News

Students are Planting Seeds of Change

November 16, 2022

Students are Planting Seeds of Change

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) received a Community Impact grant from the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia in Martinsville for the Planting Seeds of Change for Youth project.  Through this grant, DRBA partnered with Albert Harris Elementary of Martinsville City Public Schools to install two raised beds in a paved urban area of the school campus.  The vacant area was underutilized, but created a unique space near the STEM classroom for students to grow vegetables in raised beds and keep a close eye on them on their way to the classroom.  Click here to read more!


Dedication of Monarch Waystation at Anglers Park

November 10, 2022

Dedication of Monarch Waystation at Anglers Park

On October 20, 2022, a nationally certified Monarch Waystation was dedicated at Anglers Park in Danville, VA. Constructed by the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) and generously funded by the Collins Great Outdoors fund of the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region, the Waystation provides a sustainable habitat for butterflies and other pollinators that are critical to all living things.  Click here to read more!


Improvements at Existing Frank Wilson Park Entrance

July 28, 2022

Improvements at Existing Frank Wilson Park Entrance

The Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) improved the existing J. Frank Wilson Memorial Park entrance on Oakdale Street to a more inviting and welcoming park entrance.  The Oakdale Street entrance is near the Virginia Museum of Natural History in uptown Martinsville.  Improvements include signage, flower planters, and a litter cleanup by volunteers.  The project was funded by a special interest grant through the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia.  CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.


Butler Legacy Fund

July 1, 2022

Butler Legacy Fund

Two Organizations Join Together to Create The Butler Legacy Fund

T & Lindley Butler, long-time residents of Wentworth, NC are being honored by the Museum of Archives of Rockingham County (MARC) and the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA).  The two organizations have joined together to create the Butler Legacy Fund, to support projects that have both historical and environmental relevance in Rockingham County, NC.  

“I am honored by the MARC and DRBA’s desire to establish the Butler Legacy Fund,” said T Butler. “My husband and I both believed in the amazing potential of Rockingham County, and I am thrilled that the Fund will enable these two outstanding organizations to continue making a difference for the people who live, work and play in the place that nurtured us for over fifty years.”

The Butlers have accomplished more than most can only dream of, they were founders of both the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) and the Museum & Archives of Rockingham County (MARC).  

“It is hard to imagine a more appropriate way to honor Lindley and T Butler than something that combines their passions the way the Butler Legacy Fund does,” said Jeffrey Bullins, President of the Board of Directors of the MARC. “The MARC Board of Directors look forward to working with DRBA on completing projects using the Butler Legacy Fund that will continue achieving the vision the Butler’s have had regarding North Carolina history and environment.”

The Butlers have made an enormous contribution to Rockingham County, NC and the surrounding region.  They have given their time, talent and treasure to dozens of organizations and projects that have made a positive, tangible impact for the people in the entire region and continue to make a difference today.  Sadly, Lindley Butler passed away in May, 2022.

The first project of the Butler Legacy Fund will be to restore and renovate the Batteau Exhibit at the MARC. 

"The batteau replica at the MARC highlights the importance of Dan River commerce in the nineteenth century, where skilled boatmen transported agricultural products from Stokes and Rockingham counties downriver to markets, then brought finished goods back upstream,” said T Butler. “The expert batteau crews were almost exclusively enslaved Africans before the Civil War, and free Blacks after the war. The mural depicts a batteau at Leaksville Landing.”

Almost two decades ago, one of DRBA’s first projects was to highlight the historical relevance of the batteau system in Rockingham County. The organization held events on a replica batteau and took passengers up and down rivers in the Dan River Basin. Not only did these events put people at ease about recreating on the river, it was an opportunity for DRBA to promote protection of the local natural resources.  That replica now resides in an exhibit at the MARC.

“This restoration project is the perfect project to inaugurate the Butler Legacy Fund,” said Tiffany Haworth, DRBA’s Executive Director. “It combines both DRBA and the MARC’s missions. Neither organization would be here today without T and Lindley’s foresight and leadership. Every person that lives and visits Rockingham County – in fact, in the entire Dan River watershed – owes a huge debt of gratitude to this amazing couple.”

The Butler Legacy Fund is accepting donations now for this project.  The project includes weatherproofing the replica batteau and building a structure around it for protection, installing a batteau mural, and installing new, updated informational signage at the exhibit. The estimated cost of the project is $10,000.00.  Once the funds are raised, the project can begin.

“Completing the batteau exhibit by installing the mural was one of Lindley fond wishes,” said T Butler. “He would be delighted that this was selected as the first Butler Legacy Fund project."

To donate to the Butler Legacy Fund, please visit:  https://www.themarconline.org/the-butler-legacy-fund.html or https://www.danriver.org/form/donate


Nature Detour Trail Opens to Public

July 1, 2022

Nature Detour Trail Opens to Public

New Trail Opens at Jack Dalton Park

The new Nature Detour Trail located at Jack Dalton Park is now open to the public. This natural surface trail is designed to inspire people to immerse themselves in nature and learn more about native plants.                                                                

Jack Dalton Park is used widely by residents for walking, biking, picnicking and sporting events.  Before the Nature Detour Trail was constructed, the experience at the park was fully on pavement and with little shelter from the sun.  The Nature Detour Trail gives walkers and runners an opportunity to step into a wooded area and learn something new about their local environment.

“The Nature Detour Trail adds an exciting recreational opportunity for the thousands of people that visit Jack Dalton Park every year,” said Roger Adams, Director of Parks & Recreation at Henry County.  “We are grateful to the Rotary Clubs and Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) for creating a way for people to take a detour from pavement for a few minutes and enjoy nature.”

The Nature Detour Trail was funded by the Martinsville Uptown Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Martinsville, and the Henry County Rotary Club in partnership with DRBA and with additional support from David Jones, of Jones & DeShon Orthodontics in Martinsville, and his son, David Jones, of Roanoke Valley Orthodontics.  

Rotary Club members rolled up their sleeves and volunteered at the site to construct the trail and plant native plants along the trail during its construction. 

“The Rotary Clubs worked together to make this new trail a reality for the people who live in our community,” Jim Woods of the Rotary Clubs of Martinsville and Henry County . “We hope everyone gets the chance to walk this short trail and get inspired to enjoy other trails in the region.  In addition, we hope that people learn something about the importance of native plants and protection of our natural resources.”

DRBA helps plan and construct trails, parks and river access points in the 3,300 square miles of the Dan River Basin watershed.  Please join us and help protect our natural and cultural resources.