The Last Green Valley, Inc. and more than 80 partners are presenting a series of events and workshops under the umbrella of the “2009 Source to Sea Expedition: Connecting the Drops through The Last Green Valley. ”
It’s a chance to learn more about the area’s waterways – and about how to stop water pollution.
Most events are free and suitable for all ages.
For complete “Source to Sea” event listings from April to June, please visit www.thelastgreenvalley.org (click on the Source to Sea logo) or contact Lois Bruinooge at 860 774-3300 or email email@example.com
- Capturing the beauty of the rivers
From now through April 26, you can enjoy a “Rivescapes of The Last Green Valley Photography Exhibit” at the Swift Waters Artisan’s Cooperative in Willimantic. (Tues. – Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. 4/26, noon to 3 p.m.)
View stunning photography featuring architecture and landscapes along the rivers of The Last Green Valley, exhibited in a Victorian-era building housing the Artisans’ Cooperative. (Directions: Follow Rtes. 66, 32 or 195 to Main St. in Willimantic; 750 Main St. is 2 blocks west of the Frog Bridge.
For more information visit www.swiftwaters.org or call 860-228-1113.
- West Thompson Lake-Earth Day Cleanup
One of the first events of the series takes place on Saturday, April 11 in Thompson, CT – the West Thompson Lake-Earth Day Cleanup.
Registration is at 8 a.m., with refreshments. Cleanup will be from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by a pizza lunch.
Join U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ staff and an army of volunteers as they spruce up the West Thompson Lake Recreation Area.
You are asked to pre-register in order to plan for food and cleanup supplies.
For more information or to register, call Michelle Dwyer at 860-923-2982.
- Source to Sea Expedition Launch
The Source to Sea Expedition Launch Ceremony and Paddle on Mashapaug Pond will be held on Friday, April 17 in Union, CT.
Join The Last Green Valley and the CT Department of Environmental Protection for the opening ceremony, and paddle on Mashapaug Pond in Bigelow Hollow State Park.
The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. followed by an easy, flatwater paddle on the pond.
Learn about the unusual headwaters of the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers – because of dams and other man-made alterations to Mashapaug Pond, you can follow the water north to the Quinebaug River, or south to Bigelow Brook that flows into the Shetucket River.
Both the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers come full circle in Norwich, where they join to form the Thames River.
Pre-registration is required to paddle, and you must have your own boat and equipment, including a life jacket worn at all times on the water.
For more information or to register for the paddle, call The Last Green Valley office at 860-774-3300.
(Directions to Launch Ceremony: Take I-84 to Exit 73 or 74, then follow Route 190 to Route 171 east to the park entrance.)
- Opening day of the fishing season
Saturday, April 18 is Opening Day of the fishing season in Connecticut. Visit www.ct.gov/dep and click on “Outdoor Recreation” then “Fishing” to learn about special places like “Trout Parks” and licensing requirements for fishing in Connecticut.
Among the day’s events is the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership Spring Volunteer Day
Have you been waiting for a chance to get more involved with the Willimantic Whitewater Partnership? Please join the WWP at their Bridge Street property (off Main Street in downtown Willimantic) on April 18 to help clean up a section of the Willimantic River and improve the future site of a planned downtown whitewater park. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
- The Bungay Fire Brigade in Woodstock, CT will mark opening day with a hearty buffet “fisherman’s breakfast,” from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. A $5 donation is request, and breakfast will be served at the Bungay Fire Brigade’s Station 77, 1256 Route 171, West Woodstock.
- Also on Saturday, in North Oxford, MA: “The Wild French River: Greenbriar Park Canoe/Kayak Launch Dedication and French River Paddle.”
Join the French River Connection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the dedication of a new car-top canoe and kayak launch at Greenbriar Park. (8:30 a.m. paddlers meet/shuttle; 9 a.m. Dedication Ceremony, followed by French River Paddle)
Paddle on a 3-mile stretch from Greenbriar to Hodges Village Dam, led by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ ranger and naturalist Jean Hixson who will highlight the abundant wildlife found on this stretch of river.
It an easy-to-moderate paddle, with potentially swift moving water and obstructions in early spring.
Pre-registration is required to paddle and is limited to 20 boats.
Paddlers must be at least 16 years old, have his or her own boat and equipment, including life jacket worn at all times on the water.
Bring lunch and drinks; cameras, fishing poles – and binoculars are recommended.
For more information or to register for the paddle, contact Jean Hixson at Claudia.J.Hixson@usace.army.mil
[Directions to Greenbriar for Dedication Ceremony: From I-395, take exit 4B to Oxford Center. At the first light (center of town) take a right. Travel down Route 12 approximately 3 miles until you see a blinking yellow light and a sign on the right that reads: Greenbriar Town Park. Turn in and travel about 200 feet to see a dirt road on the left and a sign indicating a kayak launch. Don't drive down that road! Just park along the side of the grass and walk down. The launch is about 150 feet from the head of the road.]
Directions and shuttle information for paddlers: Obtain from trip leader upon registration.
- And on April 18 in Thompson, CT: Thompson Treasure Hunt (all day)
Thompson residents put their unwanted “treasures” on their lawns with a “free” sign on them. Participants can ride around Thompson, enjoying the scenery and finding “treasures” to take home. For more information, contact Ida at 860-923-9052 or ThompsonEnvironment@gmail.com. Sponsored by Thompson Together Environment Committee
And coming up…
- On Wednesday, April 29 in Willimantic: “From the Garage to the Water: Everything You Wanted to Know About Kayaking” at 7 p.m. Kayakers and would-be kayakers invited! The Columbia Canoe Club presents Sue Audette, owner of Water Works Canoe Co. and former member of the US Team. She will deliver a multi-media presentation to make every level of paddler more successful. Open to the public, (donations to the club appreciated.) Location: French Club, Club Road (off Rt.66) in Willimantic, near the Willimantic Country Club
- On Saturday, May 2 (Saturday) Tolland to Mansfield, CT: “Upper Willimantic River Paddle” (mid-morning through early afternoon).
Canoe or kayak down this beautiful stretch of river for approximately 8 miles from Tolland to River Park in Mansfield. It is mostly flatwater, with some quick water/Class I.
Pre-registration is required and is limited to 20 boats. Paddlers must be at least 16 years old and must have their own boat and equipment, includinga life jacket worn at all times on the water. Bring lunch and drinks; cameras and binoculars recommended.
For paddling maps and water-level information, visit www.willimanticriver.org.
For more information or to register, call Betty Robinson at 860-429-3206.
Sponsored by Willimantic River Alliance and Appalachian Mountain Club, CT Chapter
[Directions: Obtain from trip leader upon registration.]
- Also on Saturday, May 2 in Mansfield: “Backyard Water Wise Workshop”
(10 a.m. to 11 a.m.) at the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building (town hall), 4 South Eagleville Road (Route 275).
What things can homeowners do to help make sure there is enough water for both people and nature? Jean Pillo, Watershed Conservation Coordinator for the Eastern Connecticut Conservation District, will present a workshop that will entertain, educate and hopefully inspire a new way to view your backyard.
Learn to save money and time by adopting sustainable, ecologically friendly landscaping concepts. This is a free workshop, but please register soon by calling Virginia Walton at 860-429-3333.
Sponsored by Thames River Basin Partnership
[Directions to Council Chambers, Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building, 4 South Eagleville Rd. (Route 275), Storrs - Mansfield CT]
- On Sunday, May 3 in Mansfield/Storrs, CT: “Meet the Mt. Hope River“ at 1 p.m. Participants will take a walk to observe the plants and animals living along this beautiful stretch of river. We may spot some early wildflowers and see some returning resident birds.
This easy walk on a natural trail will take about 1 hour and cover about 1 mile. Cameras and binoculars are recommended.
Children over the age of 4 are welcome, with a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Susan Harrington at email@example.com.
Sponsored by Mansfield Parks Advisory Committee.
[Directions to Mt. Hope Park: From the junction of Route 195 and 89, follow Route 89 east for 3.4 miles.Mt. Hope Park is on the right, look for small parking lot.]
- On Saturday, May 16 in Mansfield/Storrs, CT: “Willimantic River Greenway Midriver Trail” (1 p.m.; rain date May 17)
Enjoy a guided walk along a portion of the Willimantic River Greenway Midriver Trail. Meet at Merrow Meadow Park and walk approximately 3-4 miles through the Spring Manor Trail, the village of Mansfield Depot, and Lynch Landing to River Park.
At registration, volunteers will be solicited to leave a car at River Park so individuals who only want to make the trip one way can get a ride back to Merrow Meadow.
Children ages 12 and older are welcome.
Registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Kaufman at Mansfield Parks and Recreation, 860-429-3015 x204 or KaufmanJs@mansfieldct.org.
Sponsored by Mansfield Parks Advisory Committee.
[Directions to Merrow Meadow: From the intersection of Route 195 and Route 32, head south on Route 32 for 0.83 miles. Turn right onto Merrow Road and go 0.01 miles. Parking area entrance is on the left. ]
- Also on Saturday, May 16 in Mansfield-Storrs: “Land Use Academy – Basic Training Certificate Program” from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Land Use Academy will hold a full-day Basic Training Certificate Program for municipal land use decision-makers.
The training provides instruction for local land-use commissioners on the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to support sound decision-making.
The curriculum covers the roles, responsibilities and legal requirements of commissions as well as basic map reading techniques.
Commissioners who complete all three courses earn a certificate to document their commitment to effective land use decision making.
There is a $20 registration fee for the training, with breakfast and lunch included.
For more information or to register, contact Rachael Cleveland at firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-345-5202, or visit http://clear.uconn.edu/lua/.
- On Saturday, May 30 in Willimantic: “Willimantic Riverfest and Willimantic River Paddle” (10 am – 3 pm)
Family paddling on the Willimantic River from Eagleville Dam to Willimantic, whitewater demonstrations by experts, music and concessions.
Registration on site, on the day of event for paddlers. Your own equipment is required to paddle this Class I stretch. A nominal fee will be charged for insurance and a bus shuttle. For more information, contact Roger Adams at 860-423-6389.
Sponsored by The Chamber of Commerce, Windham Region, www.windhamchamber.com, and Willimantic Whitewater Partnership
[Directions: Meet at the CT Eastern Railroad Museum Parking Lot on Bridge Street of off Route 32/Main Street in downtown Willimantic.]
The Last Green Valley, Inc. is the nonprofit management entity for the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor. The Last Green Valley’s mission is to conserve, celebrate and enhance the significant historical, cultural, natural and scenic resources of the Heritage Corridor while promoting a quality of life based on a strong healthy economy compatible with the region’s character.
Posted April 10, 2009