Pigeon River Fund Awards $262,155 in Water Quality Grants

Projects benefit Buncombe, Haywood and Madison Counties

Photo courtesy of Asheville GreenWorks.

The Pigeon River Fund recently awarded nine grants totaling $262,155 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 $7.6 million in grants.

The most recent Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

American Rivers - $30,500 to support the second and final phase of design, engineering and permitting of the Beaverdam Creek dam removal project in Canton, NC.

Asheville GreenWorks - $25,000 to decrease the amount of litter, pollution and erosive material that flows into our waterways and to increase awareness about protecting resources, mainly through support to the Youth Environmental Leadership Program.

The Environmental Quality Institute - $40,000 to help fund its VWIN and SMIE programs, as well as its AmeriCorps Project Conserve position, all of which support volunteer stream monitoring throughout the Pigeon and French Broad River basins.

Haywood Waterways Association - $50,000 to continue coordinated community efforts to address water quality issues, implement the Haywood Watershed Action Plan and increase public appreciation of water resources through educational programs and publications.

Haywood Waterways Association - $17,655 toward the costs of repairing failing septic systems for low-income homeowners identified by the Haywood County Environmental Health Department.

Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council - $40,000 for projects including continued work with the Ivy River Partnership, youth education programs, and the purchase and installation of a Trash Trout Junior to collect litter in a local stream.

Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council - $12,000 to decommission the package sewage treatment plant behind Laurel Elementary School located on Shelton Laurel Creek in Madison County.

North Carolina Arboretum Society - $22,000 to complete the transformation of a sediment catch basin into an innovative stormwater wetland complex by converting part of a parking lot to permeable pavers.

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy - $25,000 for survey costs to purchase the 448-acre Chestnut Mountain Park property in eastern Haywood County, formerly known as the Canton Motorsports property. The acquisition of this tract will permanently protect Wildlife Resources Commission designated Trout Waters and nine miles of stream.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is March 6, 2020. Review applications and instructions.

The Pigeon River Fund was established through an agreement between Carolina Power & Light (now Duke Energy) and the State of North Carolina. The grant program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.