Parkway, environmental groups receive water quality grants

Parkway, environmental groups receive water quality grants.
These and other projects across the mountains are the award recipients of the Pigeon River Fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
The fund recently awarded $182,440 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 $6,371,037 in grants.
The grants will enable us to begin a community and stakeholder planning process to think about the future of the property, discuss what’s on the land, what’s special about the resource, what are community interests, and what are the interest of adjacent communities.” Another grant recipient is the French Broad River Academy, a private boys school off Riverside Drive in Woodfin.
The academy received $14,960 to develop wetland areas on the school’s campus adjacent to the French Broad River, to re-establish a natural area that will help filter rainwater and runoff before it makes its way into the river.
The wetland area is the first in a multi-layered plan to improve the environmental sustainability of the campus, and to teach the middle-schoolers about environmental stewardship first-hand, said John Douglas, the school’s development director.
Haywood Waterways Association: • $13,950 toward the Shelton Branch Stream Relocation Project at Vance Street Park in Waynesville.
The Conservation Fund: $30,000, contingent upon other funds, toward the acquisition of 93 acres known as the Urban Property in Haywood County on the north side of Maggie Valley.
The property helps protect the watershed that provides the valley’s drinking water.

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