CFWNC’s Pigeon River Fund Awards $285,190 in Water Quality Grants

Press release from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

The Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) awarded 10 grants totaling $285,190 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 $9.5 million in grants.

The most recent Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

– $17,000 to Asheville GreenWorks (as fiscal sponsor for Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway) to restore the ecology and address runoff on a two-acre portion of the Hominy Creek Greenway at the confluence of Buttermilk Creek and Hominy Creek.

– $30,000 to Asheville GreenWorks to support its Youth Environmental Leadership Program and the water quality-related experiential education and conservation activities provided during the summer program.

– $15,000 to Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District for three hands-on environmental education programs in Buncombe County.

– $45,000 to Environmental Quality Institute for its VWIN and SMIE programs that support volunteer stream monitoring in Madison, Haywood and Buncombe counties.

– $15,840 to Haywood Waterways Association to repair failing septic systems and educate Haywood County citizens about water quality issues in the Pigeon River Watershed.

– $50,000 to Haywood Waterways Association for program and administrative support during the 2024 calendar year.

– $26,450 to Junaluska Sanitary District for urgent manhole repairs on its main trunk line that parallels the Pigeon River.

– $10,000 to Laurel Community Center Organization to provide administrative and project support to the community center so that it can serve as a site on the NC Wildlife Resource Commission’s new Blue Ridge Snorkel Trail.

– $49,650 to Mountain Valleys RC&D Council for 2024 operating expenses of Ivy River Partners.

– $26,250 to Tuscola High School to purchase and install watering systems for livestock, a stock trail road, and a riparian border fence on the agriculture education property.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is March 15, 2024.  Applications and instructions are available at

The Pigeon River Fund was established through an agreement between Carolina Power & Light (now Duke Energy) and the State of North Carolina.  CFWNC administers the grant program.  For information about the Pigeon River Fund, contact Senior Program Officer Tara Scholtz at 828-367-9913.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages over 1,200 funds and facilitated $34 million in grants last year bringing total giving to more than $362 million since its founding in 1978. Learn more at

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