RiverLink believes it’s difficult to love and protect a water body that is nameless. As Gertrude Stein might have put it, “River is a river is a river is a river.” In pursuit of love and protection, the nonprofit initiated a Name That Creek project, an effort to locate unnamed tributaries in the French Broad River watershed and christen them.
RiverLink is holding Name That Creek contests throughout the watershed, which includes eight counties in WNC and four in Tennessee. The contests are local, grassroots projects in which the community submits suggestions for creek names and votes for the most fitting moniker at a creek-naming ceremony. After a name is chosen, it is submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey and eventually becomes the official name for the creek.
Since the project began in spring of 2007, RiverLink has coordinated two contests with the help of community volunteers:
• Buttermilk Creek,a tributary of Hominy Creek in West Asheville
Spearheaded by Doug Barlow of Malvern Hills
• Big Branch, tributary of Reems Creek in Weaverville
Spearheaded by Barbara Joshi of Hawk’s Landing
Volunteers can help by bringing an unnamed creek to RiverLink’s attention, passing out flyers to neighbors and organizing a community creek-naming ceremony. If you know of a qualified creek, send its name to … oh, hmmm. Well, e-mail education [AT] riverlink.org and they’ll help you get started.
— Cecil Bothwell, staff writer