Pigeon River Fund Awards $223,686* in Water Quality Grants

Haywood Waterways' Kids in the Creek, photo by Michael Oppenheim.

(May 2024) The Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) awarded nine grants totaling $223,686* 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 $9.7 million in grants.

The most recent Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

$25,000 to Asheville GreenWorks to expand its Trash Trout and StreamKeeper programs.

$9,150 to Haywood Waterways Association to continue its wastewater management programs by assisting in the repair of failing septic systems and educating Haywood County citizens about septic tank maintenance.

$9,000 to Laurel Community Center Organization for continued support of its STREAM Team program for kids and families and for grounds keeping and maintenance of its creekside areas.

$27,010 to MountainTrue to expand real-time E. coli monitoring locations, continue recreational water quality monitoring for the Swim Guide, and conduct follow-up testing to track pollution sources.

$35,000 to RiverLink to restore riparian areas in three public parks in Asheville.

$30,000 to Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy for an agricultural conservation easement project that will permanently protect 489 acres of productive farm and forest land in Haywood County.

$29,461 to Town of Mars Hill to purchase gravel, timbers, and interpretive signage to address potential erosion issues along the Banjo Branch feeder stream.

$34,065 to Town of Montreat to support debris removal, bank stabilization, and riparian buffer installation along a future creekside ADA-compliant accessible trail.

*The total grant amount includes one $25,000 grant that remains confidential at this time.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is September 15, 2024.

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.