Programs / Be River Responsible

Be River Responsible

The Harpeth River State Park has over 500,000 visitors each year, many of whom are unfamiliar with river etiquette, safety, and stewardship.

The Harpeth Conservancy along with state and local partners lead efforts to organize river clean-ups and educate recreators on responsible, safe, and respectful use of our State Scenic Harpeth River.

Be River Responsible


Our Areas of Focus

River Cleanups

Be River Responsible Biodegradable Bags

Since 2017 The Harpeth Conservancy with our partners have distributed over 500 biodegradable litter bags and hosted 5+ river clean-ups each year along the Harpeth River to remove trash.


  • Pick up litter bags at your local outfitters before you head out on the river and clean-up after yourself.
  • Volunteer for an organized river clean-up event or host your own! Clean-up events can be walking or floating in a canoe!
  • 2019 River Clean-Up Contest! 
    • This year we will have a cleanup contest with prizes available to individuals or groups that remove the most, funniest, weirdest, etc items from the river. Find out more and how to participate here, or click on the logo below.

River Cleanup Contest Logo

Education & Awareness

Be River Responsible Metal Signs

The Harpeth Conservancy helps educate individuals and households about reducing their impact on rivers and water quality as well as enhance wildlife habitat.


  • In 2019, Harpeth Conservancy will install Be River Responsible signs along the river banks that encourage responsible and respectful behavior. Please email if you are interested in having one of these signs on your property.
  • Environmental Education Programs:
    • “Lock your Load” – Help prevent trash from flying off the back of your pickup or vehicle by using proper tiedowns.
    • Go Strawless/Skip the Straw – We are working to promote best environmental practices like no straws, recyclable “to-go” containers, compostable napkins, etc.
    • Fertilizer/Nutrient Pollution – Lawn fertilizers eventually enter our waterways and may cause toxic algal blooms and “dead zones” that impact water quality and fish habitat. Soil testing and smart fertilization practices can help prevent this.