The purpose of the Water Currents blog on the website of the National Geographic Society is to “… bring together diverse voices to discuss pressing issues in freshwater.” Part of that goal is the publication of blog entries by Basia Irland, whose series “What the River Knows” features a first-person look at rivers from around the world. On January 1, Irland’s submission featured the French Broad River, particularly as it flows through Asheville.
In text and photos, the first-person narration touches on the geology, geography and history of the river, as well as some of the problems the river faces.
“As happens to so many of my cousins elsewhere people think that they can dump debris into my body and it will disappear. It isn’t their problem any more,” she writes. “However, these discards reemerge so that future generations must deal with pollution and try and clean up messes left behind by others. A section of my banks are even embedded with old cars dumped here decades ago in a streamside junkyard.”
Author Basia Irland is a sculptor, poet, and installation artist who has focused her creativity on rivers for 30 years. Her aim is to connect people to their local waters and watersheds in ways that will motivate concern, caring, appreciation, and stewardship. You may read more about her and her work on her website.