The Coal River Group (CRG) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the protecting, preserving, and promoting the Coal River watershed. Since 2004 the Group has been working to restore the quality of the watershed and increase river recreation in southern West Virginia.
The mission of the Coal River Group is to bring life back to the Coal Rivers. The Group pursues the following goals:
- Environment: Clean up, preserve, and improve the Big, Little, and main Coal Rivers
- River Recreation & Economic Development:Create and promote recreational opportunities on the rivers to the improve the region's economy
- History:Preserve the history of the Coal Rivers and the region
To meet these goals, the CRG pursues wide-ranging initiatives throughout the watershed. These include river and stream cleanups, river restoration, water quality monitoring, guided group paddle trips, heritage and paddling events, and education and outreach events for local schools and community groups.
The Coal River Group is incorporated in West Virginia by West Virginians. We are an all-volunteer run organization, governed by an eleven member Board of Directors.
Our members and volunteers come from all over Boone, Lincoln, and Kanawha Counties, West Virginia, and the United States.
With a watershed covering three counties, local stewardship and engagement is vital to the Coal River Group's success. The Big Coal Branch of the CRG formed in 2008 to address issues on the Big Coal and incorporate stakeholders' voices in the CRG. The Branch hosts annual stream cleanups and heritage events in Boone County. The Little Coal River Branch formed in 2012.
The Group provides walking trails at the CRG Science & Education Center at Meadowood Park in Tornado, at the Group's Barnette Conservation Preserve on Strawberry Rd in St. Albans, and at Dartmont Park in Ashford.
The CRG also founded the Coal River Walhonde Water Trail, a designated river trail with designated access points, take-outs, and and places ashore to camp and picnic. The Coal River Water Trail is the first water trail located entirely within the state of West Virginia.
In recognition of the Group's achievements, the state of West Virginia awarded the West Virginia Watershed of the Year to the Coal River Group in both 2009 and 2011, making it the first organization to win the prestigious award twice.