Work with Harpeth River Watershed Association celebrated with Hometown Hero award
By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
After Darrell Waltrip presented Dorie Bolze, Executive Director of the Harpeth River Watershed Association, with a Hometown Hero Award for her commitment to protecting the Harpeth River and its watershed, Darrell Waltrip Automotive General Manager, John Gallagher presents Bolze with a receipt for a $500 donation made to the HRWA in her name. (Never missing an opportunity to promote, Bolze is also holding a HRWA car tag which may be purchased at www.reservemyplate.org.) Photo by Carole Robinson
For the past 12-years, Dorie Bolze has committed herself to the Harpeth River Watershed Association (HRWA), which is dedicated to protecting and improving the state’s scenic Harpeth River and the watershed that feeds into it.
Her work includes more than cleaning and protecting the river and its banks.
It means restoration of areas along the river and wildlife preservation that directly impacts water quality.
For her efforts with the HRWA, Bolze recently received the Darrell Waltrip Hometown Hero Award.
Since Bolze took the helm at the HRWA, the Lowhead Dam in Franklin was removed making the Harpeth River the second longest free-flowing river in Tennessee.
The Buffalo River is the longest.
She also implemented a River Restoration Project in Franklin, which has been recognized both statewide and nationally by the 2013 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award and the President’s Rivers Initiative.
The 125-mile Harpeth River runs through portions of three other counties, including the headwaters of Rutherford, Cheatham, where it empties into the Cumberland River near Ashland City, and Davidson.
To preserve local water quality, Bolze and the HRWA work to ensure that water flowing into and out of Williamson County is protected by developing a rapport with local and neighboring county governments and businesses and organizations.
They also collaborate on solutions to pollution and restoration projects.
That collaboration came in handy after the 2010 flood when volunteers and partners worked thousands of hours removing more than 153 tons of debris from the river and planting 12,656 trees to strengthen banks and provide food and shelter for wildlife.
It took more than 70 river cleanup and restoration events in the Harpeth River and its surrounding watershed to complete the job.
Bolze’s knowledge and experience with science-based conservation and environmental policies and practices through her past work with the Rainforest Alliance, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Audubon Society was also used when Franklin officials were reviewing options for a second sewage treatment plant three miles upstream from the city’s water treatment facility.
Inspired by the beauty of the river, Bolze and the HRWA are currently working on the “Paint the Harpeth” awareness campaign.
To that end a life-size painting of a river scene by Franklin artist, Dennas Davis was unveiled during September’s Franklin Art Scene.
It will be displayed Oct. 5 at the HRWA’s annual fundraiser—River Swing.
As part of Bolze’s award, $500 was donated to the HRWA in her name.
Posted on: 9/11/2013