Learn to Love the River

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


Greetings river lovers and welcome to the third issue of our Learn to Love the River series! With all of the recent spring rains we wanted this issue to focus on water, and some of the issues impacting our streams and rivers. Below you will find lessons on erosion and sediment, learn how to build your own stream table model at home, and take a virtual tour of one of our favorite local creeks. We hope you enjoy!


What is Erosion and how does it Affect Rivers?

Our land and water resources are highly connected and have some major impacts on each other. Over time our rivers and streams weather and erode the land, changing the shape of our community. Weathering is the process that breaks down rocks, minerals, wood and more. Erosion is the process that removes soil, rock, and other dissolved materials from one location and transports it to another. Crash Course Kids has an excellent episode that can tell you more about these processes.

As you would imagine, all of this weathering and erosion can alter the look of our waterways. On a short term scale, lots of erosion can make our waters look brown and cloudy. If you’ve ever seen the river after a big storm you know it looks like someone poured a bunch of chocolate milk into it. However, when we look at the long term changes that erosion can have we see that the entire shape of our river can be changed by this process. Over time erosion of our river banks will cause them to curve, we call these curves meanders. To learn more about these features check out Minute Earth’s video linked below.


Create Your Own River at Home!

It’s great to learn about erosion, but nothing compares to seeing it with your own eyes. One of our favorite lessons we do with schools is our interactive stream table (pictured here). It allows us to bring the river into the classroom and have students watch these processes first hand. While our table is pretty advanced, that doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing at home. Science Friday has put together a nice guide about how to create your own stream table! Our Education Coordinator, Anna Miller, has also filmed herself doing this activity just in case you need some extra guidance. Click here to watch that video.


A Little Dose of Inspiration

Join us for a virtual tour of one of our favorite spots, Rhododendron Creek! This beautiful creek flows through a section of West Asheville before joining Hominy Creek and ultimately flowing into the French Broad River. The creek's urban location puts it at risk from pollution, but together we can preserve its health and beauty!


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! Please consider donating to help support our programs. Every little bit helps!