In efforts to improve the water quality within the French Broad River Watershed, RiverLink has spearheaded numerous water quality projects throughout the watershed including stream restorations, stormwater BMPs, rain gardens, and low impact development. To visit the projects, check out our self guided tours. All projects on public property can be visited, without prior notification; parks are open from dawn to dusk. School properties require visitors to sign in at the front office.
In 2006 RiverLink acquired this almost 6-acre junkyard covered in an 8 foot concrete cap. We recycled the concrete to keep it out of the landfill into asphalt with the wonderful guidance of D.H. Griffin wrecking company. RiverLink received EPA and Brownfield funds to conduct a phytoremediation, invented a battery operated irrigation system and developed a bacteria from the contaminates in the soil with RTI International and Dr. Ari Farro and sprayed the bacteria on native grasses. The bacteria creates no bio-hazardous waste and seesm from our initial test results to be doing the clean-up. Stay tuned.
In 2008 RiverLink restored portions of two tributaries to Hominy Creek and improve stormwater management issues contributing to the degradation of the stream. Rhododendron Creek, as it runs through West Asheville Park, and Buttermilk Creek through Malvern Hills Park provides opportunities to improve the water quality of the French Broad River. RiverLink worked with Baker Engineering, the neighborhood and the City of Asheville to develop successful stream restorations and a variety of stormwater BMPs in the parks.
In 2001, RiverLink identified an opportunity to develop a demonstration project taking a watershed wide approach to improving water quality within the Swannanoa River Watershed. This project identified 5 project sites to implement stormwater BMPs to treat non-point source pollution, and two stream restorations. Stormwater BMPs project sites include Evergreen Charter School and the Jones residence in Haw Creek, Riverwalk Park and Well Lot #6 in Black Mountain, and Azalea Park. We restored a small section of Haw Creek through Charlie Bullman Park, and restored over 1 mile of the Swannanoa River through Azalea Park. The Swannanoa Restoration is one of the most highly visited restorations for educational and recreational purposes. RiverLink’s work in the Swannanoa River watershed was recognized with an award from the EPA for taking whole sections of the river off the state’s 303 (d) impaired stream list. Our stream restoration on the Swannanoa River is now the training site for learning the Rosgin Stream Restoration methods. These courses are offered through NC State and other training institutions. This project also appeared as the cover for cover story and photo for Caterpillar Industries Magazine
Robinson Creek parallels Mills Gap Road in Arden, draining over 2500 acres of land, before it converges with Cane Creek. The Cane Creek watershed was identified by the NCEEP as one of 28 local watersheds with the greatest need for stream and wetland restoration. In 2007, RiverLink had the opportunity to work with a group of professionals and residences in South Asheville, to restore over a half mile, 3500 linear feet of Robinson Creek. Robinson Creek is classified as, trout waters, therefore beyond restoring the stream an additional 20 acres of riparian conservation easement was donated to protect these resources.
In 1999, RiverLink raised over $1.6 million dollars, to purchase and develop the former Asheville Motor Speedway, a 50-acre motor racetrack on Amboy Road. RiverLink donated the Speedway, with a conservation easement, to the City of Asheville to develop a new recreation facility, now Carrier Park. This park is now the most used recreational facility in the city of Asheville.
The French Broad River Park on Amboy Road is the first greenway built in the city of Asheville or the watershed. It was dedicated with a 21-gun salute, a marching band and thousands of happy and excited citizens in September 1994. RiverLink was instrumental in convincing CP&L to donate the land for this river park development. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation gave RiverLink a grant to hire a landscape architecture firm to develop the master plan and construction drawings.
The DOT enhancement program has funded a 2-mile river trail from the old Speedway to Hominy Creek Park. The DOT has also funded a greenway trail and sidewalk from the Farmer’s Market (just above Hominy Creek Park) to the Toyota Dealership on NC Route 191. See the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay slide show for more information regarding greenway development.
RiverLink is pleased to be working with yet another dedicated group of volunteers and professionals to create an innovative new demonstration project for homeowners. In the South French Broad neighborhood, a private property owner has offered her home as a demonstration site for an innovative whole systems permaculture project to reclaim urban water for jobs, the environment and food production. The project aims to implement low tech mechanisms to improve water quality, reduce runoff, and revitalize land for food production and community gathering space. Some elements included at the site are infiltration berms and swales, soaker works, sheet mulching, and microfiltration gabions (using mushrooms to filter out pollution!).
For Additional Information please check out the Project website: www.linkingwaters.wordpress.com