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

Natural Lawn Care – Winding Trails in Farmington – April 28, 2018 9:00-10:30am

NATURAL LAWN CARE

The Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) and Winding Trails are teaming up for this timely workshop. Aimee Petras, the Education & Outreach Coordinator at the 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 manage weeds. Additionally, we’ll delve into common lawn problems such as grubs and thatch. Registration is required by Wednesday, April 25th.  Please register through the Winding Trails website at http://www.windingtrails.org/register/?id=835

River Smart Workshop- Canton- April 16, 2018 – 7pm

The Canton Conservation Commission Announces a River Smart Workshop!

River Smart, presented by Laura Hart of the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA), connects homeowner actions with the river environment. Its focus is polluted stormwater runoff, the #1 water quality issue of the Farmington River. Examples of simple green infrastructure solutions and everyday actions on how to reduce stormwater pollution will be discussed.

As a part of the program, FRWA is offering free handbooks to property owners that have land along the Farmington River and its tributaries (including Cherry Brook, Jim Brook, and other important watercourses throughout Canton). My Healthy Stream – A Handbook for Streamside Owners, is a publication by Trout Unlimited and an excellent resource for homeowners to learn more about stormwater pollution and information on how one can make positive changes for the betterment of the environment.

Location:  
Room F, Canton Community Center
40 Dyer Avenue
Collinsville, CT 06019

For questions please email Emily Anyzeski at eanyzeski@townofcantonct.org
For more information click here

 

 

River Friendly Lawn Care: Bloomfield Library March 1, 6:00 – 7:45pm

River Friendly Lawn Care

Over 600,000 people in the Greater Hartford area and Farmington Valley receive their water from the Farmington River each year. Protecting water quality in the Farmington River is in the region’s best interest and it starts in your backyard.

Did you know that how we care for our lawns can impact the health of our waterways? Join Aimee Petras, from the Farmington River Watershed Association, who will outline 6 simple things you can do to improve the health of your lawn and help protect the drinking water and ecological diversity provided by the Farmington River.

FREE! Register here:  https://prosserlibrary.evanced.info/signup/eventdetails?eventid=6635&lib=0

Congrats and Farewell

FRWA’s Executive Director, Eileen Fielding, will be leaving FRWA in late January to take on a new position with the National Audubon Society.  Since her arrival as Executive Director in 2008, FRWA has had a lead role in such partnership projects as the Lower Farmington Wild and Scenic River Management Plan, the update of the West Branch Wild and Scenic Management Plan, and the removal of Spoonville Dam in East Granby and Bloomfield.  FRWA has also maintained and expanded its data collection for the Farmington River Water Quality Project, and completed many projects that restore habitat or reduce stormwater runoff in the watershed.   Following the controversy in 2012-13 over the MDC’s proposed expansion to supply UConn with drinking water, she has represented FRWA as an active participant in the development of the new CT State Water Plan.  The last nine years have also seen new education initiatives such as FRWA’s paid internships and River Smart outreach program.  In her tenure, FRWA has also attracted significant support from community members, foundations, and government agencies.

A search for FRWA’s next Executive Director will be underway shortly.  We thank Eileen for her years of leadership, and wish her every success in her new venture!