FRWA Annual Meeting & Forum, November 15, 5:30-7:30 pm

FRWA Annual Meeting & Forum
Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 5:30-7:30 PM
Simsbury Free Library, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT

What a year!  Join us for a Forum with staff and guests to review and discuss river topics in our valley-including drought, state water supply planning, and FRWA’s projects.  Forum guests include:

Betsey Wingfield: Water Protection and Land Reuse Bureau Chief, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Margaret Miner: Executive Director, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut
David Radka: Director of Water Resources and Planning, The Connecticut Water Company
Virginia DeLima: Chair, Science and Technical Committee for Water Planning Council Steering Committee
John Hampton: State Representative and Author of Water Planning Bill

$15 per person—includes drinks and appetizers
Limited Seating— Please reserve by Nov.  11
Call or email Aimee at (860) 658-4442 ext ‘201’  apetras@frwa.organnualmeetinquilt


The Farmington River Quilt Project Viewing and Reception

A tour de force of fabric art— on display for a limited time!

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 3:00—5:00 PM
Squires Tavern, 100 River Road
Barkhamsted, CT

Enjoy this 50-foot-long portrait of the Farmington River’s Wild & Scenic West Branch. Two years in the making, it’s 25 stunning individual works by 24 quilters, some nationally renowned, led by Winchester quilter MaryPat Leger!

Meet quilters, enjoy refreshments, & tour the historic Squires Tavern.

Call or email Aimee at (860) 658-4442 ext ‘201’ with any questions.

(No charge, donations welcome!)annualmeetinquilt


Invitation to Participate in Connecticut’s State Water Plan

Come share your voice in the early stages of developing Connecticut’s State Water Plan at any one of three public meetings in October.  The ongoing drought reminds us why responsible and collaborative stewardship of our water resources is so important.  The State Water Plan will provide the framework for managing Connecticut’s water into the future, and help balance the way it meets all of our needs as new climate trends emerge and new needs develop.  The Plan will address the quality and quantity of water for drinking, ecology, recreation, industry, agriculture, energy, and wastewater assimilation.  These public meetings will provide a forum to learn about the planning process, the goals of the plan, and future water management strategies that will be evaluated.  They will also provide the public with opportunities to engage in dialogue with state officials and project consultants, ask questions, and discuss issues.  The first set of meetings will be held on consecutive days in October 2016, in three different areas of the state.  The content of these first three meetings will be the same each day in order to spread awareness and encourage broad statewide engagement.  There will be three additional public meetings in the next phase of the project, during the winter and spring of 2017, sequenced in parallel with a progressive series of workshops with project stakeholders.

 The first three meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

 Tuesday, October 25:  6:00 – 8:00 PM Southeastern CT Council of Governments, 5 Connecticut Avenue, Norwich, CT.

Wednesday, October 26:  1:00 – 3:00 PM Hearing Room 1 at PURA, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT.

Thursday, October 27:  6:00 – 8:00 PM Room 205 of the Southbury Town Hall, 501 Main Street South, Southbury, CT.

Want a Greener Lawn? Natural Lawn Care Workshop – Oct 5

Want a Greener Lawn? Attend our Suffield Natural Lawn Care Workshop
October 5, 6-8 PM, Kent Memorial Library, Suffield, CT

Are you interested in learning new ways to keep your lawn and garden looking great naturally?  This workshop is for you!

Fall is the best time to focus on reseeding and aeration. We will dive in to these issue as well as go over common lawn weeds and what they indicate about your lawn conditions and soil nutrients. Bring any recent soil test results or get a head start on this class and get one submitted before the class begins at the UConn Soil testing lab.  Join Aimee Petras, Education & Outreach Coordinator in this fun and educational workshop that teaches you ways to get your lawn in shape without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides.  Attend this important workshop and learn tips for mowing, seeding, re-seeding, watering and ways to manage common weeds and pests that can complicate natural lawn care all year long. Program provided for FREE through Suffield Parks and Rec. Registration required. 


Climate Change & Local Sustainability Conference September 23, 9 AM – 3 PM

Join us for this important conference. Come see what local communities and organizations are doing to address major challenges.

This event is free. Registration is required. Please register by Monday, September 19, 2016. Call 860-361-9349, email:, or visit

Light breakfast & lunch will be served.  Event flyer and agenda here!


  • Expert Science Forecasts for Climate Changes in Our Region.
  • Dealing with High and Low Water. Culvert Design for Floods and Fish Passage.
  • Keeping Stormwater Away from Our Rivers & Streams.
  • Reoccurring Drought & Low Stream Flows in a Local Basin.
  • Farms: Need for More Water Storage and Other Options.
  • Fish: Facing Thermal Woes and Low Flows. Can They Be Saved?
  • Who Can Help Connecticut Cope? Resources and Funding Available.

FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop

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 and help us identify our high quality waters.

FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop (Part 1, indoors)
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 , 7 to 9 PM
FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury

FRWA Aquatic Insect (RBV) Sampling (Part 2, outdoors, in-stream)
Saturday, October 1st 2016, 10 AM to noon
(We’ll let you know where to meet after you sign up.)

The indoor- 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 1st and/or join up with other experienced samplers to monitor streams 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 identify high quality streams and monitor water quality changes in the Farmington River Watershed.

No previous experience necessary, new volunteers are paired with experienced team leaders 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 river@frwa 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 Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop (Part 1, indoors)
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 , 7 to 9 PM
FRWA, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury

FRWA Aquatic Insect (RBV) Sampling (Part 2, outdoors, in-stream)
Saturday, October 1st 2016, 10 AM to noon
(We’ll let you know where to meet after you sign up.)


STREAM BUGS & POND CRITTERS September 25th, 10AM – Noon

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.

Date: Sunday, September 25th

Time: 10:00 am to noon

Ages: All ages

Where: Nature’s Porch, Winding Trails, 50 Winding Trails Drive, Farmington, CT

Fee: Free but must pre-register


Saville Dam and Old Barkhamsted Hollow Bus Tour & Short Hike – Oct. 22


Join us on Saturday October 22nd 2016, 10 am to 3 pm, for a tour deep inside the bowels of the Saville Dam followed by a trek through Old Barkhamsted Hollow.  The history and preservation of our watershed is interwoven with the story of the Metropolitan District and the pursuit of clean drinking water for Greater Hartford.

The operator of the Saville Dam will guide us through the works of the earthen embankment impoundment that backs up the 30 billion gallon Barkhamsted reservoir providing drinking water for Greater Hartford. After touring the dam, we venture onto the reservoir lands where the MDC forester will explain, over our lunch, how the MDC manages forest diversity for water quality.

Then Barkhamsted Historian, Erik Landgraf will tour 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. Mr. Landgraf will bring the old town roaring back to life as he regales us with vignettes of life in the village, as past and present eerily meet. Then it’s hands on in the old Barkhamsted Center schoolhouse; we’ll see what you remember of your school days.

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.

Volunteers Needed! Join our Annual River Clean-Up September 24, 10am to 2pm

Last year, over 200 volunteers joined together to remove trash from the banks of the Farmington River.  We are  securing all the supplies for the big day (gloves, bags, napkins, apples, apple cider, etc) and lining up our lunch and breakfast offerings for volunteers including sandwiches from Antonio’s, coffee from Starbucks 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, CT.

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 guaranteed you will make new friends.  Please call FRWA at (860) 658-4442 or email to register.

A Sample of our Clean-Up Meet-up Locations

Avon: The Lions Club of Avon takes responsibility for cleaning Fisher Meadows and they do a great job, year after year.

Barkhamsted:  Call for meet up location.

Bloomfield:  A brand new location this year! Meet us at Farmington River Park. Clean up from 10-noon.

Collinsville – We will meet at Collinsville Canoe & Kayak and will have a tent and snacks available.  This is our most popular site thanks to area residents!

Farmington: Meet at the Town Hall Complex. Register for details.

Simsbury:  Meet on the front lawn of FRWA headquarters. This is our main spot and also the place to grab some breakfast before heading out or get some pizza 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 Clean-Up at (860) 658-4442 or email your registration with a preferred meet-up location to  And see you there!


DEEP has banned Alcohol in Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom Recreation Area

In response to recent problems and concerns in both Nepaug State Forest and Satan’s Kingdom, the consumption and possession of alcohol has been banned by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in these areas from July 29 until October 26, 2016. Additionally, the roads within Nepaug State Forest have been closed for the foreseeable future. DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee wants to ensure enjoyment and safety for the visitors of these areas as well as the protection of these natural resources. You can see the official press release here: DEEP Press Release.