In an effort to name and protect the nameless tributaries of the French Broad River, RiverLink is holding "Name-that-Creek" events throughout the watershed. Allowing a community to name the creeks in their neighborhood gives them a sense of ownership and pride, making it more likely they will visit it and care for it. RiverLink initiated the "Name That Creek" project in 2007 just for this reason.
These are local, grassroots efforts in which the community submits suggestions for creek names and votes for the most fitting name at a creek-naming ceremony. After a name is chosen, it is submitted to the United States Geological Survey and eventually it becomes the official name for the creek.
Since the project began in spring of 2007, RiverLink has coordinated two contests with the help of community volunteers:
Buttermilk Creek, a tributary of Hominy Creek in West Asheville, took its moniker after the community came together and did some historical research. In earlier times, a milk company upstream emptied their trucks into the creek at the end of the day and the creek ran white. Hence the name Buttermilk Creek.
Big Branch, a tributary of Reems Creek in Weaverville, has also been named in the program.
Volunteers can help by bringing an unnamed creek to RiverLink's attention, passing out flyers to neighbors, and organizing a community "creek-naming ceremony."
RiverLink is currently seeking suggestions for nameless creeks throughout the watershed, including eight counties in WNC and four in Tennessee. Please contact RiverLink Volunteer Coordinator Dave Russell firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of any creeks that ought to be named.