WRWA sponsors or participates in a variety of events during the year. Many of these events offer opportunities for volunteers to get involved with watershed issues. The events listed below are those which are scheduled for the next few months. Details on additional events will be posted as information becomes available.
Fish Ladder Open House: WRWA's annual open house at the fish ladder in West Springfield is scheduled for Sunday, June 2 from 10 AM to 3 PM. WRWA Board members will provide tours of the facility, and there's always the chance that a returning Atlantic Salmon will have been captured for attendees to view. Parking will be at 150 Front St. in West Springfield (look for signs along Rt. 20 directing you to the site).
Westfield River Canoe Cruise: More than 80 paddlers joined last year's cruise from downtown Westfield to Robinson State Park in Agawam. This year's event we be held on Saturday, June 15, with registration from 10-11 AM at the parking area just east of the Great River Bridges (Rts. 10/202) in Westfield accessible off Meadow Street). The 6-7 mile cruise, along a mostly flatwater stretch of the river, will begin at 11 AM leaving plenty of time for you to enjoy some of the activities at Robinson State Park Day afterwards. The cost is $10 per person, or $25 per family, which covers insurance, shuttle expenses and light snacks at the park at the end of the paddle. Steady rain or inappropriate flow conditions will cancel the event, but we've been lucky the past couple of years to have had great conditions. Hopefully we'll have another good day this year!
Storm Drain Labeling: Our first storm drain labeling session will be held from 9 AM to noon on Saturday, June 22. We'll meet in the parking lot for Westfield's City Hall (off Court Street) and will be applying plastic labels to drains in Westfield or Russell to remind folks that the storm drain system leads directly to the river, not to the wastewater treatment plant. Wear old clothes, and be sure to bring some water and sunscreen. Contact Mike Young for more information.
Kayak/Canoe Race at Hampton Ponds: WRWA is planning a new event for Hampton Ponds on Saturday, September 14: a kayak/canoe race organized by Phil Sousa. Check back here for more information as it becomes available.
Fly-Fishing Clinic: In conjunction with the Western Massachusetts Fly-Fishing Association, WRWA will hold a fly-fishing clinic at the Rt. 20 turnout in Huntington on Saturday, September 21. You'll have a chance to learn fly-tying, to try casting, and to identify some of the macroinvertebrates that live in the river.
The Watershed Waltz:
A new version of The Watershed Waltz, a puppet show about healthy watersheds intended for elementary school children, was produced in 2011 and is now available. The original show was developed by Marmelade Productions in 2008, with funding from The Highlands Community Initiative (a project of The Trustees of Reservations) and WRWA, and has been performed at many elementary schools in the watershed. Copies of the DVD are available for $15 each (including shipping and handling). Make your check payable to "Westfield River Watershed Association" and send it to WRWA, PO Box 1764, Westfield, MA 01086-1764.
1955 Flood Documentary DVD: Copies of the DVD Five Feet and Rising: The Flood of '55 are still available through WRWA. This 28-minute documentary, produced by Jack Hayward of Hayward Communications and co-produced by Mark Saint Jean of Westfield State College in cooperation with WRWA, recounts the devastating Westfield River floods of August 1955. The film includes a number of interviews with Westfield residents recalling their experiences of the 1955 event - the largest recorded flood in Westfield's history. To obtain a copy, contact Mike Young.