In 2015, the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP), the Cumberland River Compact (CRC), and the
Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization came together to create a climate adaptation plan
for Davidson, Wilson, Williamson, Sumner, Rutherford, Robertson, and Maury Counties in Middle
Tennessee. Development of the plan came about because all parties recognized the critical need for
local community and regional resilience against the impacts of climate change by protecting forest and
water resources. This climate adaptation plan for the Nashville Area MPO region presents the results of
a regional team effort, deep and broad information gathering, critical analysis and thoughtful planning.
The Nashville Area MPO took a local leadership role to engage with the Climate Solutions University:
Forest and Water Strategies program (CSU) and lead the region toward climate resilience with an
adaptation plan that addresses the local climate risks and fits local conditions and culture. This
achievement was made possible by the guidance and coaching of the CSU program created by the MFPP
in partnership with the CRC. The goal of CSU is to empower rural and urban underserved communities
to become leaders in climate resilience using a cost effective distance-learning program. The result of
this collaborative effort is a powerful climate adaptation plan that the region can support and
implement in coming years. The outcome will be a region that can better withstand impacts of climate
upon their natural resources, economy, and social structure in the decades to come. The prior efforts of
the NashvilleNext planning process and the 2010 Sumner County Climate Adaptation Plan were critical
precursors to this document.
The region is already experiencing impacts from climate change. Extreme weather events, increasing
temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and rapid growth and development pose threats to the ecosystems, infrastructure, and people of the region and require collaborative action at all levels
(government, nonprofit, business, and citizen) to respond adequately. These changes will impact the
region’s access to clean drinking water, clean air, fertile soil, outdoor recreation, economic opportunity,
and can pose serious public health risks. These changes have a disproportionate impact on the
communities and people in the region that are most vulnerable because of their socioeconomic status,
health, age, or preexisting conditions.
Through collaborative partnerships, people, government, business, organizations, and the natural and
built environment can become resilient to the climate and non-climate stressors facing Middle
Tennessee. The region will support livable, prosperous, sustainable, and diverse communities when
leaders and citizens across all sectors and jurisdictions prioritize and sustain collaborative action for
As part of the development of this plan, four goals were identified to achieve climate resilience in the
- Goal 1: The region implements preemptive adaptation measures and responses to extreme
weather events that are planned, coordinated, and timely.
- Goal 2: The leaders and residents of the region value and protect water resources and
prioritize improved water quality and conservation for the benefit of human and
- Goal 3: The region’s growth and development promotes equitable prosperity and is
sustainable for people and natural resources.
- Goal 4: The region’s leaders and organizations work collaboratively and effectively in all