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.


TvilleStock 2016! Important Announcement! July 22, 23, & 24, 2016

The organizers of the Jamie McEwan 2016 Whitewater Triple Crown have an important announcement:

Jamie McEwan 2016
Whitewater Triple Crown
has become

TvilleStock 2016!
July 22, 23, & 24, 2016

Although a drought has “dampened” our prospects for our traditional Triple Crown, we remain undaunted in our pursuit of whitewater paddling fun. So this year, we are changing up our event and planning a less formal, more festive occasion.

There will be no formal competitions, the river flow is to low for that. Instead we invite everyone to join us to on the river for informal coaching and paddling fun. We will have whitewater professionals with us to teach and inspire. This year it’s about getting out there and “showing up”.

We will be setting up and getting started on Friday, July 22. There will be some slalom gates for practice and learning. Slalom is a great way to improve paddling skills and addictively fun. We will find whatever features the river has for freestyle and river running practice.

Jamie McEwan 2016 Whitewater Triple Crown – July 22, 23, & 24, 2016

Friday, July 22: Clinic and Practice
Saturday July 23: Slalom
Sunday July 24: Down River Race & Freestyle

JOIN US!!! We need registrants and volunteers.  Click here for more information and to sign up!

The 2016 edition of the Whitewater Triple Crown brings a slight change in format. First, we are offering a “Paddle with the Pro’s” Day Clinic on Friday, July 22. This is open to any paddler with a desire to learn about river running, slalom racing, or freestyle. This low-key session is aimed at any paddler hoping to pick up a few tips from whitewater’s best. The format will be loose and friendly, emphasizing fun and learning. The clinic time will be from approximately 11:00AM to 4:00PM.

Previously, we’ve held individual events on Saturday, and the Triple Crown Championship on Sunday. This year, there will be only one run of each event. The slalom race will take place on Saturday, July 23. On Sunday July 24, there will be the the down river race and the Freestyle competition.

The scoring for the Triple Crown will remain the same, 33 points for 1st, 32 for 2nd, 31 for 3rd….for each event, men’s and women’s, regardless of boat or Class. One additional bonus point for participating in all three (a perfect score equals 100).


Archeology Paddle with Ken Feder, Saturday July 16, 2016

Paddle along our own ancient Native American canoe trail as we explore the fascinating culture of the people who inhabited the Farmington River Valley thousands of years ago. Learn about the latest archeological discoveries from Ken Feder, Professor of Anthropology, Central Connecticut State University, and founder of the Farmington River Archeology Project.

Route:  Rte 4 bridge in Farmington to the Alsop Meadow takeout behind Nassau’s furniture store at the corner of Rte 10 and 44.

Meet at 9 AM AT ALSOP MEADOW for the shuttle to start point.

Pre-registration required!  860-658-4442 or

Members: Need a boat: $20 per person; Have a boat: $15

Non-members: Need a boat: $25 per person; Have a boat: $20

Twilight Paddle with Jay Kaplan, Friday June 24, 2016

Paddle the River in the cool of evening in the company of great blue herons, muskrats, beavers, and other crepuscular wildlife. Enjoy a little night music orchestrated by native songbirds and singing insects. Jay Kaplan, Naturalist and Director of Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton will share his vast knowledge of local flora and fauna visible and/or audible along the River at sunset.  Trip may land after nightfall.  

Route:  Pinchot Sycamore on Rte 185 in Simsbury to the Curtiss Park takeout on Rte 315.   

Meet 5:45 pm AT CURTISS PARK for the shuttle to start point.

Pre-registration required!  860-658-4442 or

Members: Need a boat: $20 per person; Have a boat: $15

Non-members: Need a boat: $25 per person; Have a boat: $20