RiverLink receives $50,000 match for Annual Fund

June 6, 2017

RiverLink, the non-profit catalyst for environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River, has received a $50,000 grant from an anonymous donor. It is the largest individual gift to support their annual campaign in the 31 year-old organization’s history.

Made in honor of Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink’s founding executive director, the grant will match, dollar-for-dollar, contributions to RiverLink’s $250,000 annual fund campaign that runs until June 30. “The grant honors Karen’s legacy,” said Garrett Artz who was appointed executive director last September.

“We are especially grateful to the donor,” said Peter Sprague, co-chair of RiverLink’s campaign. “Not only is it fine testimony to the importance of RiverLink to the future of the river and the region, it also doubles the value of gifts to the fund drive.” The campaign helps fund river improvement projects undertaken by the organization’s 1,700 volunteers.

RiverLink has secured and is managing more than $1.6 million in funding for projects that enhance and protect the quality of the French Broad River Watershed. Among them is a $310,000 grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund to develop a model storm water management project at Givens Estates in South Asheville. The model will help improve handling of run-off from hillside real estate development in steep slope areas.

Recently RiverLink completed a $400,000 dollar project at New Belgium Brewery to control storm water and has completed a watershed management plan for Smith Mill Creek in West Asheville. Results of soils tests at Karen Cragnolin Park are expected in the near future.

In addition, RiverLink received accreditation as a Land Trust last year to hold conservation easements on land critical to the French Broad’s health. “Most of our work,” says Artz, “will focus on relatively small parcels of land that will make a direct impact on water quality along the River and its tributaries.”

As part of its efforts to enhance the quality of the river, RiverLink is actively engaged in environment education for school children in the watershed. During 2016-2017 school year, the organization reached over 3500 students with hands on and classroom education lessons that promote an understanding of water quality.

For more information about RiverLink and its programs, contact Suzanne Moore, Development Manager, (828) 252-8474 x12, suzanne@riverlink.org ; check out riverlink.org, or follow us on Twitter, @RiverLink