canoe Access Committee has been devoted to improving access for paddlers to Tennessee’s wonderful and scenic rivers.  The committee’s vision is to establish an access about every four hour’s float on every waterway that can be paddled in the state. The approach has been to engage as many stakeholders groups as possible, including many watershed organizations, state agencies like TDEC, TWRA, and TDOT, and federal agencies like the National Park Service. This committee was largely responsible for revitalizing a dormant Park & Float program between  TDOT and TWRA that will evaluate potential canoe access at state highway bridges.  The committee also has been responsible for at least two new accesses along the Harpeth River and incredible upgrades at existing access points.

ORGANIZATION: Presbyterian Campus Ministry

The mission of the Presbyterian Campus Ministry (PCM) at Vanderbilt  is to provide area college students a place for Christian community and spiritual growth by: deepening relationships through fellowship, experiencing God through worship, and encouraging discipleship through service.  Volunteers from PCM showed up at many clean-up events with HC’s Waterway Flood Recovery Project to help clean and restore the Harpeth River and its tributaries after the Historic May 2010 Flood.


Ryan Glore and Aaron Ferris responded to our emergency outreach for volunteers following the Historic May 2010 Flood. Ryan and Aaron both participated in the most clean-ups of any individual (5 or more) in our Waterway Flood Recovery Project.  Wonderful volunteers with a great spirits, dedication, strength, and get-it-done attitudes, Ryan and Aaron have been invaluable to our flood recovery efforts.  Ryan, a flood victim himself, met Aaron at our cleanups and they have formed a lifelong friendship.

SMALL BUSINESS:  Mr. Haul it Away – Cheatham County

Larry Repasky, also known as Mr. Haul it of Cheatham County, donated countless hours, tools, gas, and equipment to our Waterway Flood Recovery Project.  Larry had many friends affected by the flood in Cheatham County and started to volunteer immediately after the flood.  When the Waterway Flood Recovery Project was created he dedicated himself to aid in the efforts to help restore the Harpeth River.

SMALL BUSINESS: All American Disposal— Cheatham County

Scott Schlarb, owner of All American Disposal, responded to our call for debris removal in Cheatham County.  Scott volunteered many hours, supplied a trash truck, and paid for the disposal of flood debris.  Scott also donated to volunteer supplies as well.  His connections with Glen Taylor of Taylor Construction, who relieved our volunteers with a bobcat, brought us a shining light in a field of flood debris.

SMALL BUSINESS: South Side Disposal – Cheatham County

South Side Disposal is a waste disposal business located in Cheatham County.  Gary Petty, owner of South Side Disposal, donated time, trucks, money, and workers to our Waterway Flood Recovery Project.  Gary came to multiple events, supplied trash trucks and man hours, as well as underwriting the disposal costs of the debris.  Gary was very flexible and  always willing to work with our organization even at last minute notice.