RiverLink accomplishes its mission by providing permanent public access to the river through conservation and recreation easements, reclaiming contaminated lands for public use and enjoyment, empowering over 1,000 volunteers each year, and annually educating over 3,000 students, as well as the public-at-large, about the importance of the French Broad River watershed.
RiverLink invites watershed communities to experience the French Broad River in all its beauty. They do this by providing recreational and volunteer opportunities to encourage connection with the river. They encourage children and adults to learn about the importance of the River ecosystems and water quality in the hope that increased understanding will lead to a new generation of river stewards.
RiverLink’s land conservation program works to connect people to the land in a way that is tangible and relevant to our communities. When more people interact with the outdoors either recreationally or educationally, they will begin to feel a responsibility to be good stewards of the land. Rather than taking on large conservation easements, RiverLink focuses on conserving smaller tracts of land adjacent to waterways, as well as privately owned land within suburban and urban areas.
As an accredited land trust through Land Trust Alliance, RiverLink’s work involves protecting land areas that are close to waterways, as well as lands in suburban and urban areas that are at high risk of impact from development. They work with landowners to provide conservation services that enable them to voluntarily protect the land along streams and rivers. Conserved properties are often utilized as gardens, farmland, trail systems and nature areas.
Healthy streams and rivers are negatively impacted by stormwater runoff, erosion, chemical pollution and litter. When the lands near waterways are protected and maintained with trees and native plants it provides a permanent buffer, or barrier, that is an important component in protecting the health of our waterways.
RiverLink’s conservation focus is on the land adjacent to rivers and streams. The soil and vegetation in these buffer lands are key to filtering harmful runoff from urban and suburban developments. They seek landowners willing to voluntarily protect these areas so that future generations will enjoy abundant clean water and recreation opportunities. RiverLink’s land conservation approach is unique because we do not have an acreage size limit. To us, the location of the land near water is more important than the size of the parcel being protected or donated. Protect your land today and make an investment in clean water for generations to come!
For more information, visit riverlink.org, or call (828) 252-8474.