Welcome Events Newsletter Symposium Education Guide Recreation Guide Archives Contact Us

Wondering What's Up in the Watershed?

Check out the most recent issue of the
WRWA Newsletter (March, 2017) [pdf]!

Upcoming Events

Sat, Jun 17 - Westfield River Canoe Cruise
Sat, Jul 21 - Storm Drain Labeling (Westfield)
Sat, Sep 16 - Fly Fishing Clinic

Ongoing - The Watershed Waltz (DVD)
Ongoing - 1955 Flood (streaming)

The Westfield River drains the eastern slopes of the Berkshire Hills of southwestern Massachusetts, then joins the Connecticut River in Agawam. WRWA was established in 1953 to protect and improve the natural resources of the Watershed, as well as to expand recreational and other land use opportunities for people's enjoyment and for sound ecology. WRWA is a tax-exempt non-profit organization funded largely by membership dues and some grants. WRWA is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected each spring at the organization's annual meeting. If you share our goals, please join us by volunteering some time or becoming a member!


Westfield River Canoe Cruise
(Westfield to Robinson St Park)

We've scheduled our annual paddle on the Westfield River, from downtown Westfield to Robinson State Park in Agawam, for Saturday, June 17, in conjunction with Robinson State Park Day. Registration will take place from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the parking area just east of the Great River Bridges in Westfield (accessible from Meadow St., on the southeast side of the bridges). Following registration, canoes and kayaks will be dropped off at the end of Hanover St., where we'll arrange a shuttle for participants to park their cars at the end of the cruise in Robinson State Park and be returned to the launch area. The cruise will start at 11:00 a.m. This 6-7 mile paddle is mostly flat water, with a couple of quick-water sections, and usually takes about 3 hours to complete. You may be asked to portage around one or two difficult areas on the upper section, depending on water levels. Cost is $10 per paddler or $20 per family to cover the cost of insurance and snacks at the end of the cruise.

Water Quality Data
Site Locator Map

There are two ways to look at this map:
  1. Within this webpage (click on the map above)
  2. Click on this link for a bigger map on a new page
If you visit the larger map, the legend may or may not be visible. To see the map legend click on the Legend button in the upper left hand corner. Legend explanation. The colored dots (not stickpins) along the river are the sites where WRWA collected samples. By clicking on a dot you will see the latitude, longitude and sample name designation. Water quality data is presented in this order: Temp, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Total Dissolved Solids, E. coli, Na (sodium), K (potassium), Ca (calcium), the date of sample collection, volumetric flowrate. Not all data will show at once; to see more, use the scrollbar (small map) or arrow in the upper right of the window (large map).
Help Save North Pond
(Congamond Lakes, Southwick)

The Franklin Land Trust is working with the town of Southwick and the Mass Dept. of Fish and Game to preserve 147 acres of waterfront land in Southwick. This is the last undeveloped shoreline on the northern end of the Congamond Lakes, and is located adjacent to the 267-acre Southwick Wildlife Management Area and an additional 251 acres of conserved grasslands in Connecticut. Adding to those areas would make this one of the largest protected grasslands in New England, good habitat for several threatened bird species, including kestrel, woodcock, bobolink, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, and the upland sandpiper. The property also sits above an aquifer that provides drinking water for residents in Westfield, West Springfield, and Southwick. To learn more about this project and/or to contribute funds to help purchase the property, visit Save North Pond.

Stormwater Management and
Storm Drain Labeling

Wondering what those labels on the curb are all about? (We've placed nearly 5000 of them in Westfield, Russell, Huntington, Chester, Worthington and Southwick over the past five years!) They're a reminder that the storm drain system isn't connected to the wastewater treatment plant - what goes down those storm drains goes straight into our local rivers and ponds (or, in some cases, into the ground). Here are links to a new (2014) informational brochure on stormwater and wastewater management, from the City of Westfield:

Stormwater (English) (Spanish) (Russian) (Nepalese)

Westfield River Watershed
Invasive Species Project

Want to help combat the spread of invasive species in your community? WISP is a partnership of environmental organizations and local residents in the Westfield River watershed, promoting cooperative efforts to protect native habitats and manage invasive species through education, early detection, eradication, and management. Is there a special place in your town that is being overrun with invasive plants? Do you want to learn to identify new invasive species that may be coming into the area? Visit the WISP webpage or contact them at wrwisp@gmail.com

Please forward any suggestions or corrections to Mike Young at myoung@westfield.ma.edu