It’s Fall, See What’s Been Going on Around the Watershed

PLEASE JOIN US if you share RiverLink’s vision for a revitalized French Broad River watershed. From RiverLink’s stormwater programs that work with community members to promote improved water quality–to expanded public access and new recreation sites along the French Broad River–to educating area youth about the delicate life within our waterways–your commitment makes all the difference and we cannot do it without you!

Please consider making a gift today to support RiverLink’s work. Regular monthly gifts of any amount have the greatest positive impact to sustain our efforts to enhance the health and vitality of this watershed. Sustaining gifts are easy to make via our website! Together we can ensure that our community has healthy streams, robust watershed education, and world-class recreation opportunities along a beautiful French Broad River.

We welcome our new Development Manager and AmeriCorps staff members!

Development Manager, Susan Andrew, brings extensive experience as a fundraiser through previous positions at Buncombe County Schools, Communication Mark!, and as an independent consultant. She and her husband Mark arrived in Asheville in 1995 and were immediately enthused by RiverLink’s work to restore and revitalize the French Broad. Susan brings a master’s in biology, plus experience in land and water protection from her time as the staff ecologist at the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition. Her professional path also includes work as a science journalist, and her environmental news stories have received recognition from the Sierra Club, Wild South, the NC Press Association, and others. Susan looks forward to helping RiverLink enjoy expanded support from those who share our ecological address!

Ben Duerr, Hannah Coats, and Maya Balassa, our new AmeriCorps staff members, have been busy educating students about our watershed, leading volunteer workdays, and helping with our stormwater initiatives. We are excited to have this talented group of young conservationists on our team. They bring a lot of energy and humor to the table. Keep an eye out for them in the field and say hello.

Profiles In Partnership

It takes a village to revitalize a riverway, and RiverLink has some amazing partnerships that make it happen. A couple of recent examples include Caleb Rudow, who celebrated his birthday by launching a fundraiser on Facebook, highlighting his plan to paddle the entire French Broad River. He made RiverLink the beneficiary and raised over $1,200! Way to celebrate your special day, and the French Broad! THANKS CALEB!!

And recently outdoor adventure outfitter Second Gear made RiverLink its profit-sharing partner, donating a percentage of all sales for the month. Now we’re thrilled to have Second Gear as a neighbor here in the River Arts District, as they’ve opened a much larger space that features a café and a counter dedicated to cycling, paddling, and other outdoor adventure bookings. THANKS and welcome to the RAD, Second Gear!

A huge thank you to Jaya, 10-year-old founder and creator of Mountain Light Candles, for donating $100 of her candle sale proceeds to RiverLink. We greatly appreciate your generosity, advocacy, and entrepreneurship, and it was a delight to meet you and your dad, Joshua, in person.

Program Updates

Early College Students Are Planning a Park

On October 1st students from Buncombe County Early College had their first event for the Azalea Park Project. Over the year these students will work with each other and professional mentors to design and propose improvements for Azalea Park. This project is a partnership between RiverLink, the Early College, and Constructive Learning Design as well as many local professionals.  

Students have been challenged to create solutions for various issues at the park such as invasive plants, eroding banks, excessive trash, and lack of accessibility features. Their main driving question will be “How might  we redesign Azalea Park for the benefit of people and nature?” At the end of the year, they will propose their solutions to a panel of stakeholders who will then select 1-3 proposals to implement. Funding has already been secured to help make these student proposals a reality and help them make a tangible impact on the community and the river.

It’s fall! Along with beautiful leaves & cozy sweaters comes clogged storm drains, flooding streets, & polluted rivers

Help us reach our goal of 100 storm drains adopted by the end of 2021! If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity this year to help keep your community clean, safe, and beautiful, look no further than the Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program. This volunteer program allows individuals or businesses to adopt a storm drain in the Central Asheville Watershed and keep it clean by picking up trash and debris several times a month. The adoption process is easy: pick a storm drain using the link below that you would like to adopt, fill out the adoption form, meet with a member of RiverLink to go over the responsibilities, and begin! 

Grazing Goats Help Remove Invasive Plants

Areas overrun with kudzu are more than common in our area. Ever wonder what can be done to get rid of a vine that can grow up to a foot a day? Goats are a great option!  We currently have several goats working away to clear out one of our properties, and they are doing a fantastic job!

The goats are provided by Mountain Goatscapes with funds generously donated to us by Elisa Carvajal for this invasive species removal project.

Upcoming Events

What a cute Mayfly

Creepy Crawlies in the Stream – Adult Education

Celebrate Halloween and come join us as we learn about all of the creepy crawlies that live in the stream. These little bugs are super important to our aquatic ecosystems and may not be as scary as you think. We’ll look for these creatures in a local stream and talk about all of the things that make them special. This is a ‘pay what you can’ event that helps support our RiverRATS program which hosts free lessons with schools throughout the watershed. 

When: Saturday, Nov. 6th from 10am-12pm

Where: Bee Tree Creek at Charles D. Owen Park

Stormwater Management for Homeowners Workshop

Come learn about stormwater control measures, like rain barrels, rain gardens, and constructed wetlands, that can address drainage issues, decrease stormwater runoff, and add beauty! The workshop will also include planting some features in a rain garden being constructed as part of RiverLink’s DIS in the Mountains Project and the chance to win a rain barrel!

When: Friday, October 15 2021 from 3-4:30

Where: MLK Park on 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

We look forward to seeing some of you out there!

Preserving a Picturesque America – The French Broad

Check out this showcase of local artists that have contributed art works in a variety of mediums, depicting scenes along the French Broad River from the original 1870s publication “Picturesque America.” You’ll see exciting, new works by some of our region’s finest artists. Proceeds from the sale of artwork will contribute to the conservation efforts of RiverLink and other local organizations. 

When: Now-Oct. 27th, various times

Where: The Wedge Foundation at 5 Foundy St, Asheville, NC 28801

What a great way to support local artists and the environment!