Letter: Of vines and the river

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Just wondering who is responsible for the state of the land around the Swannanoa River. On Swannanoa River Road from Biltmore Avenue — especially near the Antique Tobacco Barn and on down toward Tunnel Road — the overgrowth over the river is a sorry sight indeed.

Vines have nearly covered up the river in some areas — poles, wires and trees are thickly covered with vines as well. Not a pretty sight and tragic that one cannot even see the river at all around there.

I know that there is a group called Riverkeepers? Can they help remove some of the growth? Does the city ever remove vines over a city river? Anyone know the deal?

— Joan Cope
Asheville

Editor’s note: Xpress contacted French Broad Riverkeeper Hartwell Carson at the nonprofit MountainTrue with the letter writer’s questions, and he offered the following information: “The French Broad Riverkeeper is a program of MountainTrue, and we work very hard to monitor, improve and protect the French Broad River Watershed, including tributaries like the Swannanoa River. Some of my co-workers at MountainTrue do a great deal of work removing and treating for invasive species in priority watersheds and conservation areas. The Swannanoa is a big focus for improving the water quality and removing trash, but we don’t have plans to do any invasive or other plant control in that area. We are always looking for volunteers to help our efforts and have a river cleanup on the Swannanoa River with Catawba Brewery and Asheville Greenworks scheduled for Sept. 7. [Info at] MountainTrue.org.”

Although this letter was published in print before the Sept. 7 cleanup, volunteers can take part in another upcoming cleanup Sept. 21, WNC Big Sweep, targeting the Swannanoa and other area rivers.

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2 thoughts on “Letter: Of vines and the river

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    DOT could do such a fine parkway thru there with a few posts in the water it could really be nice, but NO this high traffic street shall probably stay a bottleneck…

  2. Johnny to the A

    Joan, Thank you for highlighting such a concern critical to the wellbeing of Asheville residents. Let’s add this to the list of quality life issues city leaders need to address for us all! I do want to prioritize sidewalk smoothing for persons pushing their dogs in baby carriages. Maybe the discarded vines from the Swannanoa clean up can be woven into dampening material for the sidewalks?

    It’s upcycling at its best and a win win for the planet!

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