Givens Estates is a non-profit Methodist retirement community with a strong ethic of environmental stewardship. Their South Asheville campus contains steep slopes and two tributaries of Dingle Creek, a priority watershed for the City of Asheville due to poor water quality caused by stormwater runoff from rapid urbanization. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund awarded RiverLink funding to install stormwater control measures on Givens Estates to mitigate runoff from impervious surfaces on campus.
The innovative nature of the Givens Estates Stormwater Project is the research component, led by Robinson Design Engineers and Western Carolina University. Limited research has been conducted on stormwater control measures amongst the steep slopes of Western North Carolina, and this project provides a chance to remedy that. Robinson Design Engineers began by collecting pre-construction data within the two streams on campus. They then designed the stormwater control measures based on their findings and with input from other regional engineers. Post-construction data that is being collected and analyzed through Western Carolina University will help determine the effectiveness of the stormwater control measures.
Outreach and education are always an important component of RiverLink’s efforts to improve water quality. For this project RiverLink conducted outreach events within the Dingle Creek Watershed to educate residents about the impacts of stormwater runoff. Volunteer work days focused on improving the riparian habitat along the two streams on the campus, and educational signage was installed.
In addition to improving water quality and habitat within the Dingle Creek Watershed, the research findings of this project will advance our knowledge of stormwater management in Western North Carolina, where steep slopes are common.