January 14, 2016
The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) is focused on managing the natural resources in Martinsville and Henry County following a recent grant award of $176,366 from the Harvest Foundation.
The two-year grant will be used by DRBA to formalize a flow regulation schedule for the Smith River, expand the Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Program (CWQM), and to develop a master plan for Martinsville and Henry County with representatives from the city and county municipalities.
“Improving the quality of the Smith River will have a positive impact on our community’s health, economy and quality of life,” said Tiffany Haworth, executive director of DRBA. “We are thrilled to have the support of the Harvest Foundation to ensure that people today, and future generations, can enjoy the beautiful river that runs through our community.”
DRBA already has made great strides in the past decade with many partners including Henry County, City of Martinsville and the Tourism Division of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. Accomplishments include more than 10 miles of trail systems, the creation of numerous river access points, and the recent announcement in August 2015 to allow for weekend hydro power generation at Philpott Dam on the Smith River to improve recreation opportunities.
DRBA Program Manager Brian Williams added, “Thanks to the generous support of the Harvest Foundation, DRBA will be working with partners to enhance and expand our outdoor recreational opportunities, improve our local fisheries, and recruit volunteers who are passionate about protecting and preserving our natural resources to watch and care for our Smith River.”
DRBA’s goals for the grant align with Harvest’s focus on increasing tourism and recreation, and protecting and promoting the area’s natural resources to enhance community appeal to investors and businesses. It also supports the foundation’s commitment to funding broad-scale, systems-focused initiatives that involve a variety of public and private partnerships.
“We look forward to partnering with DRBA as they engage community leaders and citizens in long-term planning and systems building to protect and promote our natural resources,” said Sheryl Agee, Harvest impact officer and team leader. “This will impact local citizens who live, work and play here as well as our tourism industry, which continues to be an economic driver for our community.”
Select News Year: