|CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas, Senior Program Officer Tim Richards and Vice President for Programs Philip Belcher. |
(October 15, 2015) Senior Program Officer Tim Richards received a Friend of the River Award at the Land of Sky 2015 Annual Banquet. The award, presented by Karen Cragnolin, Executive Director of RiverLink, and David Gantt, Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, honored Tim's years of work improving water quality in the French Broad watershed through his work with the Pigeon River Fund.
Tim has been a true friend of the river for many years. He began providing staff support for the Pigeon River Fund in 2002. During the course of his work, he has come to know Buncombe, Madison and Haywood counties very well, and has developed excellent relationships with local government officials, NGOs working on water quality and education initiatives in the region and property owners who are committed to protecting water resources in Western North Carolina. The Pigeon River Fund has awarded more than $5.3 million to support water quality initiatives and educational projects in the region since it began.
Tim works closely with grant applicants to fully brief them on submitting successful applications. Largely due to his attention to detail and cultivation of enthusiasm and vision, Pigeon River Fund grants have contributed to the development of teaching materials and classroom curriculum on water quality topics; citizen-led watershed plans; restored riparian zones; development of canoe launches, greenways and nature trails; best management practices demonstration projects; water quality testing programs such as VWIN; wetlands protection; and much more. His staunch support for the citizen-led Pigeon River Fund Board has enabled the Fund to protect water quality in Western North Carolina and to achieve broad regional impact.