Posted on: January 27, 2017

Danville receives Riverbank Fund grant

The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region announced today a second round of grants from the RiverBank Fund. Nine organizations received grants totaling $265,000.

The Fund was established in 2014 to gather donations throughout Virginia and North Carolina earmarked for the protection and revitalization of the Dan River. The first round of grant awards were made in July, 2015 and totaled $237,500. Second round grants awarded today included:

Dan River Basin Association - ($75,000) To help accomplish the Water Quality implementation plan, launch a regional Tourism Dashboard, and complete a Clean Water Advocacy campaign tool.

Town of South Boston, Virginia - ($50,000) To provide a new, highly visible canoe/kayak/boat access to the Dan River at the Hwy 501 Bridge in Downtown South Boston that will be promoted as part of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway.

Town of Halifax, Virginia - ($43,000) To help complete improvements to the Banister Lake Boat Landing by constructing a canoe/kayak launch and rehabilitating the existing boat ramp and pier on US Hwy 501, a site on the VA Birding and Wildlife Trail and the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway.

Town of Mayodan, North Carolina - ($25,000) To help acquire the former Washington Mills property, a 13-acre tract in downtown Mayodan along the Mayo River. The property will become a town park once cleaned up and developed.

Averett University - ($20,000) To support environmental biology faculty and students in their monitoring of the water purity and ecological health of the Dan River.

City of Danville, Virginia – Public Works - ($17,500) To conduct a hydrological study and examine bank conditions on the section of the Dan River where the Wynne’s Falls Dam is located. The study will examine the possibility of a whitewater park as a feature of the future Riverfront Park, as well as other potential recreational opportunities.

Danville Science Center - ($17,500) To support watershed education sessions on water quality, data collection and interpretation for middle school students. Partnering with the Dan River Basin Association, this program includes a riverside experience, project-based learning and inter-classroom collaboration.

Town of Madison, North Carolina - ($15,000) To identify and evaluate river/stream access points, recommend trail alignments along the Dan River and Big Beaver Island Creek to Farris Memorial Park, and prioritize properties for public river access and public engagement.

Halifax Soil and Water Conservation District - ($2,000) To purchase plastic barrels and brass hardware to build rain barrels, which will be distributed through three workshops as a joint effort with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners program.

Eligible programs had to address at least one of the five focus areas:
1. Responsibly address water quality for regional residents and companies.
2. Encourage new development that ecologically features the River.
3. Improve the cleanliness of the River and the Basin and help protect it from environmental threats.
4. Increase access to the River for family-friendly sports, recreation and entertainment.
5. Effectively promote the River to build regional pride and encourage tourism.

A regional advisory committee helps guide the development of the fund and the strategic disbursement of grant funds.
Donations to the RiverBank Fund are still being sought from individuals, organizations and businesses that have interest in helping to improve the quality and caliber of life all along the Dan River. Duke Energy has been a major contributor to the fund, with a $250,000 donation in 2014 and in 2016. Donations may be made online at www.RiverBankFund.org.

The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region is a public charity established in September 1996 by a steering committee of civic leaders to improve and enrich area lives through the generosity of donors and has already returned more than $21 million in community grants and scholarships. The office can be reached at 541 Loyal Street, Danville, VA, 24541, (434) 793-0884 or at www.cfdrr.org or www.RiverBankFund.org

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