Farmington River Quilt Exhibition at the State Capitol – October 1-30

Hosted by Farmington River Coordinating Committee. 

This October marks 50 years of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, which is important for the Farmington River. The Upper 14 miles of the Farmington River were designated as a Wild & Scenic River in 1994 due to its outstandingly remarkable natural, recreational, historic, and cultural values. In celebration of this event, the Farmington River Quilt will be exhibited at the State Capital. The quilt is a beautiful rendition of the Farmington River with 25 different artists’ interpretation of sections along the Wild & Scenic segment of the river. The quilt has an immense impact as artwork and as an educational piece.

The event opening will be held in Room 1-C of the Legislative Office Building on Monday October 1st, 2018 at 10:30 AM. Guest Speakers:

  • State Senator Kevin Witkos
  • Liz Lacy, Community Planner/River Manager National Park Service, Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers
  • Betsey Wingfield, CT DEEP Bureau Chief; Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse
  • David Sinish, FRCC Education and Outreach Committee Chair
  • Roger Behrens, FRCC Member

During the month of October the quilt will be exhibited in the walkway between the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol, in Hartford.

The Farmington River Coordinating Committee (FRCC) is integral to the implementation of the Upper Farmington River Management Plan. The Committee is comprised of appointed representatives from the five riverfront towns, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Metropolitan District Commission, National Park Service, Farmington River Watershed Association, and Farmington River Anglers Association.

EVENT DETAILS:

October 1: 10:30 AM

Room 1-C Legislative Office Building

300 Capitol Ave #5100, Hartford, CT

The event is free and open to the public.

More details at www.farmingtonriverquilt.org 

Award-Winning Author Tim Palmer Presents

September 30, 2:30-4 PM – Hosted by the Farmington River Coordinating Committee

Tim will show his photographs and share stories about the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, a vital public initiative. Please join us in celebrating this path-breaking approach to conservation at 2:30 PM on Sunday, September 30 at Canton Community Center, sponsored by Farmington River Coordinating Committee.

Tim Palmer is the author and photographer of 25 books about rivers, the environment, and adventure travel. As a writer, citizen conservationist, and environmental planner he has been involved in the Wild & Scenic Rivers system almost since its founding. See his work at www.timpalmer.org.

 

Stream Bugs & Pond Critters – September 23 10-12 PM

Discover the fascinating underwater life of our watershed with FRWA Water Quality Monitoring 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. Registration is required by 3 days prior to the event; please register through the Winding Trails website.

 

 

 

 

RBV Workshops: Sept 27 & 29

Help us identify high-quality waters:

     – Become part of FRWA’s Citizen Science Monitoring Team

     – Join us to sample streams for aquatic insects as water quality indicators

RBV (Rapid Biomonitoring for Volunteer) workshops train volunteers to sample water quality by learning how to net and identify the aquatic macro-invertebrates (insects) that live in our streams. The types, number and diversity of these aquatic macro-invertebrates are indicators of water quality. Results help FRWA and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection identify high-quality streams and monitor water quality changes in the Watershed. Data is published in an online annual report by the CT DEEP. FRWA will hold a two-part training and sampling workshop:

Part 1, Indoor: Thursday, September 27, from 7-9 PM at FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury. Overview presentation of the CT DEEP’s RBV program; we will provide materials, demonstrate techniques and explain the use of aquatic organisms in water quality monitoring.

Part 2, Outdoor: Saturday, September 29, from 9 AM – noon, (location TBD) Following the indoor training, participants will be able to participate in stream sampling. Experienced team leaders will be on hand to guide you through the process. No experience necessary and older children are welcome with an accompanying adult. Sampling will be held rain or shine; dress weather-appropriately and bring footwear for wading in water.

Advance registration required, email river@frwa.org or call 860-658-4442 to register. Let us know if you have a good, accessible riffle on a clean, rocky, babbling brook flowing through your property that you would allow us to access to sample.

 

Volunteers Needed! September 29, 10 AM-2 PM – Farmington River Cleanup

Want to spend a morning outside, on the banks of a beautiful river or stream, helping to make it look even better?  Every year FRWA hosts a River Cleanup along the banks of the Farmington River from Winsted to Windsor. It’s a great opportunity to do something wonderful for your river.

We will provide all the supplies for the big day (gloves and bags), as well as snacks including sandwiches from Antonio’s and pizza from Little City Pizza. We are on the lookout for pick-up trucks or other large vehicles that can help us get trash to the dumpsters donated by Waste Material Trucking Company of Unionville.

So where will you be? We do need lots of volunteers! If you are part of another group that might be interested, please let us know. Join us to meet your watershed neighbors and help us keep your neighborhood clean; it’s a great opportunity to make new friends. Please call FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email apetras@frwa.org to register.

Cleanup starting locations

Avon: The Lions Club of Avon coordinates this location at Fisher Meadows.

Bloomfield: Coordinated by Wintonbury Land Trust.

Barkhamsted: TBD. Please call to register for this site.

Collinsville: Meet at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak. Our most popular site! Snacks provided.

Simsbury:  Meet on the front lawn of FRWA headquarters. This is our main spot and also the place to grab a sandwich, pizza slice and other lunch items after you are done.

Windsor: Meet at Windsor Town Hall (please register for specifics) to clean popular Windsor locations such as The Boat Launch at the reservoir and Pleasant Street Park.

 

Call FRWA to sign up yourself, your family, or your group for the Cleanup at (860) 658-4442 or email your registration with a preferred meet up location to apetras@frwa.org.  See you there!

Wild & Scenic Film Festival – September 22, 6:30-9 PM

Join us at our Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Collinsville! This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. 14 miles of the Farmington River is designated Wild & Scenic due to its recreational value, rare wildlife, outstanding fisheries and rich history. To celebrate the river and increase public awareness of Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Farmington River Watershed Association is hosting a Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

FRWA is curating a collection of pertinent short documentaries, including River Connections, about Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers, which showcases our very own Farmington River. It will be a fun and illuminating evening with, door prizes, light refreshments, and a silent auction on Saturday, September 22, 6:30 to 9 PM at the Canton Town Hall Auditorium in the center of historic Collinsville.

Get your tickets today! All proceeds go to FRWA to continue efforts of preserving, protecting, and restoring the Farmington River.

Purchase online ($21.83 per ticket).

Tickets at the Door: $20 cash or check, or $21.83 for credit card payment.

Doors open at 6:00 PM. Parking is available at the Town Hall parking lot (off Main St), the gravel parking lot by the Canton Historical Society (Depot St), and at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak. Each ticket entitles you to 1 free raffle ticket to be entered in for the chance to win a door prize! You may purchase more raffle tickets at the event.

Films

Documentaries on the topics of conservation, biodiversity, fly fishing, whitewater paddling, wild and scenic designation, history, activism and more will be shown at FRWA’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival. More details below.

A Letter to Congress Wallace Stegner’s 1960 letter to Congress about the importance of wilderness is the framework for a new message, one in which our unified voice can help prevent the transfer of our most valuable heritage— our public lands— to private and corporate interests.

PROTECT: A Wild & Scenic River Portrait Follow river paddler, author, and conservationist Tim Palmer through the enchanting waters of Oregon’s Wild Rivers Coast, which has the highest concentration of National Wild & Scenic Rivers in the US. With just a canoe, a camera, and an old van, Tim finds his bliss on these rivers. He shares their beauty while reminding us all about the significance of national Wild & Scenic Rivers program that protects beautiful rivers all across country.

 

River Connections Rivers connect and sustain us. People need water, wildlife, peace and quiet for our minds – our souls – our children. Designated Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers connect communities by fostering collaboration among local river management partners. This film follows river stewards on three rivers and highlights the inspiration, complexities and joy behind communities coming together to protect rivers.

Ganzorig and The River Wolf Ganzorig grew up in remote Northern Mongolia where his family would fish for Taimen trout in the River Eg. As an adult, it now falls to him and an international team of scientists to protect the future of the largest trout on Earth.

Wild Olympics Follow paddlers Adam and Susan Elliott as they kayak, fish, packraft and explore the wild rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. The peninsula’s wild rivers provide clean water, world-class recreation and unmatched opportunities for inspiration and solitude. They bring jobs and economic benefits to local communities and provide critical habitat for salmon, steelhead and a variety of other fish and wildlife. Wild and Scenic designation–the strongest protection a river can receive–ensures that the free-flowing character, water quality and outstanding values of these rivers are protected for generations to come.

Love of Place When an invasive species plant threatens to take over a beautiful desert river, an obsessive park ranger sets out to kill it.

(unofficial) History of the National Parks Want to know the complete story of National Parks in under four minutes? It’s hard to do, but this snappy short gives it a good shot. The (unofficial) History of National Parks covers everything from their creation to the challenges they ensure and inadvertently create; and how they provide benefit to both individuals and society.

Can we Save the Frog Prince? After surviving for millions of years, frogs around the world are disappearing in a global extinction crisis. Human activity has unleashed a deadly parasitic chytrid fungus, now spreading like wildfire through the international wildlife trade. Jonathan Kolby and the Honduras frog rescue team are racing to battle this fungus and save endangered frogs in the cloud forest of Cusuco National Park before they vanish.

Every Bend Three Montanans talk about how clean, free-flowing, wild rivers enrich their lives. We focus on the power of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and how it has benefited just a few Montana rivers, and relatively few nationwide. In doing so, we are reminded of what is at stake if we don’t protect more of our cherished rivers.

Water Warriors In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province. Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry.

Selah: Water from Stone Fifty Years ago David Bamberger devoted his life to restoring a neglected and overgrazed ranch in the Texas Hill Country. The result? Water from Stone. By restoring natural ecological functions, David filled hillside aquifers, brought springs back to life, created riparian habitat, and inspired a landscape movement.

The Wild President  President Jimmy Carter, an unsung environmental hero, grew up in awe of natures wonder. But it wasn’t until he first paddled the Chattooga Rivers Bull Sluice did he understand the power of a wild river. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, happening in 2018, President Carter urges all Americans to protect more wild rivers.

Pale Blue Dot Set to the words of Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot situates human history against the tapestry of the cosmos through an eclectic combination of art styles woven seamlessly together through music and visuals, seeking to remind us that regardless of our differences, we are one species living on Earth.

Jamie McEwan 2018 Whitewater Triple Crown – July 13, 14, 15

After two years of drought and low water, we arePicture hosting the Triple Crown again!

Since July has such variability with water levels here, we need to keep some flexibility in our format. This year we aim to hold each event (slalom, downriver, and freestyle) only once. This will help decompress the busy schedule and should make everything more fun for everyone.

Friday, July 13: Set-up, registration and practice
Saturday, July 14: Slalom and “Free Ride”
Sunday, July 15: Downriver and Freestyle

“Free Ride Revolution” – ​Saturday Afternoon

River running and playing our way down the river is the essence of whitewater paddling. This year we are adding an “Experimental” event-  a Free Ride race that combines running the river, negotiating slalom gates and throwing in freestyle tricks all in one race.

Friday, July 13: Registration opens at 3PM
Saturday July 14: Registration at 9AM, on the water about 10 AM-4PM
Sunday July 15: On the water about 10 AM-3PM

JOIN US!!!

FRWA Executive Director Search – Apply Today

FRWA is looking for our new Executive Director. This search is being conducted by TSNE MissionWorks’ Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant John Tarvin. All submissions will be acknowledged and are confidential. Interested candidates should submit materials to:

http://www.tsne.org/executive-director-farmington-river-watershed-association

Please include a resume and a cover letter with salary requirements, information regarding how you learned of the position, and a description of how your qualifications and experience match FRWA’s needs and mission. All submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled. Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.
FRWA is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.

To learn more about the position and how to apply, download the PDF at the link below.

FRWA ED 2018 Position Description

River Stewards (Summer Staff) 2018

The Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) is accepting applications for River Stewards for summer 2018.  River Stewards will work in the field, laboratory, and office on several projects, including weekly water quality sampling and analysis; assessments of aquatic animal passage at road-stream crossings as weather permits; outreach (live and online) to promote safe and responsible river recreation; and assisting with FRWA’s “River Smart” outreach activities.

Background.  The Farmington River is one of the most popular recreational rivers in Connecticut, with world-class trout fishing and whitewater paddling reaches, plus flatwater stretches and riverside trails.  It has small scale hydropower, and provides drinking water for over 450,000 people in greater Hartford.  Though intensively managed, it still faces challenges to its water quality and aquatic life.

FRWA is the private, non-profit organization, founded in 1953, that is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring the Farmington River and its watershed.  (see www.frwa.org.)  Seasonal positions at FRWA provide broad experience in watershed management, monitoring, planning, and public education, and balancing the many demands made on this natural resource.

Overview:  River Steward seasonal staff are based in FRWA’s office in Simsbury, CT.  They have responsibilities typical for entry-level professional positions in watershed associations.  Their work entails travel throughout watershed towns as needed.  Seasonal staff are expected to work up to 24 hours per week, depending on need and weather, for up to 11 weeks from late May or early June through early to mid-August.   Most work is during regular weekday hours but early morning, evening, or weekend hours are sometimes required.   Indoor work is expected to be done in the FRWA office, to allow interaction with team members.

Seasonal staff will participate in:

Water quality monitoring.  FRWA provides water quality data to the CT DEEP as part of state compliance with the Clean Water Act;  data collection and analysis is therefore held to a high standard.   Monitoring is ongoing throughout the season and requires at least one seasonal staff every Monday and Tuesday.   It includes training; collecting water samples from the field; laboratory preparation and analysis of samples for bacteria, data quality assurance and entry.  Other tasks may include placing temperature data loggers, choosing additional sampling sites, and field collection of benthic macroinvertebrates.

Stream crossing assessments.   Seasonal staff will work with FRWA staff to evaluate road-stream crossings (culverts and bridges) in the lower Farmington River for their ability to allow passage of aquatic animals.  The process also identifies crossings vulnerable to failure in extreme storm events.  We use the protocol of the North Atlantic Aquatic Continuity Collaborative (NAACC), used by other agencies and organizations throughout the Northeast.   Data are uploaded to a regional database for viewing and analysis.  Seasonal staff undergo mandatory training and testing in the protocol; obtain and record data at field sites; and assist with reviewing and uploading data.  Note, this work is highly dependent on appropriate stream flow conditions.  Drought will significantly reduce the hours available.

Public education and outreach.  This may entail face-to-face interaction with recreational users to encourage safe practices and good river etiquette, maintaining a lively online presence for FRWA on our website and in social media, and participating in programs, events, and field trips for youth and the general public.

Qualifications.  The ideal candidate is an advanced undergraduate or recent graduate, highly motivated to pursue environmental management, restoration, or advocacy as a profession.  Coursework in environmental science and experience in field work and data collection are strongly preferred.   A can-do attitude, imagination, interest in learning, flexible response to circumstances, “people skills,” and good humor are important.

Job Requirements.  Seasonal staff are expected to:

  • Work well on a team or independently, and be at ease with a variety of people;
  • Have excellent written, verbal, and online communication skills;
  • Represent FRWA in a friendly and professional manner;
  • Have their own reliable transportation at all times;
  • Commit and adjust to weekly hours that vary with weather and task;
  • Climb up and down steep banks and wade in rocky streams;
  • Paddle a canoe or kayak in flatwater or mild current (Class 1-2);
  • Work outdoors and cope with poison ivy, thorns, ticks, insects, and wildlife;
  • Have experience in safe guidance of youngsters in an outdoor setting;
  • Be diligent about details when analyzing, recording, and uploading data;
  • Be familiar with (or quickly learn) basics of GIS software, Google Maps, and use of GPS units;
  • Be good organizers and take responsibility for the success of an event or activity;
  • Be communicative and accountable, with “deliverables” that are complete and timely.

Compensation.  To be determined, based upon available funding.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, two professional references, and two writing samples to:

Aimee Petras, FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT  06070  or apetras@frwa.org

Deadline.   Submission before May 15 is highly recommended.   Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

The Planet, Our Forests, and Championship Trees – Thursday, April 26, 2018, 6:00pm

The Town of Simsbury, the Simsbury Land Trust, the Canton Land Conservation Trust and the Farmington River Watershed Association cordially invite you to attend: “The Planet, Our Forests, and Championship Trees“. This regional forum will be held in the Program Room at the Simsbury Library, 725 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury CT and led by Eric Hammerling, Executive Director of Connecticut Forest and Parks Association.

Forum participants are:

  • Dr. William Moomaw, Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University and Founding Director, Center for International Environment and Resource Policy. Dr. Moomaw was the lead author of five (5) reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its climate work in 2007. Dr. Moomaw will present data on the dynamic relationship between forests and the earth’s climate with a focus on the forests of North America and New England.
  • Robert Leverett, a recognized expert on old growth forests and large trees. Recently Mr. Leverett re-measured the Pinchot Sycamore and has submitted it for consideration as a National Champion. Mr. Leverett’s stunning photos will showcase our Pinchot Sycamore and some of the amazing trees and old growth forests in the region.

Check-in and a light supper will be available starting at 6:00 PM to provide time for socializing. Groups are invited to bring maps, handouts and event information. The formal program will begin at 7:00 PM.

This regional forum is a follow up to our last forum held in April 2017, “The Future of Our Forests: Stewarding Our Lands Thoughtfully” that featured Dr. Ed Faison, Senior Ecologist from Highstead, a regional organization in Redding, CT dedicated to forest research and long term monitoring. Dr. Faison’s presentation is available on the Simsbury Town Website, and can be found clicking this link.

Questions and RSVP’s (by Friday April 20th) to Helen Peterson kpeterson@comcast.net