Help name River Arts District creek

With the help of the City of Asheville, the River Arts District Business Association (RADBA), the River Arts District Artists (RADA) and the West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN), RiverLink’s “Name That Creek” program aims to put another name on the Asheville map.

This sixth Name That Creek campaign centers on a small stream that begins in Aston Park near the intersection of Hilliard and Clingman Avenues. It parallels Clingman before ducking under several buildings, Clingman Avenue and Riverside Drive, flowing into the French Broad near 14 Riverside Drive, which is the site of a River Arts District visitor center set to open this spring.

Members of the local community — RADBA, RADA and WECAN — were asked to submit names, which will now go to out to the public for voting.

Submitted names are:

  • Bacoate Branch — So named to honor Osie W. Bacoate, teacher, cosmetologist, WECAN neighbor since 1953 and mother of Matthew Bacoate Jr., civil rights activist and proprietor of the largest African American owned business in the Asheville’s History, AFRAM, housed in what is now WEDGE Studios.
  • WECAN Branch — This waterway is the eastern boundary of the West End/Clingman Avenue Neighborhood (WECAN). WECAN celebrates the diversity that has been our history, the West End having been traditionally white, Chesterfield Mill housing while Clingman Avenue was settled by predominately African Americans.
  • Jessie Branch — Jessie Nell Coleman and Jessie Mae Jones are two of our most steadfast neighbors, with a combined total of over 120 years living in WECAN. They are the epitome of all that is good in WECAN. Jessie Nell Coleman worked for Head Start for over 35 years and is known throughout WECAN, South French Broad and Southside neighborhoods as “Mamma Nell.” Jessie Mae Jones maintained one of WECAN’s premier gardens for over 60 years. WECAN has a title of “Block Jessie,” which refers to one who looks after their block.
  • Lowery Creek — After lifetime residents from the neighborhood.
  • Arno Creek — Italy’s Arno River flows through Florence, a city renowned for creativity and progressive thought, and home to some of the most beautiful art on the planet
  • Yarrow Creek — After Mr. Thomas Yarrow, who built several concrete brick homes by hand in the 1940s, two of which survive between Rector Street and Hilliard Avenue.
  • Inspiration Creek — This little stream flows through the River Arts District, where inspiration moves artists to do great things every day.
  • Creation Creek — The River Arts District is home to some of the most creative people in Asheville.


The poll can be found on the RiverLink website. (The poll is closed.)


The way Name That Creek works

RiverLink, an environmental nonprofit, asks local neighborhoods to propose names and then asks Asheville residents to vote for the most fitting name. The winner is then voted on by Asheville City Council to have the name submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey Board of Geographical Names. If the name is approved by the USGS, it eventually would become the official name for the creek. Since the project’s inception, RiverLink has sponsored four successful creek name changes with the help of community volunteers:

  • Buttermilk Creek, a tributary of Hominy Creek in West Asheville.
  • Big Branch, a tributary of Reems Creek in Weaverville.
  • Penland Creek, which runs through the New Belgium Brewery.
  • Fox Creek, a tributary of Smith Mill Creek in West Asheville.


For more information, contact Dave Russell at RiverLink, 828-252-8474, Ext. 11, or To find out more about RiverLink and its many programs championing Western North Carolina waterways, visit