Blackstone River Watershed Association
Annual EarthDay Cleanup
Someday, all this snow will melt and spring
rains will shower down. Some of this water will infiltrate into the
ground but, unfortunately, much of it will course over impervious
surfaces like roads, driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots. This
runoff will carry ground litter and pollutants into the ponds and
tributary streams of the Blackstone River watershed. Time, once
again, to rally together for the BRWA's Annual EarthDay Cleanup, to be
held this year on Sunday, April 19th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Though based out of River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, we will be needing
teams of volunteers to work along shorelines and in the water at sites
from Millbury down to Blackstone. As always, the BRWA will provide
work gloves, trash bags, grabbers, and detailed directions. Volunteers
will be rewarded for their hard work afterwards with pizza and
refreshments at the Visitor Center at 3pm.
A volunteer with trash haul from 2014 EarthDay Cleanup.
Photo by Susan Thomas
Last year, over 200 people pooled their time, energy, and enthusiasm
together and removed over 170 large garbage bags worth of litter from
the water and shorelines! They also removed two dozen tires, household
items, bikes, furniture, hazardous waste, and construction debris. In
Hopedale, volunteers even hauled out 3 lawn mowers and an old seed drill!
Removing this trash keeps waterways open for fish and wildlife, and
for paddlers and anglers. The Cleanup also improves the water quality
of the Blackstone River by removing potential sources of contamination.
This is a great opportunity for families, youth organizations, scouts,
church groups, local businesses, school groups, garden clubs, and
recreation clubs to pitch in to benefit their community and the Blackstone!
Please contact us at
email@example.com or 508-278-5200 to suggest a cleanup site
and/or to sign up as a volunteer for this year's BRWA EarthDay Cleanup.
The Blackstone Needs YOU!
First Annual Family Fun Fishing Day
Mark your calendars! The BRWA has teamed up
with Alternatives Unlimited, Inc. to sponsor the first Annual Family
Fun Fishing Day, to be held on Saturday, May 2 at River Bend Farm in
Uxbridge. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will provide rods and bait but
participants can also bring their own. Trout Unlimited and River Bend
staff will assist with casting, and demonstrate fly tying. This is a
catch and release event but prizes will be awarded. Additional
educational activities will be offered to round out this
family-friendly day. Check back later to our website for more
A Day on the Blackstone
This is an event not to be missed so get it on
your calendar now! On Saturday, June 6, the BRWA will be offering a
fabulous paddling excursion on the Blackstone River from Stanley
Woolen Mill in Uxbridge to the Blackstone Gorge. Participants will
stop at historic sites along the way, with commentary provided by NPS
Ranger Chuck Arning. Check back for more details.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
March is National Women's History Month.
In 2009, the event's theme was women striving to protect our natural
environment. Honorees included the following: Roswitha Augusta produced
the documentary Preserving the Future about the struggle between
preserving our environment and urbanization; Mary Cleave is an
environmental engineer whose research has focused on the need to maintain
river flow for fish; Roberta Nichols was a research engineer who worked on
alternative fuels and electric vehicles; and Betsy Damon focuses on water
source protection through her environmental art and activism by
collaborating with scientists and citizens. Information on these and
other Honorees can be found at
3/1, 7, 8, 14, 15
Maple Sugaring Tours.
Mass Audubon. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.
10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Mass Audubon's Annual Birders Meeting.
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Bentley University, Waltham.
Water Conservation: Landscape Design Strategies Webinar.
Ecological Landscape Alliance. 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Public Hearings on DEP's Proposed Clean Energy Standards.
1:00 p.m. MassDEP Central Regional Office. 8 New
Bond Street Worcester, MA. See below for more
Blackstone River Watershed Council Monthly Meeting.
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Lincoln RI.
Blackstone River Coalition's Annual Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Summit.
9:15 a.m. - noon. Hopedale Community House,
Hopedale. See below for details. RSVP: Susan Thomas,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-839-9488.
BRWA Board Meeting.
6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 271 Oak St., Uxbridge.
Blackstone Canal Clean Up.
8 - 12 a.m. 15 St. Paul St., Blackstone, MA.
For info, contact Dave Barber 508-478-4918 or email
Central Mass Chapter Trout Unlimited Monthly Meeting.
6:30 -9:00 p.m. Auburn Sportsman's Club. 50 Elm Street, Auburn, MA.
BRWA's Annual EarthDay Cleanup.
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. River Bend Farm Visitor Center,
Uxbridge and Sites throughout the watershed.
Time, once again, to join
the cleanup along shoreways and waterways of the Blackstone River
Watershed. BRWA Team Leaders will work with volunteers along waterways in
Grafton, Millbury, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Hopedale, Millville, and
Blackstone. If you know of a site that needs cleaning, please let us know!
Have fun outdoors while protecting your local water resources. After the
cleanup, volunteers will meet back at the Visitor Center for pizza and
other refreshments. Contact:
email@example.com or 508-278-5200
THINK GLOBAL, ACT LOCAL
Corridor Visitor Center in Worcester Moving Forward
On Tuesday, March 17, Charlene Perkins Cutler,
Executive Director of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. will be
available to answer questions about the new visitor center at a coffee
hour hosted by the Worcester Historical Museum from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
The museum is located at 30 Elm Street in Worcester. R.S.V.P. to
Barbara Dixon at 401-762-0250 ext. 5503.
The Visitor Center will "be an interpretive and cultural amenity serving
as a gateway to the City of Worcester and to the entire National
Heritage Corridor." The current brownfield site will be redesigned to
illustrate the city's rich history of innovation and invention. Topics
covered in displays will include immigration, ethnicity, cultural
traditions, transportation history, and changes to the natural landscape.
The Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center is expected to be a
boost to Worcester's economic development. Stop by for a danish, cup of
coffee and a chat with Charlene!
Taking on Climate Disruption
in MA with Green Energy
In 2008, Governor Patrick signed the
Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA)
to address the potential impacts of climate change on the state.
The Conservation Law Foundation cites Massachusetts’s GWSA as "one of
the most robust climate change laws in the nation and positions the
commonwealth as a leader in climate change solutions and the clean
energy future, it also serves as a model for federal action."
That GWSA led the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental
Affairs to develop the
Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020.
In order to meet the required greenhouse gas emissions limits
(25% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020, 80% reduction by 2050),
the MA Department of Environmental Protection has proposed regulatory
amendments. Public Hearings on these regulations have been scheduled for
March in Boston, Worcester, and Lakeville.
Climate disruption will be
affecting all of us, not just the regulators charged with setting
standards. It is critical that you be part of the process that will
shape your future and your children’s future.
Water Quality Monitors Needed
Do you enjoy exploring streams?
Would you like to be part of a long-term environmental protection effort?
Can you spare an hour on the second Saturday of the month from April through November?
If so, then you're just what the Blackstone River Coalition is looking for!
We're in need of volunteer water quality monitors for testing sites in
the Worcester area and in R.I. The headwater sites are at Sewell Brook
at School Street off Rt. 140 in Boylston, and Tatnuck Brook behind the
American Legion Post on Mill Street in Worcester. The R.I. sites include
Crookfall Brook on Sayles Hill Rd. in North Smithfield, and Clear River
on Rt 102 in Burrillville.
A BRC volunteer water quality monitor
preparing to venture out.
Photo: Susan Thomas
New monitors will receive training and equipment prior to the start of
the season. Fieldwork includes taking a physical narrative of the site,
testing for dissolved oxygen, and collecting a water sample that you
drop off at one of the BRC's regional testing labs (Worcester, MA and
Cumberland Hills, RI). If you, or someone you know, is interested,
please contact the BRC's WQM Coordinator Susan Thomas at
Thank You Volunteers!
If you are a BRC volunteer water quality monitor,
or would like to become one, or are interested in improving the quality
of the Blackstone River, then join us on Saturday, March 21st in
Hopedale, MA for our Annual Water Quality Monitoring Summit and
Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast. The event, which will run from 9:15
a.m. to noon at the Hopedale Community House on Hope Street, is an
opportunity for the BRC to applaud all the good work the volunteer
monitors performed over the past season.
The BRC will present its Report Card for the 2014 season in which grades
of excellent to poor are assigned to monitoring sites throughout the
Blackstone River watershed based on physical, chemical, and aesthetic
data collected last April through November. Richard Hartley, Fisheries
Biologist with the Mass Division of Fish and Wildlife, will review the
status of fish in the watershed and the state's research currently
underway - a timely topic as the BRC kicks off the next phase of its
campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone! R.S.V.P. to Susan Thomas,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-839-9488.
The July 2013 issue of the BRWA e-newsletter offered
some suggestions for books about rivers that young children could read.
Literature is a great way to connect youth to nature. And that's especially
true for older youth (9-18) who may have distanced themselves from the
outdoors for a variety of school, work, and social reasons. The following
list of books for older readers includes a combination of fiction and
non-fiction, print and e-books.
- Tom's River - A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin
(Pultizer Prize coverage of N.J. community impacted by industrial pollution)
- 10 Rivers that Shaped our World by Marilee Peters (global and historical views)
- A River Ran Wild by Lynn Cherry (younger reader but historical
overview of Nashua River's varied treatment by people)
- Lyddia by Katherine Paterson (historical fiction about mill work in Lowell, MA)
- Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolen (younger reader but strong message about human impact on rivers)
- Trouble River by Betsy Byars (adventure)
- Mississipi River Blues by Tony Abbott (time travel into Tom Sawyer)
- Danger on Midnight River by Gary Paulson (adventure)
- Our Time on the River by Don Brown (adventure)
- Wild River by PJ Peterson (adventure on Boulder R.)
- River Rats, Inc. by Jean Craighead George (adventure on Colorado R.)
- Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham (fantasy)
- Take Me to the River by Will Hobbs (adventure, Big Bend R.)
From Running to Recycling
Are you one of the millions of people determined
to kick off a healthy exercise routine for 2015? If so, you may be in
the market for new athletic shoes and looking to trash your old,
worn-out ones. Before you thrown them away, consider Nike's
Reuse-A-Shoe program, started in the 1990s. Nike Grind, the material
the shoes are recycled into, is used to construct green playgrounds,
tennis courts, and running tracks. More than 1.5 million pairs are
kept out of landfills each year due to this innovative program.
Old athletic shoes not containing cleats or spikes can be dropped off
at any Nike or Converse retail store, or mailed to Nike's recycling
facility at the following address:
United States Facility:
Nike Grind Processing
3552 Avenue of Commerce
Memphis, TN 38125
“It is not half so important to know as to feel.” Rachel Carson
We often focus on the big, colorful, noisy parts of nature. Yet there
is such beauty and wonder in the small, fleeting aspects like this
hoarfrost observed by Canadian photographer Don Komarechka. Find time
in each of your nature outings to appreciate the delicate and ephemeral
Views & opinions expressed in linked websites do not necessarily
state or reflect those of the BRWA.
Your input is crucial to this eNewsletter. If you have a local
watershed-related story, information of interest to our subscribers, or
comments about this publication, drop an email to the editor.|
The Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) has a mission to
engage, educate, and advocate for improved water quality in the Blackstone
River Watershed; its objectives are to:
The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed
Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Engage the public in watershed stewardship activities,
- Educate members, supporters, and residents on watershed protection strategies, and
- Advocate to local residents, community leaders, non-profit partners, and
state regulators to take actions that will help to ensure our waterways continue
to provide healthy habitat and enjoyable recreational opportunities.
Editor: Susan Thomas email@example.com
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200 Web: www.thebrwa.org
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