Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Mission: The dan river basin association preserves and promotes the natural and cultural resources of the dan river basin through stewardship, recreation, and education.
Programs: Education & stewardship in 2017, the dan river basin association (drba) was awarded elite stem-h education and industry partnership award with martinsville city schools and us army corps of engineers and presented at the virginia military institute stem conference. Drba's education curriculum and programs including trout in the classroom (tic) and streamside trees in the classroom (stic) reached more than 6,500 elementary, middle, high school and college-aged students in 2017. Drba constructed an official cwqm training site in danville for more than 1,000 students focused water monitoring programs with the danville science center. Drba also provided its water quality research and coal ash response data for student capstone experience and partnered with the virginia museum of natural history for events that reached 150 students. Drba continued to provide its kids4rivers, river experience and tub of bugs programs for youth both in the classroom and at community events. Drba also continued to offer its citizen water quality monitoring, rain barrel and environmental education teacher professional development workshops. Using the litterati program, drba worked alongside hundreds of youth to pick up and classify more than 1,000 pieces of litter in henry county, coordinated with averett baseball players on day to engage to plant riparian buffer and litter removal in danville and cleaned up almost 100 miles of trails and waterways through other cleanup events in 2017. Three years after coal ash spill on the dan river, drba continued to remain committed to stewardship efforts in monitoring water quality and providing education to the public. In 2017, drba presented to twenty-five civic and school groups about the current state of the dan river and strategies the organization is doing to ensure that monitoring and water quality monitoring continues. Drba also hosted 8 citizen water quality monitoring trainings and its citizen water quality monitoring (cwqm) program added 20 new cwqm volunteers who monitored regional waterways monthly through 2017. Cwqm programs are now active in the city of danville, the city of martinsville and henry, halifax and patrick counties in virginia and rockingham county in north carolina. In addition, drba launched its water quality map that allows users to see monitoring results of their local waterways. Drba continues to offer its water protector certification, storm drain marking, river watch and the riparian buffer programs to inspire stewardship in the region. To further its education and stewardship outreach, drba participated in the eden riverfest, danville river district festival, wild blue river festival and philpott lake safety day. Drba also continued to invest resources in educating the public about the issues related to hydraulic fracturing, uranium mining, coal ash waste, pipeline development, forestry best practices and littering.
recreation drba's first saturday outings (fso) hikes and paddles were attended by 183 people from 19 different localities. Approximately three new miles of trail were built in rockingham county, nc and four river access points were reconditioned. Drba's online interactive map, which allows the user to locate parks, trails, river accesses, historic attractions and visitor centers on a computer or smart phone, continued to be updated with new asset points. Drba also continued to lead efforts to implement regular flows from philpott dam to bring consistency to the river water quality and recreational usability. Drba constructed a new restroom facility at a river access in virginia and assisted municipalities and the army corps of engineers to complete the philpott lake blueway and smith river blueway water trail in virginia and rc tourism on dan river blueway in north carolina. Drba also worked with partners to launch a "try a bike" event and a bike-to-art project in nc. Drba helped offer saturday family fun floats and co-hosted the 10th anniversary smith river fest in henry county, virginia to attract more outdoor recreational visitors to the region. Drba provided maintenance for several river accesses and provided environmental review for trails in north carolina.
sustainable economy, heritage and operations in 2017, drba became the fiscal agent for the dan river implementation team (drit) which is comprised of a diverse group of regional individuals, including drba members, and representatives from tourism offices from throughout the dan river region that has been investing in a collaborative promotion of the dan river region for more than two years. Drba's municipal memberships included the town of halifax, mayodan, madison, eden, rockingham county, stoneville, wentworth, henry county, and the town of danbury in 2017. Drba partnered with dozens of researchers studying our region's waterways including university of virginia, virginia tech, duke university, and university of north carolina. Drba staff has decreased from 6 to 5 in 2017 and provided three summer internships in rockingham county, nc. Drba staff continue to serve on the board of the virginia association for environmental education (vaee), maintain council membership of the vruec (virginia resource use education council), vncli (virginia no child left inside) coalition, board of friends of mayo river state park, selection committee for planners for belews creek greenway, belews park planning group, advisory board of the virginia water resources research center, chair of the west rock rivers & trails group and advisory board member of greensboro fat tire society. Drba staff were also guest lecturers for the virginia museum of natural history second thursday science talks, hosted eco-tourism workshops for small businesses, presented to the master gardeners and served on the planning team for the stoneville pocket park. Drba also participated in developing the vision 2035 middle border forward environmental plan. In 2017, drba also collected information on historic african american pathways during segregation and worked with landowners and local african american churches to initiate a trail-planning project in eden, nc.