Archived Outdoors

Water quality groups land grants

Environmental groups in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison Counties were recently awarded grants totaling $197,500 from the Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

Recipients for the fall 2022 awards are:

  • Asheville GreenWorks, which received $25,000 for its Youth Environmental Leadership Program, which deploys interns to work to decrease litter in the waterways and increase citizen awareness about resource protection. 

  • Environmental Quality Institute, which received $35,000 for programs that support volunteer stream monitoring throughout the Pigeon and French Broad River basins. 

  • Haywood Waterways Association, which received $70,000 spread over two grants. A $45,000 grant funds program and administrative costs for the 2023 calendar year while a $25,000 grant will help repair failing septic systems and educate Haywood County residents about water quality issues — and particularly bacteria — in the Pigeon River watershed. 

  • Laurel Community Center Organization, which received $12,500 to complete an outdoor pavilion for experiential learning and recreational purposes, and to support administrative costs. 

  • Mountain Valleys RC&D Council, which received $35,000 to address water quality in the Ivy River Watershed and Madison County waterways. 

  • RiverLink, which received $20,000 to build the Southside Community Stormwater Project to treat runoff at Erskine Apartments to solve flooding issues and improve surface water quality in Town Branch. 

Since 1996, the Pigeon River Fund has distributed nearly $9 million in grants.  The money comes from Duke Energy in exchange for the company’s damming the Pigeon River for hydropower. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, with grants available for projects in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties. The next application deadline for grant funds is March 15, 2023. Learn more at

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