Rainbow Rafters Take the Plunge for Local Water Quality

Rainbow Mountain Children’s School and Omega Program entered its Rainbow Raft in the annual Rockin’ River Fest on Saturday, August 11, 2007. The daylong river festival and raft race was co-sponsored by Buncombe County Parks and Recreation and 96.5 WOXL Radio. Festival proceeds benefit RiverLink, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize the French Broad River and its tributaries as a healthy place to work, live and play.

Rainbow Rafters helped RMCS garner local radio advertising valued at $1,000. The raft was assembled from inner tubes lashed together with nylon cord and decorated with rainbow-colored noodles. RMCS executive director Renee Owen and her husband Scott rode the river with eight students.

Since 1987, RiverLink has engaged in simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin including the French Broad Riverkeeper program, water quality projects, and educational outreach programs. RiverLink has worked vigorously to expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and the nonprofit spearheaded the economic revitalization of Asheville’s formerly dilapidated riverfront district.

Rainbow Mountain participates in RiverLink’s “Adopt-a-Stream” program. Under this program, RMCS students clean up Buttermilk Creek in West Asheville, and they conduct visual monitoring to identify potential water quality problems such as erosion, hazardous wastes, point and non-point source pollution.

Last spring, RMCS students swept RiverLink’s Earth Day 2007 French Broad River Art and Poetry contest, taking first, second and third place in the river poetry and river arts categories at the K–2nd grade and the 3rd–5th grade levels. Two RMCS Omega students tied for first place in the river arts category at the 6–8th grade level. RMCS students comprised half of the honorable mentions in all categories from K–5th grade. Omega students received all of the honorable mentions at the 6–8th grade level.

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