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Pigeon River Fund awards grants

Environmental groups in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties recently received a total of $217,010 to improve water quality, wildlife habitat and water-based recreation thanks to this spring’s round of grants from The Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. 

Haywood County recipients were:

• Haywood Waterways Association, Inc, which received $44,970 for the Elevated Park Stream Improvement Project on Jonathan Creek, a major tributary in the Pigeon River watershed.  

• Maggie Valley Sanitary District, which received $30,000 to help protect the 163-acre Sirkin property. The grant is contingent on securing other funds as well. 

• Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, which received $15,000 apiece for two farmland conservation easements. The easements are for the 160-acre Terry Rogers Farm in Crabtree and the 215-acre Edwin Rogers Farm, also in Crabtree. 

Since its creation in 1996, the Pigeon River Fund has awarded millions of dollars for water conservation and education. The money comes from Duke Energy in exchange for the company’s damming the Pigeon River for hydropower. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The next application deadline is Sept. 7.

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