FRWA Aquatic Insect Sampling (RBV) Workshop, October 12th, 9am-2pm

FRWA will hold our 10th Annual Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling (RBV) Workshop on Saturday October 12th at Squires Tavern in Peoples State Forest. 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!
We begin with an indoor workshop to demonstrate collection and identification techniques and explain the use of aquatic organisms in water quality monitoring. Following the indoor training and lunch, teams will move out to sample various Farmington River Watershed streams. 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 (CT DEEP) monitor water quality changes in the Farmington River Watershed.
No previous experience necessary, new volunteers are paired with an experienced team leader and older children are welcome with an adult. Lunch will be provided, bring footwear to wade into the water (waders, water shoes or old sneakers).
Program will be held rain or shine; please dress for the weather. Space is limited, advance registration is required. Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email to register.
Experienced samplers please contact FRWA to borrow equipment to sample your favorite riffle.

Stream Bugs & Pond Critters, September 21st, 10am-noon

Discover the fascinating underwater life of the Farmington River Watershed with FRWA 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; Winding Trails’ beautiful, brand new, certified Connecticut grown building and 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. Advance registration is required. Please contact FRWA at 860-658-4442 or email to register.

Annual River Clean-Up, October 5th

Last year, over 300 volunteers joined together to remove almost 3 tons of trash from the banks of the Farmington River, and we’ll need just as much help this year! You provide your time, and we can provide the supplies as well as lunch, coffee, apple cider, and more. If you have a pick up truck or other large vehicle, let us know; all of that trash has to get to the dumpsters somehow. Locations include Avon, Burlington/Farmington/Canton, Bristol, Simsbury and Windsor.

Main meet-up locations are the FRWA office at 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT and Collinsville Canoe & Kayak, 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville CT. If interested in volunteering, you may show up at either of these main locations between 10am and 1 pm to register and join in.

Call FRWA at (860) 658-4442 or email with any additional questions or to preregister at your preferred location.

Lecture Series: Spoonville Un-dammed, a Shad Story, October 24th, 7:30-8:30pm

Speaker: Eileen Fielding, FRWA

This presentation is a classic example of the historic back-and-forth conflict between fish and water power.  It will highlight the removal of Spoonville Dam from the Farmington River in the summer of 2012, describing how and why it was done.  It will also cover some of the dam’s eventful history, and discuss the effects of the dam removal on the river’s many uses and functions.

Location: Roaring Brook Nature Center

To RSVP or for more information, call 860-658-4442.

Lecture Series: Testing the River, October 17th, 7:30-8:30pm

Speaker: Alisa Phillips-Griggs, FRWA

Learn about the Farmington River Watershed Association’s extensive water quality program. What are we monitoring for, what are we finding and what are we doing to improve water quality in the Farmington River Watershed?

Location: Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton

To RSVP or for more information, call 860-658-4442.

Lecture Series: Capturing the Wild and Scenic, August 29th, 7:30-8:30pm

Speaker: Tom Cameron, Photographer

A constant stream of photographs will be used to see the river through different seasons, locations and times of the day.  Most are obtained on the river via kayak, canoe and wading and allow a view of the river that few have a chance to see.  They range between Riverton and Simsbury and include favorite subjects such as classic waterscapes, fog, reflections, mirror-like symmetry, rapids and kayaks, wildlife, trees, webs and even a few abstracts.  Practical considerations for river photography will be included as will a short overview of how & why I use digital photography chong qi cheng bao.

Location: Roaring Brook Nature Center, Canton

To RSVP or for more information, call 860-658-4442.Wild & Scenic Farmington

Photo Credit: Tom Cameron

"Celebrity Rehab for Your Lawn"

Recently FRWA was forwarded an email from the Ecological Landscape Association that had a post about Celebrity Rehab for your Lawns and Soil.  Often people choose chemical lawn care because it is easier but when they start to think of the ecological impacts of their decision they try to convert back to natural lawn care often with mixed results (some would say disastrous).  The article really explains the steps that organic landscapers take to get your soil and lawn back in shape.  This is a great read!  Check it out!

FRWA is a longtime promoter of using organic means to manage your lawn.  If you are unfamiliar with our efforts please visit our pesticide free lawn page here:

A Cautionary Remark on High Flows

Recent tragedies remind us all that the present high flows in the river demand respect.  Before planning an outing at this time, check the river flows.  At this time (mid June after heavy rain), many places are safe only for experts, or simply unsafe.  Links to Farmington River flows at various spots is available at:

At any time, what a particular flow level means for YOUR safety depends on many factors.   There is no flow level at which river recreation is guaranteed safe for everyone.  In addition to flow, consider local conditions (such as downed trees, rocks, steep banks, etc.), weather, and your own level of experience and fitness before going in the river.  Use the right equipment, such as life jackets and helmets.  Comments on the flow level’s degree of hazard may be found at or (for Tariffville)

An online safety course for paddlers is available at: