Smith Mill Creek Watershed Plan

a healthier Smith Mill Creek Watershed

Smith Mill Creek is one of the most polluted streams in Buncombe County. Beginning on the slopes of Spivey Mountain in the rural Leicester Community, Smith Mill Creek winds it way through the commercial corridors of Leicester Hwy. and Patton Ave. before reaching the French Broad River in the River Arts District.

In 2018, the stream was listed as impaired by the State of North Carolina for not supporting healthy aquatic insect populations, which are known as the “canaries in the coal mine” for stream health. The major water quality issues in the Smith Mill Creek Watershed are in large part due to the surrounding urban environment. Runoff from hard (impervious) surfaces and aging infrastructure have resulted in water quality issues that include excessive sediment, nutrients, and bacteria.

Smith Mill Creek Watershed Restoration Plan

The Smith Mill Creek Watershed Restoration Plan was created in 2017 by RiverLink, Wildlands Engineering, and the City of Asheville with the following goals:

  • Investigate water quality, flooding and related issues through stakeholder input and direct observation.
  • Enhance and expand a network of partners focused on watershed and social improvements in the watershed.
  • Identify opportunities for education, community projects, and larger capital projects to improve water quality.

The Smith Mill Creek Watershed Restoration Plan includes three useful apps.

  1. The Outreach & Education application (app) is a great resource for the general public.
  2. A Report and Engage SMC crowdsourcing app allows residents to report water quality issues or share events related to improving the Smith Mill Creek Watershed.
  3. The Priority Projects app highlights the best opportunities identified for addressing water quality and flooding issues.


We all live in a watershed! Understanding your watershed can help you better understand how you impact the environment around you, and how the environment impacts you. Healthy, clean waterways enhance our lives by offering us beautiful sounds and views and safe places for our children and pets to play.

Find the following Smith Mill Creek Watershed neighborhoods on the map:

  • Burton Street
  • Deaverview 
  • Brucemont/Louisiana
  • Falconhurst
  • Lucerne Park
  • Wilshire Park
  • East West Asheville
If you would like to learn more about this project, contact our Watershed Resources Manager, Renee Fortner at or (828) 252-8474 X 14