MDC Offers Free Rain Barrels to Service Area Residents!

The MDC has announced that they are offering (limited) free rain barrels on a first-come, first-serve basis to residents of MDC member towns (Bloomfield, East Hartford, Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor).

To learn more about how you can get a rain barrel (one per household) from the MDC, please direct your request to: Ellen Tedford, The Metropolitan District, cleanwaterproject@themdc.com, 860.278.7850 ext. 3224.

See the articles in the West Hartford Patch and Hartford Courant for more information.

Removal of Spoonville Dam in Summer 2012!

This summer, FRWA will coordinate removal of the Spoonville Dam on the Farmington River. The dam, owned by CT Light and Power, will become history thanks to a partnership effort by FRWA, CL&P, and CT DEEP. The removal will help make the river and its tributaries accessible to migratory fish that have historically spawned there, such as American shad (our state fish), river herring, American eels, and others. It is also expected to enhance whitewater paddling in Tariffville Gorge, a popular recreation area, and improve safety of river recreation at the Gorge. To learn more about this exciting river restoration project, go to our Spoonville Dam FAQ page

Wild Edibles Evening Saunter with Russ Cohen

Join FRWA and renowned foraging expert and enthusiast Russ Cohen for a walk through Stratton Brook State Park on Tuesday July 10, from 6 to 8 pm, in search of wild food. Central Connecticut is home to over 100 species of edible wild plants, many of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts.

Russ Cohen author of Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, will lead a two-hour walk to learn about edible wild plants. Keys to the identification of each species will be provided, along with edible portions, seasons of availability and preparation methods, along with guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. Stratton Brook State Park, Simsbury. Fees: FRWA members: $15, non-members: $20. Pre-registration required, please call FRWA at (860) 658-4442 or email river@frwa.org.

Morning Paddle in Simsbury – Canoe Trip

Join FRWA for a paddle through Simsbury from the Pinchot Sycamore to Curtiss Park on July 28th starting at 9 am. Learn about Land Management issues along the river with input from both FRWA and Simsbury Land Trust on their efforts to protect the river and its corridor. Naturalist Diane Tucker from the Hill-Stead Museum will also join us, to observe and comment on the natural features and wildlife of the river.

To participate in any of these events pre-registration is required.
Space is limited and trips sell out quickly so please contact FRWA at
(860) 658-4442, or email: river@frwa.org to register.

Canoe trips take from 2-4 hours and paddlers must be able to handle
a canoe in flat water. Canoes courtesy of Huck Finn Adventures,
Collinsville, CT.

Cost per person: Members: Need a boat: $15; Have a boat: $10; Nonmembers:
Need a boat: $20; Have a boat: $15

Twilight on the River with Jay Kaplan – Canoe Trip

Paddle the River with FRWA on July 21st starting at 5:45 pm in the cool of evening in the company of great blue herons, muskrats, beavers, and other crepuscular wildlife. Enjoy a little night music orchestrated by native songbirds and singing insects. Jay Kaplan, Naturalist and Director of Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton will share his vast knowledge of local plants and animals visible and/or audible along the River at sunset. (Trip lands after nightfall.)

To participate in any of these events pre-registration is required. Space is limited and trips sell out quickly so please contact FRWA at (860) 658-4442, or email: river@frwa.org to register.

Canoe trips take from 2-4 hours and paddlers must be able to handle a canoe in flat water. Canoes courtesy of Huck Finn Adventures, Collinsville, CT.

Cost per person: Members: Need a boat: $15; Have a boat: $10; Nonmembers:

Need a boat: $20; Have a boat: $15

 

Farmington River Archeology with Ken Feder – Canoe Trip

Join FRWA on July 14th at 9 am for our Farmington River Archeology Canoe Trip.  Paddle along our own ancient Native American canoe trail as we explore the fascinating culture of the people who inhabited the Farmington River Valley thousands of years ago. Learn about the latest archeological discoveries from Ken Feder, Professor of Anthropology, Central
Connecticut State University, and founder of the Farmington River Archeology Project.

To participate in any of these events pre-registration is required. Space is limited and trips sell out quickly so please contact FRWA at (860) 658-4442, or email: river@frwa.org to register.

Canoe trips take from 2-4 hours and paddlers must be able to handle a canoe in flat water. Canoes courtesy of Huck Finn Adventures, Collinsville, CT.

Cost per person: Members: Need a boat: $15; Have a boat: $10; Nonmembers: Need a boat: $20; Have a boat: $15

Watch CT Legislators Announce New Federal Efforts to Protect the Lower Farmington River & Salmon Brook

FRWA is pleased to share the following video of Congressmen Chris Murphy and John Larson, and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Joe Lieberman's remarks announcing new legislation to create a U.S. National Park Service Wild and Scenic Rivers Act protective designation for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook, through the ten towns of Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury, and Windsor.  If you cannot play the video below, please click on this link to go to the CT-N website:

Join FRWA at the Red Stone Pub on Wednesday, May 23rd 6-9

Come support the FRWA at the Red Stone Pub, 10 Mall Way, Simsbury, CT.

Relax with friends and guest bartenders, Jerry Cohen and Tony Healy; a percentage of drink sales will be contributed to the Farmington River Watershed Association. Donations gratefully accepted.

Help ensure a future for the Farmington Watershed where forests outnumber outsized
parking lots, where you have options to walk, ride, or paddle along a wildlife-rich river, and where community members work together to keep this natural resource a treasure for all.

Red Stone Pub offers a casual place for simple food and drink in this refurbished, turn-of-the-twentieth-century carriage house. Its home at the Courtyard Building possesses characteristics of colonial Boston, with repurposed barn doors, exposed masonry walls, a brick fireplace and a red-stone facade. The bar offers a wide selection of wines and draft and bottled beers.

Red Stone Pub
10 Mall Way, Simsbury, CT 860-217-1744

Lower Wild & Scenic Farmington & Salmon Brook Press Conference

On Monday, May 21 at 11:00 am at the Tariffville Mill (2 Tunxis Road, Tariffville, CT 06081) there will be a press conference with Congressmen Chris Murphy and John Larson, and Senators Joe Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal announcing that the Lower Farmington River & Salmon Brook Wild & Scenic River Act Bill (Number HR. 4360) has been introduced to the House of Representatives.

We hope you can join us for this exciting event.  If you cannot attend or would like to learn more about the bill, visit the Library of Congress’s THOMAS website where you can track any bill introduced in Washington.  To track the Wild & Scenic Bill, simply enter in “HR. 4360” and you can keep track of the bill as it goes through the process.

Important Conservation Vote in Simsbury on May 15th – Ethel Walker Woods

FRWA urges our members in Simsbury to vote yes on the Ethel Walker Woods Phase II referendum on May 15th, 2012.  Voting Yes on Question 4 will approve the 2.05 Million Dollar appropriation for Phase 2A of the Ethel Walker Woods conservation.  Of the 2.05 Million Dollar appropriation, one third of the money has been secured by state and federal grants.  If this fails to pass, the $1,000,000 deposit made in 2007 (passed Nov 2006) will be forfeited, $691,000 in grant funding will be lost and the 90 acres of Phase 2 A and 2 B will be vulnerable to future development.

For more information on the Ethel Walker Woods Project, please visit keepthewoods.org or The Trust for Public Land.
For a compelling reason to support this project’s second phase please read this fact sheet on the project from the Highlands Conservation Act.  The text of this document has been copied and pasted below:

The State of Connecticut requests Highlands Conservation Act funds to protect Phase II of the Ethel Walker Property–91 acres of ecologically rich forest, streams, meadows and floodplains. The Town of Simsbury, in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and The Ethel Walker School, permanently protected 336 acres in the first phase of this effort in July 2007. At closing, the Town made a $1 million non-refundable deposit on an option to purchase the remaining 91 acres.

The Ethel Walker land contains class I watershed land and is the primary recharge area for the Stratton Brook Aquifer. This aquifer supplies numerous private wells and provides drinking water to more than 10,000 residents.

There are extensive pubic hiking and equestrian trails here. Large stands of mature conifers support more than 60 forest nesting and migratory bird species. The American Bittern, a CT endangered species, has been documented here by the Hartford Audubon Society. Stratton Brook supports native Eastern Brook Trout, in decline throughout CT.

Ethel Walker is contiguous with several preserved properties; if all 427 acres here are preserved, the property would form the core of 1,400 acres of open space. This unique property has been an open space priority for the town and the State of Connecticut for many years.