May Monthly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This is my last newsletter as the Executive Director of RiverLink. Family circumstances are taking me out of the State and so I will be leaving RiverLink in mid-June. 

I want to thank you for your support and enthusiasm for the RiverLink mission over these past five years, and ask you to continue your generous participation in RiverLink’s work in the days to come. Our board and staff are extremely engaged and will be working to take advantage of the opportunity to find the next leader.  I hope you will join me in supporting them and cheering every step they take forward in this process.

This is an amazing and unique organization and will continue to be so into the future. RiverLink was created by the Chamber of Commerce to connect the City of Asheville with a revitalized Riverfront. That mission grew into the eight counties of the watershed and followed a holistic approach to River revitalization best embodied by the three words: Experience. Learn. Conserve.

One need only look as far as the RADTIP and growing amenities on our Riverfront to see how successful our efforts have been. The opportunities we have to transform a former junkyard into a public park at Karen Cragnolin Park, the emerging Woodfin Greenway and Blueway, the missing mile in the North RAD, and the future vision for the Swannanoa River will consume the remainder of this decade.

Building on our success and seeing the visions come to life is well worth supporting. Please feel free to reach out to our board chair, Dr. Anne Keller ( if you have input on the Executive Director search. I will be working until my last day in June to make sure the next person can successfully pick up the mission with our team.

Applying the expression from an earlier career I wish you all Fair Winds and Following Seas. I will be rooting for the next set of leaders and hoping to return to tour the completed, revitalized projects along the Riverfront. This has never been about one person. It only happens because of you and others in our community who have invested in RiverLink’s mission.

Thank you!

Garrett Artz, Executive Director

Program Updates

Water Quality

We are thrilled to announce that we received a $30,000 Pigeon River Fund award for the Southside Community Stormwater project. The funds will help turn the concept documents into a final design that can be used for construction of this important project. The Southside Community Stormwater project was identified in the Central Asheville Watershed Restoration Plan as an opportunity to improve water quality in Nasty Branch and address pressing community needs, including flooding issues at Erskine Apartments.

Environmental Education

We were amazed with the response to our summer RiverCamp this year! All the slots are now full, and we look forward to sharing our love of the river with this years amazing group of campers. Also, stay tuned for the upcoming announcement of winners for the 2021 Voices of the River Art & Poetry Contest.

Other News

Plan for new park along Woodfin Greenway

Park Project Updates

Construction at the new Silver-Line Park in Woodfin is moving right along! This image shows the wetland feature that will host a variety of native plants as well as help filter stormwater runoff before it enters the French Broad River. The Park will provide a wide variety of amenities including access to the river for recreational purposes, a children’s playground, and a connection with the Craggy Mountain Rail Line. 

We Still Need Your Input!

The Town of Woodfin is still seeking public comment on the newly adopted Riverside Improvements and Expansion Master Plan to be included as an appendix in the Master Plan. The comments will help inform the next level of design for this important initiative that is part of the larger Woodfin Greenway and Blueway project. Access the public comment survey here