Friday, February 2, 2007

RiverLink Announces RiverWise Award Winners for 2006

RiverLink is proud to honor and announce the 2006 RiverWise Award winners. RiverLink chose these projects for exhibiting outstanding achievements and efforts to protect the land and water quality in our community. According to the NC Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG), the French Broad River watershed is the fastest growing area in the state of North Carolina. With this fact in mind, the RiverLink Board of Directors and staff decided to recognize individuals, institutions, and private for-profit developments that celebrate and protect the wonderful watershed we call home.

Individual RiverWise Award Winner This year as an individual RiverWise Award recipient, we are please to recognize Whitney Galloway, from Transylvania County. Whitney conducted his senior project in the fall of 2006, cleaning the east fork of the French Broad River. He organized two river cleanup teams on two different weekends enlisting the help of 16 other volunteers to clean 4 miles of stream and remove 8,700 lbs of trash, which included washing machines, hot water heaters, toilets, 60 tires and an old bed frame. Whitney’s team conducted water quality tests both before and after the clean–ups.

Institutional RiverWise Award Winner This year we are pleased to recognize the Asheville Middle School River Corps Team. This group of 15 students provides a wonderful example how middle school kids working together can empower themselves with “hands on activities” and take actions designed to improve water quality. The River Corps Team has conducted river clean-ups and tree plantings. They have had field trips to the outdoor wetlands classroom at Carrier Park and their teachers are including educational environmental lessons into their curriculum.

Private Developer RiverWise Award This year we were unable to identify any private developments in the French Broad River watershed meriting recognition as a RiverWise recipient. No private development was nominated by any other entity and no developer nominated himself or herself. We set the bar for recognizing private development very high in 2005 when we recognized the Dover’s Road Project.

In 2005, RiverLink awarded Constance Rauscher the RiverWise award for an individual; for an institution we recognized Evergreen Charter School and for an outstanding private development we honored the Drovers’ Road Preserve.

RiverLink offers three awards programs each year:

Critical Links reconizing volunteers who go above and beyond;
RiverBusiness (with Asheville SCORE) designed to recognize new businesses on the river that help implement the vision of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay; and RiverWise awarded to individuals, institutions and private development whose actions help protect water quality and preserve and protect our watershed.

For more information about RiverLink or to get involved please, visit our website at