Community Foundation’s Pigeon River Fund Awards $247,000 in grants

Jun 23, 2014

In late May, the Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded $247,092 to environmental groups working in Western North Carolina to improve surface water quality, enhance fish and wildlife management habitats, expand public use and access to waterways and increase awareness to help protect resources in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties.  Since 1996, the Pigeon River Fund has distributed $4,853,347 in grants.

The most recent Haywood County Pigeon River Fund grant recipients are:

Conservation Trust for North Carolina — $15,500 to support the acquisition of the 53-acre Pinnacle Ridge Tract and increase landowner outreach to facilitate water quality protection in the headwaters of Richland Creek in Haywood County.

Haywood Waterways Association —$2,250 toward materials costs for construction of a river access stairway at the Canton Recreational Park.

Haywood County Schools Foundation — $27,700 to support the Haywood Environmental Initiative E-STEM (Environmental Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) project. The grant will provide equipment, training and other resources to establish water quality labs at Pisgah and Tuscola High Schools that will also serve students from the Middle School and Alternative School. The Haywood Environmental Initiative, a collaboration amongst school staff, local water quality agencies and Western Carolina University, incorporates 21st-century technology to engage students learning about the environment.

Western Carolina University — $11,317 for student training and faculty efforts collecting and interpreting water quality data as part of the E-STEM project at Tuscola and Pisgah High Schools.


Southwestern NC Resource Conservation Development Council — $30,000 for shoreline stabilization and stream bank restoration work for erosion prevention at Lake Junaluska. This work will complete a segment of the Lake Junaluska Greenway and improve water quality by reducing sedimentation.


Southwestern NC Resource Conservation Development Council — $10,000 to complete a conservation easement on 72 acres of rural land close to the East Fork of the upper Pigeon River Watershed in Haywood County.

Southwestern NC Resource Conservation Development Council — $10,000 to support a multi-agency effort to develop a conservation easement assessment system to ensure that investments in future easement projects improve water quality.

Town of Waynesville Parks and Recreation — $25,000 for kayaks and equipment for the Base Camp Waynesville program that encourages student and adult access to area waterways and educates visitors about water stewardship.

The next application deadline for qualifying nonprofits in Buncombe, Haywood and Madison counties is Sept. 15, 2014.  Applications and instructions are available at

The Pigeon River Fund was established through an agreement between Carolina Power & Light and the State of North Carolina.  The grant program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.  For information about the Pigeon River Fund, contact senior program officer Tim Richards at 367-9912.  The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $11 million in charitable giving annually.