RiverLink promotes the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed.
A Note From the Executive Director
Dear All,

We have received some attention of late over a sale of property at 144 Riverside Drive to buyers who have plans to create a restaurant on the site. We have taken the past couple of weeks to listen to concerns and comments, and review all correspondence in the matter dating back to when the property was purchased in 2007. Our Board will release a more formal statement in the coming weeks, but in the meantime please contact operations manager, Katy Palombi, or myself if you would like to schedule some time to discuss the sale with us and some of our Board members.

For now, we are going to continue to celebrate our shared passion for the River and for the results of the investment you make in River revitalization. Celebrating our successes and the staff and supporters who make it happen is embedded in our culture and is part of the approved values in the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. See below for more details about our 10-year vision and strategic plan.

Don’t miss our RiverFest and Anything That Floats Parade on July 20! We have
25 floats (and 180 people) signed up to participate in what should be an
amazing parade.

Below you will also find reasons to pop a cork over the various activities of our staff. Renee Fortner and her team of volunteers and partners are wrapping up the Givens Estates Innovative Stormwater Control Project and saw immediate results after 6 stormwater controls were installed on the 100-acre watershed on a tributary of the Dingle creek in South Asheville. Justin Young and his team are in the final week of RiverCamp, our summer day camp for children in grades 3 through 8. Finally, RJ Taylor is working on several important conservation easements and was able to seek the Board’s approval for a Stewardship Fund to support stewardship of conservation easements into perpetuity.

Please take a moment to learn more about all of these activities below, plus some updates on our participation in the French Broad River Partnership.  

Respectfully, Garrett
P.S. Special thanks also to Blue Heron Whitewater for holding an amazing RiverLink benefit on June 2!
RiverLink Board Approves
Bold 10-Year Vision and Strategic Plan
The RiverLink Board of Directors has approved a new Strategic Plan to replace the one created in 2015. The 2019-2023 Plan carries forward a broader vision “that by 2030 RiverLink will be a national model for our success at revitalizing and restoring the French Broad Broad River Watershed from Rosman to Hot Springs where each community values the river as a place to Live, Learn, Work, and Play.” The plan carries forward the traditional mission of RiverLink to “promote the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed” and it creates a set of values that will govern the board and staff in their work to create the most effective work culture.
French Broad River Partnership Seeks $10,000 in Pledges for Economic Impact Study
RiverLink, on behalf of the French Broad River Partnership, has applied to the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for $45,000 in funds to support an Economic Impact Study of the value of the French Broad River Watershed. 

The French Broad River Partnership was formed in October 2018 and includes 70 organizations operating in support of the Partnership’s mission “to maintain and improve stream health within the French Broad River Watershed for environmental and economic benefits.” RiverLink Executive Director Garrett Artz is a co-chair of the Partnership with Mills River Partnership Executive Director Maria Wise.

If the Partnership is successful in receiving the grant for the total $55,000 needed to complete the project, RiverLink will need to raise an additional $10,000. 
Please contact Garrett via email if you would like a pledge form to assist us in reaching that goal.   
RiverLink's French Broad RiverCamp
Thank you for your investment to preserve the French Broad River watershed so this incredible natural resource can be used to teach children about water quality and the environment. 

We’re near the end of our French Broad RiverCamp season, and are deeply inspired by all of the fantastic campers we’ve seen. After trips to the headwaters, fish hatcheries, bogs, waterfalls and more these kids have shown an incredible passion and respect for their environment. We spend a lot of camp investigating forested and urban streams, and experimenting with scientific equipment. By the end of each week campers know how to test for water quality, they can name many fish and bug species that live in our streams, and they understand the big picture connections between our land and water ecosystems. 

However, the biggest achievement of our camps is simply building connections to nature and creating positive memories on the river. We’ve had so much fun exploring with each and every camper, and can’t wait for even more great adventures next year!
Watershed Resources-Givens Estates Stormwater Control Project Now Complete
Thank you for making it possible for RiverLink to continue addressing critical issues related to the French Broad River watershed and to engage people of all ages to preserve and enjoy this vital natural resource. Your investment creates a resilient community and environment capable of withstanding the damaging effects of extreme weather events and increased rainfall.

We’re excited to announce that construction is now complete on the Givens Estates Innovative Stormwater Project in South Asheville. The Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) capture runoff and prevent sediment from entering Dingle Creek, a major tributary to the French Broad River. Sediment—the number one pollutant in the French Broad River—is a priority for RiverLink due to its ability to carry pollutants throughout the watershed and harm aquatic organisms such as fish and the threatened hellbender salamander.

Preliminary results of the SCMs show that 4.5 tons of sediment were prevented
from entering the French Broad River. Research is being conducted by RiverLink and Robinson Design Engineers to determine how effective the SCMs are at capturing sediment. The majority of stormwater research in North Carolina has occurred in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions. This study will help set the design standards for stormwater control measures in the steep slopes of Western
North Carolina.
Land Conservation-
Stewardship Fund Formation
The RiverLink Board of Directors has approved the opening of a Stewardship Fund at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Fund will ensure that RiverLink will have the funding
necessary to take care of conservation easements and properties forever.

It is similar to an endowment and will provide a steady source of income to make sure we can meet our obligations as holders of easements or in full ownership of conservation properties. Land sales, like the one noted above, will add to this endowment so that it becomes a sustainable source of support in meeting our obligations. If you would like to help grow this fund, please contact Garrett or Katy for more information.
170 Lyman Street
Asheville, NC 28803