|Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251/6526 FAX: 828/251-6777
|For Immediate Release
August 27, 2001
UNCA and Botanical Gardens Receive
$100,000 Grant to Repair,
The N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund is joiningforces with UNC Asheville and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville to help preserve one of the area’s favorite greenspaces. The $100,000 grant from the trust fund will be used to improve the health of Glenn Creek, which flows alongside W.T. Weaver Blvd. and into the South French Broad River, and Reed Creek, which flows along Broadway into Glenn Creek at the botanical gardens.
Bill Holman, Clean Water Management Trust Fundexecutive director and former secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will be on hand at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville to tour the sites of the upcoming projects.
At the Botanical Gardens, $60,000 of the grant will gotoward two projects. The largest is the repair of Reed Creek’s banks, which have been heavily eroded by storm runoff from Broadway and downtown Asheville. The erosion has threatened several trees, but some should be able to be saved, according to Randy Burroughs, project director and Botanical Gardens at Asheville garden manager. A series of rock vanes and tree-root wads will be used to make the stream bank repairs, an approach that sounds old-fashioned, but is far more successful and handsome than the concrete-and-riprap approach which used to be the standard, Burroughs said. "This is one of the prettiest spots in the gardens and people treasure it. We are very pleased to be able to save it," he said.
The second project in the botanical gardens is a riparianbuffer of native plants along Glenn Creek which will stabilize the banks and replace invasive exotic plants that have colonized there.
On the UNC Asheville campus, $40,000 of the grant will goto three projects to improve the quality of water feeding into Glenn Creek before it reaches the Botanical Gardens and the French Broad River. The largest project is the construction of a storm water wetland to filter runoff coming from campus roads and parking lots. The wetland design incorporates zones ranging from deep pools to marshy areas. The deep pools will collect the pollutants and sediment as runoff enters the wetland. Plants in the marshy areas will take up pollutants that escaped the deep pools. The wetland design also incorporates mosquito control by creating a habitat for small fish and dragonflies that eat mosquitos and their larvae.
In another project, UNCA will also create a series ofbioretention zones, using well-draining sandy soil and plants, to catch and filter storm water coming from W.T. Weaver Blvd. before it enters Glenn Creek.
The third project is the purchase of a modular storm watertreatment structure that will filter storm water coming from W.T. Weaver Blvd. near the creek’s entrance to the Botanical Gardens.
Bioengineering a wetland for storm water mitigation is arelatively new concept, according to Melissa Acker, project manger and UNCA’s landscaper director. "The wetland and the range of filtering structures not only help clean up these streams, they will be an excellent learning laboratory for our environmental studies students," Acker said. Wetland construction will begin this fall and should be completed in the coming summer. The wetland will be located in the flood plain adjacent to Glenn Creek near UNCA’s entrance on W.T. Weaver Blvd.
For more information about these projects, call MelissaAcker, UNCA landscape director, at 251-6699, and Randy Burroughs, landscape architect and Botanical Gardens at Asheville garden manager, at 252-5190.
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