Learn to Love the River

Discover what makes the French Broad River so special and learn about the many ways it connects our community.


Last week we learned about how water interacts with the Earth's natural geology through the processes of weathering and erosion. This week we’re going to look at stormwater and how our developed communities can impact the flow of water. We hope you enjoy and learn something new!


How Does Land Use Impact Stormwater?

Our communities can be developed in a lot of different ways. Some communities have lots of parks and green spaces while others are made up of parking lots and strip malls. The ways that we choose to use our land can have significant impacts on our local waterways. Using our stormwater model we demonstrate how three different types of land use can alter the flow of streams and rivers. As you watch, ask yourself if you recognize any of the land uses from your neighborhood. Some of the footage was even taken in our own neighborhood, the River Arts District, and showcases the incredible stormwater work that has been done there.

If you’d like to learn how you can improve the stormwater management on your own property please check out our WaterRich program.


What are Pervious and Impervious Surfaces?

In our stormwater lesson we talk about how the impervious surfaces of our parking lots can create problems on the river. By not allowing water to filter through, these surfaces can create runoff that increases river flow. If you’re wondering if there’s an alternative, there is! Pervious surfaces, or surfaces that allow water to filter through, can be a great alternative for paved areas. There are plenty of pervious pavements available to developers, and while they can come with their own challenges they do a great job of allowing water to stay on-site. PBS Kids has created a wonderful guide for their “Water Ins and Outs” activity. If you’re looking for a first hand way to observe the differences between pervious and impervious surfaces this is a great activity to do!


Virtual Earth Day Kids' Festival

Last week was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! While we couldn’t host our annual physical event this year, we were thrilled to work with other awesome environmental organizations to provide a virtual festival with fun lessons and activities. One of the perks of going virtual is having access to a recording of the entire event. If you weren’t able to join us last week please check out the video for some incredible presentations from local environmental experts. 


A Little Dose of Inspiration

This wonderful short poem was a winner from this year's Voices of the River: Art & Poetry Contest! The creativity and talent we see from these students is truly inspiring.


Weeping with a silent smile, 

The Moon’s tears slide down her pitted face.

Falling swiftly to the Earth as raindrops

To pool together as life giving water. 

Rivers of glittering sorrow giving birth to Eden, 

To the Earth Mother.


-Celia G.


Staying connected to the river and each other.

We are thinking of you all in these uncertain times and hope you are staying healthy and safe! Thanks to your generous support we are able to continue our Education, Water Quality and Land Conservation programs, but we couldn't do it without you!