Town Creek, Murfreesboro Tennessee

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Town Creek

About Town Creek

Town Creek Traveling through Murfreesboro in 1875
Town Creek is in the Stones River watershed. While the stream is near downtown Murfreesboro it is often overlooked. The stream has two main focal points of human interaction and a large culvert in between leaving some people to believe that they are two different waterbodies. Town Creek has a storied history and can be looked at in three segemnts: the spring, the wetland, and the creek on the other side of the culvert.

The Spring


Murfree Spring has been an extremely important part of Murfreesboro for a long time. The spring was the site of the city's water plant, a bottling plant and now the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring.

Tcwiki2.jpg Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring transformed the old plant setting to an outdoor and indoor learning classroom. Among other things, the museum uses the spring to teach about aquatic habitat. The spring itself has a quite large recharge basin which has been dye traced by Albert Ogden Ph.D. of Middle Tennessee State University.

The Wetland

The wetland and the presence of invasive parrot feather

From Murfree Spring Town Creek turns into a wetland of rich habitat diversity. A elevated boardwalk offers an inside view of the wetland. A person can walk the boardwalk and read the educational signs along the way.

The culvert and the other side


Town Creek travels into a culvert at the downstream side of the wetland, where Town Creek sadly becomes forgotten. Somewhere in the mid 1940's to mid 1950's the stream was piped in order to construct US 41, otherwise known as Broad Street. This twin culvert travels underground a long way to disguise any tie to the wetland. The stream once again becomes a focal point for public events when it runs next to the Cannonsburgh pioneer village. Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village The village holds many festivals during the year where citizens find cool shade next to the stream. The stream then enters Lytle Creek where the greenway trail system follows Lytle Creek to the Stones River.

Problems in Town Creek

Town Creek has the advantage of being largely surrounded by parks which gives high visibility but still suffers from many problems. The wetland has at least a couple of invasive species that threaten natural habitat. Another problem is pollutants possibly carried to the stream by the storm drainage system. While trash racks have been installed on many outfalls in the wetland, chemicals and other pollutants are making their way into the stream. The Murfreesboro Water and Sewer department is developing a watershed management plan for Town Creek to pin point these problems. Extensive monitoring and sampling of the stream is ongoing. MWSD would also like to see a commercial education program in the basin to raise awareness of the stormwater run-off to the wetland.


City of Murfreesboro Stormwater Department