Pigeon River Fund Awards $284,710 in Grants

The Pigeon River Fund recently awarded ten grants totaling $284,710 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 $7.1 million in grants.

The most recent Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

Asheville GreenWorks - $30,000 to decrease the amount of litter, pollution and erosive material that flows into our waterways and to increase awareness about protecting these resources, mainly through support to the Youth Environmental Leadership Program.

Center for Cultural Preservation, Inc. - $5,000 to complete River Heroes of WNC, a documentary film focusing on the history of waterway stewardship in Western North Carolina.

The Environmental Quality Institute - $18,700 for the Volunteer Water Information Network and Stream Monitoring Information Exchange biomonitoring projects that engage volunteers in monitoring water quality and providing data that assist partner organizations working on water quality in Buncombe, Madison and Haywood counties.

Haywood Waterways Association, Inc. - $39,300 for repairing failing septic systems for low-income homeowners. Projects are identified by the Haywood County Environmental Health Department.

Haywood Waterways Association, Inc. - $65,000 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.

Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District - $12,060 to continue monitoring the health of the Ivy River Watershed in cooperation with the Ivy River Partners and Environmental Quality Institute.

Maggie Valley Sanitary District - $10,000 to protect the Singleton property. Development pressures surrounding Maggie Valley have made land and water conservation opportunities critically important.

Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. - $44,650 for projects, including continued work with the Ivy River Partnership, septic repair and youth education programs.

Southwestern NC Resource Conservation & Development Council - $25,000 for the Envirothon and Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES!) Camp programs that engage middle and high school youth from Haywood, Madison and Buncombe counties in hands-on learning about water quality issues.

Town of Woodfin - $35,000 to support riverbank stabilization and restoration, wetland restoration and river access for Silver-Line Park, a new 5.5-acre park and the centerpiece of the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is March 15, 2019.

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. For information about the Pigeon River Fund, contact Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz at 828-367-9913.