Press release from Pisgah Trout Unlimited:
Pisgah Trout Unlimited (Pisgah TU) has received a grant of $8,000 through the Trout Unlimited Embrace A Stream grant program for its Cantrell Creek Trail Project.
Pisgah TU applied for the grant in cooperation with Asheville’s Land O’ Sky Chapter of Trout Unlimited, which is partnering with Pisgah TU to share the balance of the cost of the project and the volunteer labor required.
Cantrell Creek is an important feeder stream into the South Mills River, one of the area’s most notable and popular wild trout streams. Restoring Cantrell Creek will reduce sedimentation and improve fish habitat in the South Mills River.
Volunteers will use grant and donation proceeds to relocate an existing trail so visitors can enjoy the area without having to walk and bike directly in the streambed. The relocation of the trail will prevent significant amounts of erosion, habitat loss and sediment load in the creek and downstream. It will be built to sustainable trail standards, ensuring that the natural ecosystem will not suffer from the many who come to enjoy its natural beauty.
“With this grant and the generosity of our communities, we will be able to engage volunteers from across the region to work on a stream and trail system we all know and love as residents, hikers, bikers, and anglers,” said Sara Jerome, Pisgah Chapter President. “We deeply appreciate the financial and volunteer commitments of our friends at the Land O’ Sky Chapter, which helped make the project possible.”
Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited that provides funds to local chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Since its inception in 1975, the grant program has funded more than 1,000 individual projects for a total of $4.4 million in direct cash grants. Local chapters and councils contributed an additional $13 million in cash and in-kind services to EAS funded projects, for a total investment of more than $17 million.
“We’re thrilled to support these chapters in their efforts to improve such an important local stream system,” said Russ Meyer, chair of the Embrace A Stream grants committee. “This year’s grant applications were extremely competitive, but the proposal for Cantrell Creek stood out in our committee.”
Along with the $8,000 grant, the chapters will be entered in the Embrace A Stream Challenge, a week-long online fundraising contest running Nov. 6-12, sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited to provide an additional $50,000 in cash prizes to these important conservation and education projects.
To help the chapters win additional funds for the Cantrell Creek Trail Project, readers are encouraged to visit www.embraceastream.org/projects/pisgah from Nov. 6-12 and make a donation of as little as $10 to help unlock prizes ranging from $250 to $5,000.
“The economic impact of outdoor activities in our area is considerable,” said Jerome. “It’s estimated that trout fishing alone contributes nearly $400 million a year to our economy right here in western North Carolina. However, along with that benefit comes additional concern for the environment and a greater need to balance ease of access and enjoyment with conservation and preservation. We think the Cantrell Creek project is a great example of that balance and are pleased that the grants committee felt the same way.”