Press releaseFrom The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
(January 2013) – A total of $215,520 was recently awarded by the Pigeon River Fund (PRF) of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to environmental groups working in Western North Carolina. The fund was created in 1996 to improve surface water quality, enhance fish and wildlife management habitats, expand public use and access to waterways and increase awareness to help protect these resources.
Since 1996 the Pigeon River Fund has invested $4,300,675 to support grant projects addressing water quality in Haywood, Buncombe, and Madison counties.
The recent grant recipients are:
Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District - $25,000 toward a permanent conservation easement protecting 200 acres of farmland in the Newfound community.
Haywood County Schools Foundation - $15,500 for the Waynesville Middle School Eco Revolution, which engages 300 students in service learning environmental and ecological projects as part of their study of water quality issues.
Haywood Waterways Association (HWA) - $51,000 to support coordinated community efforts to address water quality issues, especially non-point source pollution, to implement the Haywood Watershed Action Plan and to increase public appreciation of water resources through educational programs and publications.
Haywood Waterways Association - $29,250 toward cost of repairing failing septic systems in the Richland Creek area of Haywood County. This will provide funding to repair up to seven failing septic systems identified by the Haywood County Health Department and HWA.
Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District - $17,790 to complete the stormwater Low Impact Development demonstration project at the Mars Hill Town Hall featuring management practices that effectively reduce the volume of stormwater runoff from the roof and parking lot, providing groundwater recharge and water quality treatment.
Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District - $14,580 to further research and develop monitoring documentation for a pilot stormwater project using “mycofiltration” to address agricultural field runoff pollution.
ReCreation Experiences - $25,000 to install septic systems to eliminate the improper discharge of household waste into area streams using volunteer labor combined with low-cost materials.
Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council - $13,700 toward the 2013 Envirothon and Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Camp programs serving middle and high school youth. Envirothon is a school-based program involving local Soil and Water Conservation District educators in classroom instruction and competitive team preparation. The YES Camps are operated by the Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District in cooperation with the Haywood County Schools. This project provides two one-week summer camps for students in grades 8 to 10.
Southwestern NC Resource Conservation and Development Council - $23,700 to complete a conservation easement on the Bottoms property (2.14 acres) that includes 1,212 linear feet frontage on the Pigeon River in the Upper Pigeon River Watershed. This section of the Pigeon River has been designated as critical habitat for the endangered Appalachian Elktoe Mussel and helps support other aquatic species, including trout.
The next deadline for grant applications to the Pigeon River Fund is March 15. To learn more about the grant program, visit www.pigeonriverfund.org. Applications and instructions are available atwww.cfwnc.org.
The Pigeon River Fund was established through an agreement between Progress 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 Tim Richards at 828-367-9912. The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $11 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found at www.cfwnc.org.