top of page


SYS logo.jpg

Shade Your Stream is an initiative to encourage landowners to restore healthy streamside vegetation on their land. We provide resources in the form of written guides, workshops, potential funding for projects,  and connections to materials and expertise.


Visit to learn more about the dos and don’ts of streamside vegetation and erosion.


We are a partnership of regional non-profits, spearheaded by Mainspring Conservation Trust. Each partner works with landowners in the areas they serve.


Do you have an eroding stream on your property and want to sign up for our program?


Envisioning a volunteer approach to natural resources management, Mountain Valleys RC&D has facilitated the formation of the Ivy River Partners (IRP). The Madison and Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation Districts along with the Towns of Weaverville and Mars Hill have entered into a cooperative agreement to support efforts for improving the Ivy River Watershed.

In 2013 Mountain Valleys completed a Source Water Protection Plan for the Ivy River Watershed (below), which describes an action plan for addressing water quality. Using this as a guiding document, the IRP engages land owners, students, community members, and local governments on a voluntary basis to monitor water quality and to encourage the implementation of “best practices” to restore and maintain river health. The IRP can provide technical assistance and fundraising support for landowners interested in improvement projects.

Visit our website to learn more.


Shade your stream

Restore healthy streambanks by planting native shrubs.

Adopt a stream

Adopt a local watershed, river clean-ups, and equipment rentals.


Septic system repairs, stormwater management, and more!

Past Projects

green roof garden.jpg
butterfly garden.jpeg
bmp image.jpeg

Stormwater Management - Rain Gardens

Madison County, with grant writing and technical assistance from Mountain Valleys RC&D, constructed rain gardens at the Town of Mars Hill Government Center and at the Madison County Extension Office. Rain gardens are gardens containing flowering plants and grasses (preferably native species of both) that can survive in soil soaked with water from rain storms. However they are not gardens that have standing water. Rain Gardens collect and slow stormwater run off and increase its infiltration into the soil.

These attractive gardens help reduce the rapid flow of stormwater from homes and businesses to storm drains and thus protect streams and lakes from pollutants that are washed from house roofs and paved areas. These educational-demonstration projects increase public awareness of the importance of water quality. 

Pigeon River Fund Logo.jpg
clean water logo.jpeg
bmp collage.jpg

NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program
Best Management Practice Project

Through work with EEP, Mountain Valleys RC&D was able to implement a significant number of stream and wetland restoration projects on privately owned land in Cleveland and McDowell Counties, North Carolina.  These projects required conservation practices such as livestock exclusion, heavy use protection areas, and watering systems to ensure the long term success of adjacent stream restorations. 


Mountain Valleys RC&D has considerable expertise and experience working with private landowners to implement these conservation practices.  The purpose of these conservation practices will be to improve water quality on EEP stream restoration projects through cattle exclusion to these streams and wetlands.

Interested in talking with someone about a stream project in your area?

Need help finding funds for a septic repair?


Contact our Water Resources Program Manager

Mariah Hughes at 828-206-6159 or

bottom of page