Blue Ridge SWCD Welcomes New Director

In November 2019, Freeda Cathcart was elected as the Blue Ridge SWCD’s newest director, representing the City of Roanoke. In the early 1990’s, Cathcart was the President of the Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op. She was one of the Founders of the Left Bank Land Co. in Floyd, Virginia working with the shareholders to create the “Artesia” Land Trust on their property in 1995. Artesia protects the watershed and the old growth forest from being developed for future generations. The property associated with the Left Bank Land Co. supports several successful farm market growers and independent cottage industries. 


Cathcart currently serves on the “League of Women Voters of the Roanoke Valley” and “Points of Diversity” boards. She and her husband of 32 years have four children. She enjoys hiking, kayaking and singing in her church’s choir.

Septic Grant Extended through June 2020

            Funding through the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District to reimburse homeowners for 50% of the costs of septic system pump-outs, public sewer hook-ups (where available), repairs, and replacements has been extended through June 30th, 2020. Residents of Henry County, Virginia. Applicants must live in the portion of the Smith River watershed northwest of Martinsville and the Blackberry Creek watershed in Henry County. Residents who live in this area and are experiencing issues with their septic system are encouraged to apply for assistance. Funding rates may be eligible to be increased in lower income situations.

To learn more about our septic program, determine if you live in an eligible watershed, or request an application, please contact Michael Tabor or Allen Jackson at 540-352-3312. Inquiries can also be submitted via email at mtabor@brswcd.org or djackson@brswcd.org and during regular office hours (8-4:30 p.m M-F) at 1297 State Street, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.