Press release from RiverLink:
RiverLink, in partnership with the Town of Woodfin, Buncombe County and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, is excited to announce recent developments on the Woodfin Whitewater Wave project.
On July 21, 2020 the Riverside Park Improvements & Expansion Master Plan was released. This conceptual design, prepared by Equinox Environmental and S2O Design & Engineering, beautifully captures the vision for the expansion of Woodfin Riverside Park, which includes a much anticipated, world-class Whitewater Wave feature sure to draw local and regional river enthusiasts. Public comments on the Master Plan are being collected now with a survey available at www.riverlink.org. The Town will consider including a variety of amenities in the park plan such as: a grand entry plaza with a pavilion overlooking The Wave, a viewing amphitheater, a play slope, beach access near The Wave, ADA fishing dock, a pump track, and more.
“We couldn’t be more excited that the Woodfin Riverside Park project is moving towards completion,” said Brennan Splain, co-owner of French Broad Outfitters. “This project will have many benefits to us as a business, but more importantly to the paddling community as a whole. With the finalization of the greenway, locals will have the opportunity to shuttle themselves back upstream after a float via bike on a separate, safe, greenway removed from a very busy road. Lastly, businesses along the corridor can expect increased visitation without having to add parking spaces!”
In addition to the release of the Master Plan, on July 26 the Town of Woodfin finalized the purchase of the 4.5-acre Waste Pro site, located near the Old Leicester Highway bridge along the French Broad River. This former dumpster storage area will be completely transformed and ultimately incorporated into the Master Plan for the Riverside Park expansion. “AvL Technologies is very excited about the acquisition of the Waste Pro property and what this will mean for the expanded Riverside Park and the Whitewater Wave. We appreciate the Woodfin Commissioners and everyone involved in helping to make this acquisition possible,” said Jim Oliver, Owner and Founder of AvL Technologies.
Both the Riverside Park Master Plan and the purchase of the Waste Pro storage site are key steps in furthering the broader vision of the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway project. “The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) is delighted to see continued
progress towards completion of the Woodfin Greenway and Blueway,” said Chris Cavanaugh, BCTDA Interim Director. “This project is vital to the ongoing enhancement of the French Broad River throughout Buncombe County, and our partnership with the Town of Woodfin and Buncombe County represents an important collaboration.”
The project is an ambitious re-visioning of the French Broad River as a regional recreational focal point that will revitalize the town’s interface with the French Broad River by connecting people to each other, to public space, and to the river. “The Town is so happy to see this major project begin to take shape. The vision is becoming reality, thanks to the support of Woodfin’s voters, the generosity of our funding partners, and the partnership with RiverLink and Buncombe County,” said Woodfin Mayor Jerry Vehaun.
Nearly $13.5 million in funding has been identified to complete the five miles of greenway, the creation of Silver-Line Park, and expansion of Riverside Park to accompany the Whitewater Wave. Included in this amount was a $4.5 million bond referendum approved overwhelmingly by 70% of Woodfin voters in November 2016 and a grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority for $2.25 million.
For more information on the project contact RiverLink Executive Director Garrett Artz at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Woodfin Town Administrator Eric Hardy at email@example.com.
Since 1987 RiverLink has worked with local citizens, community leaders and businesses to address the environmental and economic health of the French Broad River Watershed. The organization is a key player in revitalizing the Asheville riverfront district, providing recreational and educational amenities for citizens and visitors, and promoting conservation and environmental education initiatives. For more information visit www.riverlink.org.