Barkhamsted Earth Day Nature Festival

Join FRWA at the Earth Day Festival! Alisa Phillips-Griggs, Water Quality and Projects Coordinator, will be leading a macroinvertebrate workshop for youth and adults alike! Learn more about how insects and bugs can be indicators of water quality. More details to come!

Come get your nature on! Barkhamsted Earth Day Nature Festival features Birds of Prey show, hands-on walking stick and bat house making for youth, river insect collection, wildlife tables, info on native plants, talks on fire-starting in the wild, camping, moose and many other exciting exhibits. Free and open to all, free food and music.

Rain Garden Workshop

Aimee Petras, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Farmington River Watershed Association, will outline why installations of bioswales, rain gardens and river buffers are important for the river, showing some local examples. She will explore ways to reduce stormwater and improve water quality in our community.

Free downspout disconnect kit for Bristol residents! There will be a demonstration of how to disconnect a downspout (gutter) and downspout disconnect kits will be given to community members living in Bristol attending the program (a value of $20).

Join us! Bring a Friend!

Thursday, April 18, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Bristol Public Library

5 High Street, Bristol, CT 06010

Fee: No charge is associated with this informational workshop hosted by the City of Bristol Public Works. Download the free rain garden app from UConn

Natural Lawn Care Workshop at Winding Trails – April 27, 2019

FRWA and Winding Trails are teaming up for this timely workshop. Aimee Petras, the Education & Outreach Coordinator at FRWA, will present this program that covers how to manage your lawn without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. We will outline the steps you need to take including getting a soil test through mowing techniques to managing weeds.  Additionally, we’ll delve into common lawn problems such as grubs and thatch.

Registration required at the Winding Trails website:

FRWA announces new Executive Director

The Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) is excited to welcome William (Bill) Dornbos as our new Executive Director! Since last year, the FRWA Board of Directors has been conducting an extensive national search for new senior leadership. We were gratified to have received a strong response from many highly-qualified candidates, and on behalf of FRWA, I am now extremely pleased to announce that Bill will be joining FRWA, effective March 11, 2019.

A seasoned environmental advocate and attorney, Bill comes to FRWA after serving as the Advocacy Director for the Acadia Center, a regional environmental nonprofit that works on clean energy and climate issues. Bill’s responsibilities included developing advocacy strategies and tactics, managing Acadia Center’s advocates throughout the Northeast, and ensuring high impact and visibility.  Prior to joining the Acadia Center, Bill helped run the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy as its Associate Director, assisted leadership at the Natural Resources Defense Council as a Special Executive Aide, and pursued environmental litigation at the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

“I’m thrilled to be joining FRWA,” said Dornbos. “Leading FRWA is an honor, and I’m eager to apply my advocacy and legal skills to the critical mission of protecting and restoring one of Connecticut’s most important and precious natural resources, the Farmington River. I very much look forward to working with the Board, staff, and watershed communities to sustain the River and to grow support for FRWA’s efforts.”

Bill holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, an MS from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and a BA from Carleton College.  Bill resides in West Hartford with his wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, Talia and Sanna.

Please join me and our dedicated Board and staff in welcoming Bill to FRWA. I know we can count on your continued support as we begin this next chapter in preservation, conservation and recreational use of our beautiful river.

David Donaldson, Chair
FRWA Board of Directors

FRWA Hiring: Seasonal River Stewards, Summer 2019 (PT)

The Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) is accepting applications for two River Stewards for summer 2019.

River Stewards work in the field, laboratory, and office on projects, including weekly water quality sampling in the Farmington River and tributaries; laboratory analysis; stream temperature monitoring; and road-stream crossing assessments to identify problematic stream crossings, habitat connectivity issues and crossings in need of retrofit or replacement. The River Stewards also conduct community outreach (live and online) to promote safe and responsible river recreation and assist with FRWA’s “River Smart” stormwater pollution reduction outreach activities.

Full job description and how to apply here: Seasonal Employment Opportunity 

Water Awareness – Meet, Watch, Discuss

Enjoy an inspiring morning with folks like you who want to join in protecting natural resources from undue exploitation and harm. We are sponsoring our partner, the Pequabuck River Watershed Association, who has invited a wide range of people who care about holding on to healthy land, air, food and wildlife and want to learn more about present and potential threats to the sustainability of our environment. Join us!


10:30 – 11:00 AM
Discover, meet, and learn about conservation efforts near you.

11:00 – 12:20 PM View film: “Water & Power: A California Heist”

12:20 – 12:45 PM Hear, discuss, and help identify environmental priorities in CT and see how you can help grassroots environmental efforts succeed.

2019 Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference

Many Waters, One State:
Uniting CT’s Lake, River, Wetland & Long Island Sound Citizen Science Communities


Friday, April 5, 2019
8:30a – 4:00p

Three Rivers Community College
Norwich, CT

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Connecticut’s volunteer water monitoring program and Citizen Science Day 2019, we invite you to join us for an exciting day of learning, collaboration, and inspiration!

Join us for a full-day of informative presentations, inspiring speakers, and stimulating networking! Who should attend? Anyone currently conducting volunteer water monitoring in Connecticut… Teachers seeking to integrate water monitoring into their courses…NGOs and municipal commissions wanting to start a new local water monitoring program…Water experts willing to share their knowledge with volunteers…You!


Presented by CT DEEP, FRWA and:

Double your Donation today!

FRWA is prepping for the new year! Here’s a preview….


More kids on the river: You can help us team up next year with youth programs in Greater Hartford and around the Valley. With our partners, we will introduce more kids to river recreation, river safety, and (importantly) river-related careers.

Less pollution in the river: Polluted stormwater runoff is our #1 water quality issue and it enters the river from a multitude of sources. Help us become River Smart and we can tackle the problem together, from grassroots to government!

Wild and Scenic River: 2019 is the celebration of 25 years since the Upper Farmington River received its designation. We hope to make headway with the bills for designating 62 miles of the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook this coming year!


DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! Now is the time to make a special holiday contribution to FRWA. A generous FRWA supporter will match all gifts in December, up to a total of $20,000. We have already raised $10,705 – halfway to our $20,000 goal! Can we count on your support to make twice the impact for the Farmington River watershed?

Thank you for all your support. We can’t do it without you!

Happy holidays!