Southside Community Stormwater Project
construction planned for fall 2022
The Southside Community Stormwater Project is an opportunity to address water quality issues and the needs of a marginalized community. RiverLink is partnering with the Asheville Housing Authority to construct stormwater features that capture and filter runoff before it reaches Nasty Branch and the French Broad River and provide community amenities at Erskine Apartments.
Erskine Apartments is an Asheville Housing Authority complex situated in the historic African American Southside Community. Residents in this community are still feeling the negative impacts from the 20th century redevelopment program called Urban Renewal. Between 1951 and 1975, hundreds of homes and businesses owned by Black families were destroyed. Today, 39.5% of the residents live below the poverty line- 3x the Buncombe County rate of 12.2% (American Community Survey, 2019).
The project aims to promote social equity by providing amenities designed by Southside Community residents through a stakeholder engagement process. Funded by the Dogwood Health Trust, amenities include safe walking and biking paths, a shaded outdoor gathering area, edible plants, and a memorial garden. RiverLink is partnering with Green Opportunities to provide paid green jobs training as part of project construction through the AmeriCorps GO Corps program.