Saville Dam and Old Barkhamsted Hollow Tour Oct 24

Saville Dam and Old Barkhamsted Hollow
Bus tour and short hike
Saturday October 24th, 2015
10 am to 3 pm
Cost: $10

Join us for a tour deep inside the bowels of the Saville Dam followed by a trek to some of the old Barkhamsted foundations spared inundation as the Barkhamsted Reservoir filled. We plan to end our tour with a visit to the relocated old Barkhamsted Center schoolhouse. The history and preservation of our watershed is intertwined with the story of the Metropolitan District and the pursuit of clean drinking water for Greater Hartford.

The MDC will guide us through the earthen embankment dam that impounds the 30 billion gallon Barkhamsted reservoir providing drinking water for Greater Hartford. Erik Landgraf will lead us around the relics of old Barkhamsted Hollow, a village mostly flooded by the creation of the Barkhamsted Reservoir in 1940. Structures that were not flooded were torn down or moved by the water company, but not without a trace. Trace history in your watershed!

Pre-registration is required, space is limited, contact FRWA at (860) 658-4442, or email: to register; Tour begins at 10:00 am, dress for the weather, wear footwear to walk in the woods, pack a lunch and water.

FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop, Sept 30 & Oct 3

FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop (Indoors)
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
7 to 9 p.m.
FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury

FRWA Aquatic Insect (RBV) Sampling (Outdoors, in-stream)
Saturday, October 3rd 10 am to noon
(We’ll let you know where to meet after you sign up.)

Volunteers are needed to help sample for aquatic insects as indicators of water quality. Explore the fascinating life of local streams throughout the Farmington River Watershed!

FRWA will hold our Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling (RBV) Workshop on WednesdaySeptember 30th at FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury. This indoor-only portion of the workshop on Wednesday evening will provide an overview of the RBV (Rapid Biomonitoring for Volunteers) program, demonstrate collection and identification techniques and explain the use of aquatic organisms in water quality monitoring.

Following the indoor training, participants will be able to participate in the FRWA in-stream Aquatic Insect sampling to be held on Saturday October 3rd and/or join up with other experienced samplers during the fall throughout the Farmington River Watershed.

For the in-stream sampling, participants wade into the water, collect organisms into a net, sort and identify and preserve a representative sample for verification. The program follows CT DEEP Rapid Biomonitoring for Volunteers (RBV) protocol and results help FRWA and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection monitor water quality changes in the Farmington River Watershed.

No previous experience necessary, new volunteers are paired with an experienced team leader for sampling and older children are welcome with an adult. Outdoor sampling will be held rain or shine; please dress for the weather and bring footwear to wade into the water (waders, water shoes or old sneakers). Space is limited, advance registration is required. Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email to register.

Experienced samplers please contact FRWA to borrow equipment and sample your favorite stream riffle and/or to sign up to be a team leader on the scheduled sampling day.

FRWA Canoe Trip: The River Bottom: Saturday August 15, 2015, 9 am

Meander down the river with FRWA Potamologist, Alisa Phillips-Griggs, and discover the river bottom by canoe.  Join us for a late summer, low flow view of the river bed. What is the river bed composed of and why? Who lives on the bottom of the river, and what are the challenges and opportunities for life on the bottom? What determines where the river flows and where will it go next? Who owns the ground under the river and what happens when the channel shifts? How do trees that fall into the water influence the river and its ecology? How do invasive plants and animals influence the river bed and its native inhabitants? What Junk and trash lies at the bottom of the river and what is its fate? How can we best protect the river bed and its living community?


We’ll flex our paddling muscles and explore the mussels, sandbars and sunken flotsam and jetsam of the river bottom as we ponder what lies beneath.

FRWA Aerial Video Fundraiser

Please help us fund a fully produced aerial video to help tell the story of the river. Your contribution will help us pay for an aerial video, professionally produced, that will show off the many splendors and uses of our beloved river. The finalized video will help us draw in more supporters, educate people about the river and its importance, and reengage existing supporters.

The price for this project is special pricing offered to us for this campaign and will be available for a limited time. Please join in to make this a successful campaign!

Link to the GoFundMe Project:


Volunteers Needed: Annual Farmington River Clean-up, September 26, 10am – 2pm

Our 28th Annual Farmington River Clean-up is set for Saturday, September 26th, from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

The Clean-up is a great community event designed to get people and groups of all ages involved in cleaning up litter along the banks of the Farmington River and its tributaries. Several meeting sites will be actively cleaning the banks of the River in Avon, Barkhamsted, Bloomfield, Burlington, Canton, Farmington, Granby, Simsbury and Windsor. Garbage bags and gloves are provided to all participants, through generous donations from local businesses and stores.

After the Clean-up, volunteers are invited to FRWA’s headquarters for a family picnic where refreshments, sandwiches and pizza will be served. FRWA’s office is located at 749 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, CT.

For more information on how you can help with the Farmington River Clean-up and to register for a specific site, please call FRWA at (860)-658-4442, extension 0 or email

Streambugs and Pond Critters, Sunday September 27, 10 am – Noon

Discover the fascinating underwater life of our watershed with the
Farmington River Watershed Association as we explore Walton Pond and Poplar
Swamp Brook at beautiful Winding Trails in Farmington. Spend the morning
pond-side and wading in the brook to observe, identify, and marvel at the
life histories and ecology of insects and other creatures that inhabit still
and flowing waters. Learn how and why we use aquatic insects in our
watershed-wide water quality monitoring.

We will provide nets, buckets and expertise; you need only bring your
curious mind. We meet at Nature’s Porch which is Winding Trails’ beautiful
certified Connecticut grown building. We will go outdoors rain or shine.
Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear to wade into
shallow water (water shoes, old sneakers, or waders.) This program is open
to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult.

Advance registration is required; please register through the Winding Trails website:

Led by: FRWA Water Quality & Projects Coordinator: Alisa Phillips-Griggs
Sunday September 27, 2015
10 am to Noon
Nature’s Porch, Winding Trails, Farmington, CT

River Safety: Show Your River Sense…

Now that summer’s here, the river beckons—but be safe! If you are boating or tubing, wear a life jacket. Go with someone else rather than boating alone. Let someone know of your plans. If you are separated from your companions, get back to them as soon as possible to let them know your whereabouts. And while you’re out there, make the river safer for people and wildlife—leave no glass, no trash, no fishing line or hooks.

For more river safety tips visit FRWA’s River Safety Page.

It All Happened on the Farmington River, July 1, 6:30-8pm Prosser Library

A Story of Historic Sites, Fish, Factories, Floods & FLows…..
The river has had a significant role in the Farmington Valley’s history, and that role has changed dramatically over time. Once a primary food source and travel corridor for Native Americans, the river now provides multiple services for our complex society.

FRWA’s presentation shows how the Farmington River affected early settlement, agriculture, the industrial revolution and subsequent pollution, the growth of greater Hartford, the rise of the recreation industry, and other regional historic events. The story of native fish and wildlife will be told, as it has unfolded over the centuries. Participants will gain a new appreciation for this vital resource which constitutes part of the northern boundary of Bloomfield. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is appreciated, online or by calling 860-243-9721.

Dr. Eileen Fielding, Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association since 2008, brings the story of the river to Bloomfield.  Event co-sponsored by the Wintonbury Land Trust and the library.

Natural Lawn Care: July 26th, 10:30—11:30 am, Barkhamsted

Aimee Petras, Education & Outreach Coordinator wants you to get your lawn in shape without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Skeptical? Attend her upcoming workshop on July 26, from 10:30 to 11:30 at the Barkhamsted Senior Center. She will outline tips for mowing, seeding, watering and ways to manage common weeds and pests that can complicate natural lawn care.

Defending Your Town’s Healthy Trees – Tuesday, June 23 from 4:30pm-6:30pm

Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Connecticut Tree Wardens Association, and FRWA invite you to:

Defending Your Town’s Healthy Trees (Event Flyer Link)
Tuesday, June 23 from 4:30pm-6:30pm
Farmington Public Library, 6 Monteith Drive, Farmington, CT 06032

Trees are a crucial piece of Connecticut’s charm, and are one of the principal reasons our citizens enjoy a high quality of life, plus they provide many additional benefits to our communities and environment. Unfortunately, we are losing thousands of healthy street trees around Connecticut to overly-aggressive utility trimming programs and could lose up to a million more over the next few years! Join us and learn what your town and citizens can do to protect healthy, structurally sound trees in your neighborhood.

Please RSVP to
Event Flyer Link