Tags:FROM THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA (full release)
A total of $240,625 was recently awarded to nine projects by the Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to environmental groups working in Western North Carolina. The fund was created in 1996 to improve surface water quality, enhance fish and wildlife management habitats, expand public use and access to waterways and increase awareness to help protect these resources.
The grant recipients are:
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society: $25,000 for the restoration and expansion of the ecofilter wetland located at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. Altamont Environmental has designed a major retrofitting of the existing ecofilter wetland that will reduce the impact from the sedimentation caused by the deteriorated storm drain along the private strip mall property. In late 2012, the Society will make improvements to the walkways and educational signage that will facilitate public access and awareness of the wetland area.
Haywood Waterways Association
• $51,000 to continue support of coordinated community efforts to address water quality issues especially non-point source pollution, implement the Haywood Watershed Action Plan and increase public appreciation of water resources through educational programs and publications.
• $20,350 toward costs of repairing up-to-five failing septic systems, identified by the Haywood County Health Department and Haywood Waterways, in the Richland Creek area of Haywood County.
• $80,000 to help fund year one of landslide hazard mapping in Haywood County. Building roads, homes and driveways in unstable or unsuitable areas is one of the leading causes of sedimentation impacting water quality. The landslide stability index information resulting from this mapping effort will improve all surface modification activities for decades to come. The methods and results have been peer-reviewed by multiple geologists, soil scientists and county officials.
Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District: $6,000 to support ongoing water monitoring research initiative in Madison County. Streams in Madison County show serious effects from livestock farming and road construction. Data from these samples will be used in the upcoming Ivy River Watershed Protection Plan currently in the development stage.
RiverLink: $25,000 toward development of the French Broad River Paddle Trail in Madison and Buncombe counties by publishing the FBR Paddle Trail Design and Use Guidelines and developing a Friends group for continued maintenance, in addition to construction of campsites and installing educational kiosks. The FRB Paddle Trail is a project for improving access, establishing campsites for recreational users, increasing public awareness of the river as a vital resource for the region and building stewardship.
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy: $20,000 toward a stream restoration and educational farm project on a recently donated agricultural preserve in Newfound Creek watershed. The project will restore up to 3,000 linear feet of a degraded, perennial stream draining directly to Newfound Creek and will result in numerous improvements to surface water quality and the establishment of a model farm demonstrating sustainable operations.
Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council : $8,020 for third year support of area and statewide participation by middle and high school students in the Envirothon program. Envirothon is a year-round program involving local Soil and Water Conservation District educators in classroom instruction and competitive team preparation. Local teams compete at the annual area competition in early spring held in Waynesville, and selected winners advance to the state and sometimes national level. Funds will cover travel and competition costs for youth from Haywood, Madison and Buncombe counties to the state level competition.
Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council: $5,255 toward the Youth Environmental Stewardship Camp 2012. Offered for ten years, the two one-week summer camps for students in grades 8 – 10 provide students with outdoor activities and in-depth lessons about the effects of pollution on water.
Since 1996, the Pigeon River Fund has invested $3.7 million in grants to improve water quality in the streams and rivers of Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties. The deadline for the next grant cycle is March 15, 2012.
The Fund was established through an agreement between Progress Energy and the State of North Carolina. The grant program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that serves Western North Carolina by professionally managing charitable funds, and by using those funds to make grants to meet regional needs. For information about the Pigeon River Fund, contact Senior Program Officer Tim Richards at 828-254-4960 or visit www.cfwnc.org.Read the full article