As a historic and some might say “challenging” year drew to a close, news of a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina began spreading faster than the virus. Billed as “the only organization dedicated to the state’s resplendent falling water”, the new group promises to be a huge win for those of us who care about NC’s waterfalls.
I doubt I’m alone in saying I’ve become quite dismayed at times recently, thanks to underfunding of land-owning agencies that manage waterfalls, unsustainable levels of visitation as people seek isolated outdoor activities, environmental impacts from people trampling around, and trash piling up around the waterfalls. So it’s great to hear that the group aims to “pick up the trash, clear the trails, and protect the plants and animals that live in the waterfall environment.” In addition, trails crews & coordination, science & education (including a “waterfall library” with historical text and imagery relating to NC’s falls), and consultation with land managers on sustainable access are all being touted as wins in just over a month of the group’s existence! It seems like North Carolina’s waterfalls finally have a dedicated crew to help keep them in top shape.
Many thanks to those who are working hard to get this off the ground (including names you might well recognize). We must admit that we contribute to the visitation numbers ourselves, given that we’ve been providing information on how to access the falls online for 24 years. So we can’t wait to join the group ourselves and give back, encourage others to do so, and see what awesome things the future brings for the waterfalls of NC!