Three local organizations committed to protecting our natural resources joined forces to clean the Catawba River – by boat.
Volunteers with Catawba River Wildlife Coalition, Friends of the Valdese Rec (FVR) and Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina put in their boats, kayaks and canoes at the Valdese Water Plant. Armed with trash bags and grabbers, they set off to clean the shores of both the Burke County side and Caldwell County side of the river. By the time they reached Castle Bridge, the 15 volunteers had collected 15 bags of trash, a seat from a boat, car parts, and buckets. Three high school students from the new FVR Trail Blazers Club pitched in to learn the importance of keeping our water supply clean.
Participants: Amy Alexander, Jim Clark, Asa Clark, Kat Dial, Rachael Dial, Ted Carothers, Tom Troy, Alex Church, Zakk Heile, Brittany Watkins, Beth Heile, Eric Heile, Addison Poteat, Dave Mursch, Amy Voss
Roadside/Riverside Cleanup – Hwy 90 in Collettsville – 6 bags of trash collected.
14 members of Friends of the Valdese Rec and/or Catawba River Wildlife Coalition teamed up to gather 16 bags of trash, 5 tires and other random stuff along a 3 mile paddle. Volunteers put in at the Valdese Water Plant and took out at Castle Bridge.
Fun at the Falls – Free Family Fun – was a huge success. With free crafts, free educational programs and a free hot dog lunch about 200 attendees enjoyed their day with friends and family at McGalliard Falls Park.
Kids were able to make pine cone bird feeders, create art out of recycled plastic bottle tops and paint rocks to hide around the county.
For education, NCWF’s Great Outdoors University provided time to find critters in the creek program and a fossil hunt. CRWC held a fly tying demo.
The event was held with help from Friends of the Valdese Rec.
Thanks to Ben Mast and his Eagle Scout Project, fishing around Valdese Lakeside Park is going to be better.
Chris Wood, Fisheries Biologist with NCWRC, was the speaker at Catawba River Wildlife Coalition‘s first meeting in November 2018. His topic was “How NCWRC Manages Fish, Aquatic Animals & Water Access” and he mentioned a great project for the group would be fish attractors (a man made habitat for fish).
When Ben Mast attended CRWC’s second meeting and asked about working together on a project – talk of fish attractors was first on the list.
Many people and organizations were involved with the project. Ben designed and built 8 fish attractors with the help of fellow his scouts. CRWC and Friends of the Valdese Rec provided the funding for the materials. Chris Wood and NCWRC provided the guidance of where the attractors would be placed and managed the deployment. Ben is with Scout Troop 202 in Valdese under the leadership of David Hathcock.
In April, Kellex Seating, Friends of the Valdese Rec and Catawba River Wildlife Coalition created a pollinator garden that will be a part of the NC Butterfly Highway with native plants that will attract butterflies, bees and birds.
Settlemyre Nursery designed the Butterfly Garden using native pollinator plants. They also stopped by the morning of the work day to make sure plants were in the proper position and that everyone knew how to plant!