Each year the RiverLink board of directors recognizes river friendly businesses that have through their standard operating practices contributed to the health and well being of the French Broad River watershed as a destination to live, learn, work and play. Previous winners include the Phil Mechanic Studios, artist John Payne, The Asheville Brewers Alliance, AvL Technologies and a host of other companies that have been good stewards of the environment and operated successful business that have helped protect and promote the French Broad River.
This year RiverLink is proud to recognize the following diverse businesses as contributors to the popularity, protection, and sustainability of the French Broad River
The ByWater - The ByWater has become a favorite meeting place for everyone. Whether you are wearing a business suit or a bathing suit, brought your dog or left her at home, kids of all ages love sitting on the banks of the French Broad River at the ByWater on Riverside Drive. According the executive director of RiverLink Karen Cragnolin, "The ByWater is a great equalizer, much like the river itself. Its a very democratic destination for our entire community and the larger community has responded to its vibe. I love to see multi-generational folks celebrating a birthday sitting next to a young couple with a dog and a man in a suit and a tie sitting next to someone who just pulled their paddle board out of the river. The ByWater is further proof that the river belongs to everyone and everyone loves the French Broad."
Roots Rootsfoods.com is a local success story on every level. Located in a small building in the River Arts District Roots is a locally grown business that in addition to making delicious traditional hummus makes hummus out of every conceivable vegetable combination from lima beans to red peppers. For Asheville foodies its also very important that all Roots Hummus treats are certified non GMO, vegan and gluten free. Roots business has grown expediently and is now distributed in select markets across the USA. According to Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink Executive Director, "Roots is a constant partner with RiverLink. They feed our 2,700 volunteers all year long. Most times the owner and employees will read our newsletter and anticipate our needs by delivering hummus to our offices for an upcoming event."
The Biltmore Estate & Winery Western North Carolina just wouldn't be western North Carolina without the Biltmore Estate and Winery. Not only is the house the largest privately owned house in the USA, but it where the first school of forestry began and sustainability has always been in the forefront of operations. Today when you drive past the estate on I-240 you can see the acres of solar panel fields that help fuel their operations. Much of the food served on the Estate in their numerous restaurants is grown on the Estate. The Estate uses best management practices and a combination of traditional and the latest technology to control erosion and run off into the rivers. According to Karen Cragnolin, executive director of RiverLink, "the 10 or so miles of the French Broad that flow through the Estate are easy to spot from the river because the riparian buffer along the Estate is in such great condition. For all the times the last 30 years I have been on and around the river I have never known of any erosion sloughing off the estate and into the river. The Biltmore Estate has a unique and enviable tradition of being extremely conscious property owners and river stewards. They help establish the standard for being good stewards of our resources as good business practices"
For more information about RiverLink and its projects and programs visit the webpage at riverlink.org.