Happy New Year from the
Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition
The Swannanoa Pride Community Coalition (SPCC) is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that seeks to bring the Swannanoa community together to become actively involved in shaping Swannanoa’s future, while preserving its unique history, heritage, and character.
SPCC would like to thank the hundreds of Swannanoa residents and business owners who have participated in SPCC projects since the organization’s founding in October 2006. Here are some of the projects and activities that SPCC was involved in during 2008:
· Developed a Swannanoa Business and Community Directory that will be published in early 2009 and made available to the public free of charge.
· Held a series of meetings with the Buncombe County Manager, County Planners, and County Commissioners to discuss ways that the County might assist with projects in Swannanoa.
· Sponsored two community-wide cleanups (Swannanoa Sweeps) – one in the spring and one in the fall.
· Organized and sponsored the 2008 Mill Around the Village Festival held in the historic downtown area of Swannanoa. The festival was attended by 1200+ people and featured live music all day, 50 vendor booths, and a children’s play area.
· Participated as a sponsor of Beacon History Day and the Beacon Oral History Project, which will culminate in a documentary about life in Swannanoa during the heyday of the Beacon blanket mill. Continued to gather and share photos, artifacts, and other historical information about Swannanoa through the Swannanoa Heritage Exchange.
· Held a community meeting to educate residents and business owners about historic preservation issues.
· Sponsored an Organization Mixer in spring 2008 that brought together representatives from 20 Swannanoa Valley nonprofits to network, socialize, and share information about their organization and its mission.
· Applied for and received two grants (one from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and one from the Center for Participatory Change) to further SPCC’s work in the community.
· Met with the Department of Transportation to talk about safety issues and transportation challenges in Swannanoa. Advocated for improvements (pedestrian crosswalks and sidewalks) to increase the safety and walkability of our community.
· Worked (through the Swannanoa Greenway Committee) to develop a greenway proposal for Swannanoa. Met with property owners and partnered with the County and other organizations to begin implementing the greenway proposal. Assisted in getting a representative from Swannanoa appointed to the newly-formed County Greenways Commission.
· Held a community meeting to educate residents about flood issues and the new FEMA flood maps for our area.
· Monitored Buncombe County Planning Board meetings and advocated for responsible development. Assisted in recruiting and supporting applicants from Swannanoa to fill vacant seats on the Planning Board.
· Continued to keep lines of communication open with representatives of The Cliffs at High Carolina development. Attended several tours of the property, and corresponded with The Cliffs about community concerns. Joined with other groups and residents of Swannanoa and Fairview in requesting a public hearing (held in November 2008) regarding The Cliffs’ stream disturbance application.
· Advocated at the State level for restoration of funding to complete the landslide mapping project in Western North Carolina.
· Arranged for holiday wreaths to be hung on the utility poles along US 70 in Swannanoa, with the help of donations from the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Black Mountain, and a number of Swannanoa residents and businesses. This was the first time that Swannanoa’s streets had been decorated for the holidays in many years.