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Grant to expand public access to Caldwell Creek

Photo provided to the Times Observer The Foundation for Sustainable Forests, represented here by land manager/forester Guy Dunkle, has been awarded a $5,000 grant to expand public access for trout fishing along Caldwell Creek in Southwest Township.

Trout fishing access along Caldwell Creek in Southwest Township is set to be improved as a result of an outdoor grant.

The Spartansburg-based Foundation for Sustainable Forests was one of 40 entities selected from over 1,000 applications nation-wide, according to the organization’s executive director, Annie Maloney.

“To be recognized by MTN DEW and our local community for our work and commitment to the outdoors is very special,” Maloney explained. “We are so excited to receive a $5,000 grant to help us bring greater awareness and accessibility to this unique natural area to more people in the community during a time when it matters most.”

The non-profit aims to utilize the $5,000 awarded “to add public parking spaces along Caldwell Creek’s public fly-fishing corridor and signs about the fishing opportunities and 1,000 acres of surrounding forest that it has protected,” according to a statement.

“The new parking access will be located near the Caldwell Creek bridge on Dotyville Hill Rd., at the downstream – southwest – end of the public access fishing corridor,” Maloney said. “An existing access on Flat Rd. will also be improved, with informative signs added at both locations.

The group says its goal “is to protect forested land as working forests” but “in its application to the grant program the organization highlighted the importance of improving public awareness of and access to the recreational opportunities that Caldwell Creek provides.

“This funding will support the Foundation for Sustainable Forest’s ongoing efforts in Caldwell Creek valley.”

Maloney said that the Foundation For Sustainable Forests has conserved over 1,000 acres around Caldwell Creek “that is open to the public for hunting, fishing, and leave-no-trace forms of recreation like hiking and bird-watching.”

“The effort by MTN DEW is part of a long-term commitment to help community organizations across the U.S. who have faced funding and volunteer participation challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, and to provide outdoor enthusiasts with more access to the great outdoors by helping remove some of the key barriers,” according to a statement.

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