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The Dan River is the greatest natural resource in our region, yet its beauty and usefulness are often taken for granted. Since the first settlers along the Dan’s banks, the river has given us drinking water, transportation routes, commerce, food, recreation, and beauty. Now, the river needs our attention.

The waterway and its basin have been impacted by a history of neglect and a recent coal ash spill.  The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region (CFDRR) has stepped forward and established the RiverBank Fund to gather substantial donations throughout Virginia and North Carolina earmarked for the protection and revitalization of the River.

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

Second round grants awarded 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.

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The Fund will help in five fundamental ways:

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  1. Responsibly address water quality for regional residents and companies.
  2. Encourage new development that ecologically features the River.
  3. To 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.

People in Patrick, Henry, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Mecklenburg counties in Virginia and Caswell, Stokes, and Rockingham counties in North Carolina, as well as residents of Danville and beyond, want the Dan River to thrive.

Our goal is to raise millions of dollars in donations from major corporations, smaller businesses and individuals who have an interest in the Dan River Region.

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We have a chance to re-build and revitalize our River. To boat, to kayak, to fish, to swim, to admire and to drink: they are all within our grasp.

The RiverBank Fund was developed with community input by the Fund’s Advisory Committee, which represents the views of a broad cross-section of the region. Advisory Committee members include business, government, and community leaders.

The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region will serve as the administrator of the Fund. Some of the funds collected may be used for short-term projects throughout the region to revitalize the Dan River. Other dollars will build an endowment to care for the river for generations to come.

The Dan is our river.

The RiverBank Fund will help make it the clean, healthy and vital centerpiece our region deserves.

For more information, contact the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region at:

541 Loyal Street
Danville, Virginia 24541
(434) 793-0884 (phone)
(434) 793-6489 (fax)
debra@cfdrr.org
www.cfdrr.org

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