Learn about current and future outdoor recreation in Eden. Rub shoulders with others who care about the Dan River State Crossings region. And take a relaxing two-mile hike alongside a peaceful creek. You can do all of these things at the annual meeting of the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) on Saturday, March 7, at Eden City Hall.
The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the council room at Eden City Hall, 308 East Stadium Drive, Eden, NC. Attendance is free. Refreshments and a variety of displays reflecting DRBA’s work will be available at the meeting’s start.
Learn about Eden’s outdoor rec
Eden staff members Cindy Adams and Mike Dougherty will then deliver a presentation on current and future improvements in outdoor recreation assets in the city. That talk will likely include discussion of river access and trails within Eden and Rockingham County.
“Having outdoor recreation infrastructure means a greater ability to attract visitors and tourism dollars into the area,” said Wayne Kirkpatrick, the DRBA’s vice president. “We’re hoping it results in more business in restaurants and stores. It’s people not only getting out and walking and paddling, but also spending their money.”
The meeting will also include highlights of DRBA’s 2019 accomplishments; a preview of the organization’s 2020 activities; and a short business session that includes recognition of extraordinary volunteer service and the election of board members.
Hiking on Matrimony Creek Trail
After lunch, DRBA members will lead a 2-mile, out-and-back hike on the Matrimony Creek Trail.
“The trail rises alongside Matrimony Creek, which is a typical Piedmont stream with some rock shelves and waters rippling and gurgling,” Kirpatrick said. “The trail is 6 to 8 feet wide and has a natural surface with real fine gravel. At the one-mile turnaround mark, there are remnants of an old mill dam that’s long since been blown out and destroyed. There’s a huge ledge where the water tumbles down, and there’s a roar to the creek. You can see a lot of rock outcroppings along the edges, and in the spring time, a lot of wildflowers. It’s a very pleasant walk out in nature, with the sound of the stream beside you.”
Matrimony Creek rises in southern Henry County, Virginia and flows through Rockingham County until it joins the Dan River at the western edge of Eden. William Byrd wrote about the creek in 1728, while surveying the boundary line between the colonies of North Carolina and Virginia. According to Byrd, Matrimony Creek was “call’d so by an unfortunate married man because it was exceeding noisy and impetuous.”
Settlers built water-powered grist mills on the creek to grind corn for bread. Later residents built a sawmill and foundry along the creek as well. The biggest mill grew and evolved—and was even burnt down and rebuilt—before it burned for good on October 15, 1994, ending two hundreds years of milling on Matrimony.
Back where it all began
This year marks the 18th anniversary of DRBA’s first public meeting in January of 2002. So it’s notable that this year’s meeting is taking place in the same place that first one did: Eden City Hall.
DRBA was formed to preserve and promote the region’s abundant natural and cultural resources. Since its founding, DRBA has pursued a mission of preserving and promoting the region’s rivers and culture through education, recreation, stewardship and regional identity. The association encompasses portions of sixteen counties in Virginia and North Carolina in its 3,300-square-mile watershed.
The Dan River Basin features six rivers—the Dan, Mayo, Smith, Sandy, Banister and Hyco. Recognizing that this beautiful area shares a history of reliance on the rivers for drinking water, transportation, commerce and industry, DRBA provides a unified vision of cooperation across geographic and political boundaries, and fosters environmentally sound, sustainable economic development.
Directions and contact info
Directions to Eden City Hall: From NC 14 (Van Buren Road) in Eden, turn east onto Stadium Drive. City Hall is on the southeast corner of East Stadium Drive and South Pierce Street, at the first traffic light. Parking may be accessed from both Stadium Drive and Pierce Street driveways. Enter the building at the main entrance, on the east side of the building, away from South Pierce Street.
For more information, contact Wayne Kirkpatrick at 540-570-3511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.