Press release from RiverLink:
RiverLink is now the holder of a conservation agreement on the historic Wilma Dykeman property in North Asheville. At a little over 11 acres in size, the property is the childhood home of Wilma, a well-known historian, environmental activist, and author of many books including The French Broad. Published in 1955, her book was an ode to the French Broad River and surrounding watershed. It was also a boldly honest profile of the river’s fragile condition, and directly addressed the impact of pollution on our streams and rivers.
The agreement ensures that the valuable forested land, rare plant species, and water features that Wilma loved so much will be protected forever. It also helps protect a portion of Beaverdam Creek, which flows through the property, drains much of North Asheville, and ultimately empties into the French Broad River. “We see this property and conservation easement as a guiding light for growing capacity within our community to recognize our connection to the environment and take meaningful action to conserve and protect our valuable land and water resources,” said Garrett Artz, Executive Director of RiverLink.
RiverLink’s land conservation program focuses on conserving smaller parcels of land that are adjacent to waterways. When the land near streams and rivers are protected and maintained with trees and native plants, it provides a permanent buffer that is an important component in mitigating the harmful effects of stormwater runoff, chemical pollution and erosion. The Wilma Dykeman conservation agreement is a shining example of these principles in action.
Wilma’s influential writings and passion for environmental and social justice helped shape RiverLink’s mission of promoting the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River watershed. Protecting the wild spaces she loved so much is a way of paying homage to her legacy.