C4Rivers Chatter: 2020!

IMG_3405June-Rivers month

Our plan will be to highlight one of our rivers each week. Share with you any special features, history, conservation issues, and paddling options.

First up: The Quaboag River

Though relatively short at roughly 25-miles in length, the main stem Quaboag River is C4 Quaboag River Kayak Sunsetone of the most interesting and important waterways in Massachusetts. Originating from tributaries that flow from Paxton and Oakham that meet at Quaboag Pond, the Quaboag flows west, slowly at first as it winds its way through the plains of Brookfield, but quickly gains current and turbulence as it passes through the Quaboag Narrows in West Warren on its way to form the Chicopee River at its merge with the Ware and Swift Rivers (in Three Rivers). The height of its watershed’s elevation is nearly 1200 ft, its low point about 290 ft. It averages about 250 cfs flow.

Named from an Algonquian term meaning “beyond the pond”, likely referring to Quaboag Pond, the Quaboag River was a central focus for the Quaboag Indians; one of the three local tribes of Central Massachusetts. . In 1660 the Quaboag Plantation was settled by a small group of Essex County families. The 18th and 19th Centuries in the Quaboag Valley witnessed the apex of pre-mechanized farming, while the Quaboag River itself fueled the local peak of the Industrial Revolution through the mid-20th Century as dams and mills grew to define the towns Warren and Palmer. While all of these human occupancies and uses have come and gone, it is the River that has remained constant. Today the Quaboag River flows relatively quiet again, and the majority of human interaction with the River involves canoes and kayaks.

The Quaboag has wonderful recreational opportunities, see the C4R Blue Trail guide map under our Blue Trail page. Paddling, bird watching, fishing and more can be enjoyed at many locations along the river.

Check this out… https://paddling.com/learn/practice-social-distancing-go-paddling/

WRBT plans – C4R has also begun to prepare a new Blue Trail – on the Ware River! We hope to have things well laid out this year for final completion in 2021. If you wish to help, let us know. Thanks.


imagesMay – Care 4Rivers Challenge!

Since we cannot yet gather, what’s the next best thing? Solo service or Safe Space river stewardship. What’s this? C4R has a number of river access locations along our first Blue Trails, they might need a spring cleaning. So if and when (in May) you can, bring a trash bag, stop by a site, BE SAFE, and pick up any trash you see, throw it in your trash at home. If there is a serious piece of debris, let us know and we will see what we can do about it. Whatever little we can do individually, helps a bunch! Share any photos with us!! contact us.

Sites: Indian Orchard/Water St, Putts Bridge/River Rd, Collins Portage, Red Bridge lower, Stevens Rd/E Brookfield, Quaboag Pond launch, Rt 67/9 rest area, Lucy Stone Park. Where else?

C4R Events Schedule

images copy

we are tracking present conditions and will plan accordingly…

Details Coming Soon!

Clean ups (see May C4R challenge),

Paddles ( June? or July), New Trail-WRBT!

We are also planning our 2020 Bacteria sampling program to begin in July (due to present conditions).


Bacteria Report 2019

C4R continued to monitor the health and quality of our local rivers, see the link below for results on the 2019 season. We will be gearing up for 2020, seeking renewed funding, new funding, and volunteers!

C4RWC 2019 Bac-T report FINAL


Rivers enliven us! 

Help C4R make 2020 another banner year!chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2c-300-8c-cr4-2

Join us, support us, we need you to help make things happen in Caring 4 Rivers!


2019 was another productive year for C4R.

Here’s what we got done:
–Finished our first trail grant.
–Completed Quaboag & Chicopee River Blue Trails
–Sampled 15 river sites for bacteria
–Received an award for a Ware River Blue Trail grant
–Helped on invasive water chestnut removal @ Oxford Marsh
Thanks for those who helped on these.

  • In 2020, we will :
    -hold opening day paddles on our first two trails
    –begin work on the Ware River trail
    –continue sampling
    –continued invasive plant projects
    –and hopefully expand our efforts

But doing more needs more resources.images
Consider a financial gift to C4R!
Donate via: https://c4rivers.org/membership-join-c4r/
online or mail in a check!

We can do great things together!
thanks, see you on a river in 2020!


Chicopee River Blue Trail ready! We’ll plan a big opening day in 2020!chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2C-300-8c-sign-2

Signage and portage elements are in place, maps are back from printers! chicopeewatershed@gmail.com



See C4R sampling results: https://connecticutriver.us

C4R sites are to the right of Quabbin Reservoir.


C4R Summer of 2019

Unknown-1Poems, Prose, Pictures
As we get out on and around our local rivers, write your poems & prose, take pictures of your favorite river places. Submissions extended thru end of 2019…

Share your rivers!

DetailsC4R 2019 P-P-P Contest


chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2C-300-8c-sign-2C4R Receives RTP/DCR Trails Grant to establish Ware River Blue Trail!

C4R was granted funds to construct access points and create a Blue Trail map for a Ware River Blue Trail, in 2 sections, starting in Hardwick and running through Ware to Palmer. The Project will be in partnership with each of the noted communities. Stay tuned!


WJZ-E46C-21C4R shares this special Event with AMC

Paddle with a Purpose! Harvesting Invasive Water Chestnut at the Oxford Marsh of the Chicopee River

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Easy paddle on flatwater to pull invasive water chestnut, a plant that impairs wildlife habitat and could easily take over our waters, making boating, swimming and fishing nearly impossible. Great strides have already been made at keeping this plant in check. Fun paddle afterwards – Join in!

contact: Cynthia Boettner – cynthia.boettner1@gmail.com  


June 22 SATURDAY: Solstice evening paddle-GREAT FUN!



Summer Fun!

IMG_6901            IMG_6896

A great evening out on the Ware River…..



**Review Draft Chicopee River Blue Trail Maps – Blue Trails  offer comments…. comment by June 11.



cropped-images.jpegKingfisher Newsletter – V2 #1 Preview

our spring newsletter can be seen here: Kingfisher-2019-V2#1-Final


chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2C-300-8c No noteRiver Action-Events for 2019

C4R is laying out plans for 2019, want to join the team? We welcome committed folks to join our steering team. Interested in Blue Trails? Water Quality monitoring? Clean ups or paddles? Send us a note: chicopeewatershed@gmail.com OR support us by becoming a member: Join C4R.  An initial slate of events and activities is noted below:

  • April 11, THU – C4R night at the Iron Duke — Thanks to all who came by!
  • April 20th Chicopee River Blue Trail clean up, 9-12 AM-POSTPONED
  • April 27th Three Rivers-river clean up, 9-12 AM.   Thanks to all! 
  • May 4, 3R TRACK Arts Fest, come visit C4R 11-3. 
  • May 4, W Brookfield, 67/9 QRBT access clean up, 9-12 (part of town wide event)
  • May 11 C4R paddling event-QRBT-see events
  • June – Bacteria sampling begins 6/13
  • Oxford Marsh-Chicopee River Water chestnut pull
  • Solstice paddle June 22
  • July 7 Chicopee Water Chestnut Pull & Paddle

Details on these: See Events.


ironduke4-11-2C4R night at Iron Duke, Thursday April 11

C4R  presented our plans for the Chicopee River Blue Trail – a paddling trail ON the river, shared a draft trail map, upcoming event information, and more! Folks discovered how they can connect with our local rivers. All enjoyed a local brew along our local river.

100 State St #122 Ludlow, behind the Ludlow Mills, near the river walk.


Fresh off the presses!!!       images-3

 C4RWC 2018 Bac-T report.

Thanks to support from QQLA, LWPA, Towns of Warren, Palmer, Wilbraham, Ware, City of Springfield, and Country Bank.


4Rivers Strong!

2018 was another productive year for the 4 Rivers group, we continued to advance our goals of reconnecting local folk to their local rivers. This has happened because more local folk have begun to work with C4R. It’s been a slow process, but it has begun to spread. We hope though, to engage more people to Care 4 Rivers. Join us!

          In 2018 we:
Monitored river health at 11 recreational sites (bacteria)
We brought 2 Blue Trails to near completion
Over 40 volunteers got involved! Thanks.
C4R hosted paddling events and clean ups
We were out in communities for informational events
Began membership Drive
          In 2019 we intend to:
Complete and inaugurate the Quaboag & Chicopee Blue Trails
Hold opening Day events for each trail
Expand our monitoring, education programs
Paddles on each river, Clean ups
Grow membership, donations
Begin trail plans for Ware & Swift Rivers

All this can continue if more people get involved and/or support our efforts. Please chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2c-300-8c-cr4-2consider a donation to C4R to help us make 2019 productive and strong. Go to: https://c4rivers.org/membership-join-c4r/




C4R annual meeting November 4: a success.

Fine turnout @ Palmer Historical Cultural Center in Three Rivers/Palmer. 

Theme: Many hands, together, make a difference! 

C4R shared updates on Blue Trails, water quality monitoring, recognized our volunteers, presented future plans, and more. 2018 was another productive year, but there is more to do! Join C4R and BE 1 of a 1000!

Think BLUE – MassachusettsScreen Shot 2018-11-03 at 10.39.28 AM

The next step in protecting the health of our local rivers…


IMG_2589Quaboag Blue Trail closer to completion!

Road signage installed: Brookfield to Warren! Trail Maps ready too! Trail map on our Blue Trails page.

C4R – connecting you to your local rivers…IMG_2595




CBT CoverDraft Chicopee Blue Trail Map ready for review comments!

Take a look, let us know… Thanks. Link:  Chicopee-10-31-18

2019 Trail opening.



C4R has completed our 2018 Monitoring season. We sampled for bacteria along our Blue Trails. Results are posted on line @ www.connecticutriver.us

Full report later this Fall. C4RWC 2018 Bac-T data sum



chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2C-300-8c No noteJoin C4R, Be a member!

C4R continues our 2018 member/supporter drive. Our goal is to welcome 100+ members! See the charter member perks!

Seeking better river access? Want clean healthy rivers? Join C4R.

C4R has been busy improving river access and monitoring the health of our 4Rivers. Now we need people to step up and help us to continue to move forward and do even more good work. Be a part of Caring 4Rivers – C4R…

Use the Link below, then go to our membership page, thank you.

Join C4R !!! 

DSCN0875With C4R’s RTP-DCR grant, we are moving forward to make both the Quaboag and Chicopee River Blue Trails a reality. We have begun fieldwork with more to come. If you want to help, let us know!

C4R held a number of OUTREACH sessions to engage local folks to help us prepare final efforts. chicopee-4-rivers-logo-2C-300-8c-sign-2

 C4R has shared on a draft trail map and seeks input on refinements. We are implementing the trail infrastructure and continue to seek volunteers to helps us make all this happen. Please review draft maps and send in input ASAP, see our Blue Trail page for drafts. Send in feedback ASAP!


C4R = Care 4 Rivers

contact chicopeewatershed@gmail.com

Thanks to all for 2017!

2017 was another productive year for C4R.

  • continued river monitoring in key recreational areas (a few new).
  • advanced our Blue Trail project and received a grant to finish 2 trails in 2018.
  • contributed on a storm water study in the lower Chicopee River area.
  • facilitated a number of group paddles and river clean ups.
  • held an informative annual Summit.
  • set a vision for 2018 and beyond.


All this worked because of volunteer or financial contributor support. Thanks to our Valley Gives donors, Country bank, and all our volunteers.  Thank you.

2018, C4R will embark on a membership drive to engage more participation.

  • C4R will open two Blue Trails, begin scoping out 2 more.
  • C4R will look to monitor more water quality sites.
  • C4R will look to getting out with more folks on our local rivers.
  • initiate education programs
  • We will do more clean ups.
  • And have fun too!

To do this, we need to spread the word and invite more people to join in.

Together, we can Care 4 Rivers… C4R

Our Rivers-Our Vision-2017 Summit 11/12


 Our 2017 Summit was a great forum to see ALL that C4R has done and plans to do!   Slide Presentation Link

The C4R team reported on our 2017 efforts which included our bacteria sampling, storm water study, Blue Trail work, DCR Grant, outreach, and laid out a vision to grow membership, an expanded trail network, and education.

Andy Fisk from the CRC, Connecticut River Conservancy, shared where C4R contributes and can add to citizen science to care 4 our rivers. C4R can help with nutrient studies, mussel restoration, and more!

Kristen Sykes from AMC  talked about how paddling trails are a great way for people to know a river, particularly the CT River Paddlers trail.

2017 was another step forward for C4R, join us as we continue forward.

C4R = Care 4 Rivers

C4R receives DCR Trails Grant!

C4R coordinator, Keith Davies-center, accepts a trails grant award from state officials.

Great News: DCR has awarded C4R a grant to advance and complete work on our first 2 Blue Trails and begin scoping out our next 2!

The grant will help C4R complete both the upper Quaboag Blue Trail through the Brookfields into Warren and the Chicopee River Blue Trail in Wilbraham/Ludlow/Springfield by summer of 2018. Work includes location signage, kiosks, and completing the map guides. These are great places for paddlers to explore!

C4R will also begin layout work for blue trails on the Ware and Swift Rivers.

C4R will also be offering a presentation at the Mass Trails Conference on November 4 about Blue Trails.

Locally, C4R will hold its 4th annual SUMMIT on November 12th in Palmer to share our recent accomplishments and our vision for going into 2018 and beyond, save the date, come join us.

C4R = Care 4 Rivers

C4R – Adopt a Stream

UnknownWant to monitor the health of your neighborhood stream? Contribute to citizen science? Adopt a Stream!

Our local rivers and streams play an important role in not only the ecosystem, but also our quality of life. Clean water and a natural river system keeps us healthy, offers us fun recreational opportunities (boating, fishing, swimming), and makes our communities safe by handling storms naturally.

Adopt a Stream is a program that invites people to monitor the health of their local stream. Adopters can:

  • Monitor stream flow/level
  • Monitor stream water temperatures
  • Monitor water pH
  • Observe weekly conditions to notice anything unusual
  • Lead a local clean up day

C4R will help you get started and provide support to help volunteers monitor their local adopted stream. C4R, for an offering of $20 to cover supplies, will provide an Adopter with a rugged stream thermometer, a pH test kit for 50 samples, a volunteer guide booklet, data sheets, and tips on caring for your stream. C4R would ask that all seasonal data be submitted to C4R for review and analysis.

Our goal is to recruit Adopters through the spring and launch this program by the middle of May. So if you wish to participate, please SIGN UP!

See our web site under “About 4Rivers” and go to streams list to see your local stream. THANK YOU.

C4R-Adopt a Stream 2017  Flyer

C4R – Care 4 Rivers

Contact us! chicopeewatershed@gmail.com  or send a note

4Rivers SUMMIT, Saturday Nov 12, C4R getting things done!

DSCN0008From source to sea, C4R is the voice for the 4Rivers of the Chicopee River Watershed. Those who joined C4R on Saturday  11/12 heard a lot of what’s up with C4R, the progress being made in forming our voice. It was also a gathering of folks who enjoy our 4 Local rivers: Ware, Swift, Quaboag, Chicopee.

The 2016 Summit’s theme was “C4R: a Vital Link for Healthy Rivers & Communities” The guest speaker from MA DEP  shared insights on the important role watershed groups play in protecting water quality and enhancing river access. C4R did get a number of great ideas from our speaker!Unknown

Our 2016 accomplishments:

  1. Advanced Quaboag Blue Trail layout, refined trail map
  2. Monitored 13 river sites for bacteria to inform recreational health of the river
  3. Received broader community support on projects
  4. held 3 paddling events, 2 major clean ups
  5. continued to organize our governing body with bylaws and planning fund raising

We are next embarking on 2017 plans and welcome more community support.

C4R = Care 4 Rivers = Chicopee 4Rivers Watershed Council

Where is this picture?