$326,348 in Water Quality Grants Awarded

Projects benefit Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties

(December 2021) CFWNC's Pigeon River Fund awarded nine grants totaling $326,348 to environmental groups working to improve surface water quality, enhance fish and wildlife habitats, expand public use and access to waterways and increase water quality awareness in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties. Since 1996, the Pigeon River Fund has distributed more than $8.5 million in grants.

The most recent Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

$30,000 to Asheville GreenWorks to decrease the amount of litter, pollution, and erosive material that flows into waterways; increase citizens’ awareness about their roles in protecting water resources; and increase the capacity of local floodways to absorb runoff.

$30,000 to The Conservation Fund for conservation of the Maggot Spring Gap property in Haywood County, which will expand the Silver Game Land and improve water quality in the Jonathan Creek watershed, protect terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and provide better access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

$45,500 to The Environmental Quality Institute to support its VWIN and SMIE programs and AmeriCorps Project Conserve position, all of which support volunteer stream monitoring throughout the Pigeon and French Broad River Basins.

$40,000 to Haywood Waterways Association toward the costs of repairing failing septic systems for low-income homeowners. Projects are identified by the Haywood County Environmental Health Department.

$55,000 to Haywood Waterways Association for program and administrative support to improve surface water quality in Haywood County through non-point source pollution abatement and increasing citizen awareness of water resources.

$26,698 to Laurel Community Center Organization for multiple projects on the community center's campus that will improve access and educational opportunities regarding Shelton Laurel Creek.

$44,150 to Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council to address water quality in the Ivy River Watershed and Madison County waterways.

$35,000 to RiverLink for construction of the Southside Community Stormwater Project that will collect and treat runoff at Erskine Apartments to solve flooding issues and improve surface water quality in Town Branch.

$20,000 to Southwestern NC Resource Conservation & Development Council to help restore the Richland Creek Watershed in the Town of Waynesville by stabilizing the stream located at East Street Park.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is March 15, 2022.

The Pigeon River Fund was established through an agreement between Carolina Power & Light (now Duke Energy) and the State of North Carolina. CFWNC administers the grant program. For information about the Pigeon River Fund, contact Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz at 828-367-9913.