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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 listing below includes some specifics for 2002 events, our 50th anniversary year!
Atlantic Salmon Egg-Rearing Program (ASERP): WRWA provided chillers and tanks at the South Middle School in Westfield and at Westfield State College during the Spring of 2002. About 300 salmon eggs were delivered to each site in early March and students monitored the hatching of the eggs and care of the fry until they were stocked in local streams in May.
Westfield River Symposium: WRWA sponsors an annual symposium each spring on watershed issues. Symposia feature talks, poster displays and, often, field trips. The 2002 symposium, with the theme "Your Watershed: Past, Present, and Future", was held on Saturday, March 23, 2002 at Westfield State College, and was attended by about 150 people. Programs are available online for all the past symposia.
Atlantic Salmon Fry Stocking: Each year WRWA volunteers assist Massachusetts DFW personnel in stocking salmon fry in the Westfield River. Stocking generally takes place during the period from mid April through early June, with the exact dates depending on stream conditions. This year we had 50 volunteers to assist with stocking in the Huntington area on April 27! You can check on the numbers of returning fish (salmon, shad) at the USFWS daily fish count webpage.
DSI/FiberMark Fishway Open House: Despite the rainy weather, roughly 300 people toured the fishway/eelway at DSI/FiberMark in West Springfield (70 Front St.) on Saturday, May 18. This facility provides upstream passage around the power dam at DSI. Thanks to Gabe Khatchadourian (568-3005) for organizing this event.
Canoe Cruise: On Saturday, June 1 51 canoes paddled the 6 mile stretch of the Westfield River from downtown Westfield to the Robinson State Park in West Springfield! The canoe trip was followed by a picnic (complete with WRWA's 50th anniversary cake), a nature program for children and a hike along the river for adults. Thanks to Kathy Meyer (568-4252), Michael Vorwerk (572-5305) and George Martin (562-1618) who organized the event.
Rivers Month: June is Rivers Month and WRWA sponsored poster exhibits at libraries throughout the watershed to encourage everyone to think about our local streams. We also worked with libraries to develop reading lists of books in their collections, both fiction and non-fiction, that deal with rivers and water issues. Libraries that participated were: Becket, Southwick, Westfield, Granville, Westhampton and Huntington. Thanks to Kathy Meyer (568-4252) for organizing this new activity.
Annual Meeting: This year's annual meeting was held on Wednesday, June 19 at Abijah Willard's in Chester. Vincent Dowling of the Chester Miniature Theatre was the keynote speaker, and Mike Parker was the recipient of the Waite Award. Eight past presidents of the organization were at the dinner, which was attended by more than forty people.
Cummington Fair: This year's fair will be August 22-25 (Thursday to Sunday). WRWA shared a booth with the Wild and Scenic Committee and the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative. For more information, check out the Cummington Fair website.
Operation of DSI/FiberMark Fishway/Eelway: From September 15 to October 31 volunteers are needed to help operate the fishway at DSI in West Springfield. This involves checking for the presence of salmon at the fishway and releasing eels above the DSI dam. Contact Henry Warchol (put "fishway volunteer" in subject line) for more information.
New Members' Meeting: More than twenty-five people (including several Board members and both local candidates for State Repesentative!) attended a welcome meeting on Monday, September 30 at the Westfield Library from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Dan Call presented a slide show featuring highlights of the Westfield River watershed and other Board members described volunteer activities and opportunities.
Great River Ride: This annual fall classic cycling tour of the Westfield Watershed was held on Sunday, October 13 this year. WRWA staffed a booth at the water stop in Chester. For more information on the ride contact Don at New Horizon Sports in Westfield (562-5237) or you can register online (check the calendar at this site).
River Cleanup: Our annual fall river clean-up was held on Saturday, October 19 in conjunction with the Connecticut River Council's "Source to Sea" cleanup. More than 70 volunteers collected trash along the River Walk in Westfield and along the main stem in Huntington. Thanks to Carl Grobe (572-5304) for organizing this event and to the Westfield WalMart for donating gloves, trash bags and water for the volunteers to use.