C4Rivers Chatter: 2020!

July

C4R began its bacteria sampling season on July 2, look for results at Is it Clean? We will sample every two weeks and post results. Round 2 bacteria sampling was taken 7/16, to be posted afternoon of 7/17, take a look!

June-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.

The Swift River

This river’s major feature is the Quabbin Reservoir, created during the 1930s. Below Rt 9, the river flows cool and smooth to Bondsville/Palmer and a pair old old mill dams. Below these, the Swift flows free till it meets the Ware River just above Three Rivers/Palmer. There is good fishing (trout) and paddling particularly above Bondsville.

The Ware River20170703_111439

The Ware River begins its trip to Three Rivers from a tributary whose high point is on the western slope of Mt Wachusett. It flows in a southwesterly direction for nearly 40 miles where it is first met by the Swift River, then the Quaboag River to form the Chicopee River in the Palmer village of Three Rivers. Starting at nearly 1700 feet above sea level, it meets the other rivers at about 290 feet. Its average annual flow rate is about 285 cfs or 2090 gpm (about 2.8 million gallons per day). Colonists named the river for early fish weirs used by Native Americans. (The Town of Ware – Menemesseck – “at the great fish-weir” bears the river’s name) The Nipmucs, called the River Menimesit, “at the place where fish abound”.  By the 19th century, once industrialization came, many of the settlements along the river grew. Barre, Wheelright, Gilbertville, Ware, and Thorndike all became major mill towns with various water powered industries. The health of the river has changed over time. Once pristine, it was fouled by the boom of industrialization. Fortunately, in recent times, the Clean Water Act, CWA, has brought water quality protections to bear, which has noticeably improved the river’s health. There is more to do to improve the river, particularly non point source pollution, but it is today good for fishing and boating.

The Chicopee River

Flowing from tributaries (Ware, Swift, Quaboag) that meet in the Three Rivers section of CRBTPalmer, the Chicopee River flows some 17 miles and drops some 250 feet till it meets the Connecticut River in the City of Chicopee. The river delivers an average flow of 909 cfs to the larger river. The Chicopee is the Connecticut’s largest tributary. Named from an Algonquian/Nipmuc term meaning “place of violent waters”, likely referring to the many waterfalls in the lower river, the Chicopee River was a lifeline for the many local native Americans. Later, these many waterfalls would be replaced by some 7 dams along the river’s length and power the area’s local industrial growth. People then moved away from the river as its water quality suffered, but in the past 35 years, environmental protections have gradually improved the river and offered people the opportunity to return and enjoy its beauty.

The Chicopee River Blue Trail is a great way to explore this hidden treasure. See the trail map under our Blue Trail page

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

 The Quaboag River

Though relatively short at roughly 25-miles in length, the main stem Quaboag River is

C4 Quaboag River Kayak Sunset
Photo courtesy of Sylvia Pyzocha

one 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.

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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

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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).

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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

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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!

DSCN0172 copySUCCESS!

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!

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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

Chicopee-10-31-19-2-map_print

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

C4R sites are to the right of Quabbin Reservoir.

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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!

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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  

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June 22 SATURDAY: Solstice evening paddle-GREAT FUN!

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Summer Fun!

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A great evening out on the Ware River…..

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

 

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cropped-images.jpegKingfisher Newsletter – V2 #1 Preview

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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/

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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

 

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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.

 

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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 RIVERS, OUR FUTURE, OUR VISION”

 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

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Where is this picture?

Events to discover & care 4 your local rivers!

imagesC4R Source to Sea Clean Up – September 24th – Saturday, 9-12  — THANKS EVERYONE!

C4R is planning a big day clean up along the Swift River in Bondsville continuing our effort in partnership with the Palmer Con Comm to clean up this stretch of river. Join us the morning of the 24th. Please plan to get dirty and do good. Details soon.

August 20 C4R had a booth @ Celebrate Palmer. Thanks to all who visited with C4R!

A beautiful day on the river! The Saturday July 16, Paddle the Quaboag Blue Trail in
DSCN0168partnership with Opacum Land Trust was a great day. We had a wonderful turn out.We started from White’s Landing on Rt 148 in Brookfield and paddled up to Quaboag Pond and back. A beautiful stretch of river.

 

CLEAN UPS  & PADDLES

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May 21st, Saturday Swift River clean up – 1st St Bondsville/Palmer, 9 AM-12noon – SUCCESS – Thank you all…

 

 

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June 18
– 9 AM Paddle on the Chicopee River in Indian Orchard – We had a Great Day on the river!

Where: Water Street, Springfield, MA – Indian Orchard

 

 

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August  paddle being re scheduled – low water flows!!!

Come join us!

C4R – Care 4 Rivers

Lower Chicopee River Stormwater Monitoring

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 9.25.13 AMC4RWC in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council is conducting stormwater sampling this May and June.

Sampling locations are along Fuller Brook, Poor Brook, Abbey Brook, and the mainstem of the Chicopee River, between the North Wilbraham/Ludlow Bridge and the Davitt Bridge in Chicopee.

Volunteer teams are collecting multiple samples at 2 to 3 locations on Tuesday mornings.   Volunteers are using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency bacteria source tracking sampling protocol.

This water quality sampling project will result in data that provides a more complete picture of the river’s health and understanding about sources of contamination. The project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. EPA to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection under the 604(b) Water Quality Management Planning program.

Questions or this project can be addressed to Keith Davies at Chicopee 4 Rivers Watershed Council, chicopeewatershed@gmail.com.

Adopt a Sample 2017

C4R is planning another year of Bacteria sampling along our recreational river segments. We need support to cover lab analysis costs – Adopt a Sample – is your way to help.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe hope to sample at 10-12 sites, each 7 times over the summer, along our 4 Rivers.  There are also transportation and supply costs to cover. A donation of $30 covers one sample analysis. $200 covers a pre-determined site for the season.

Results will be posted about 24 hours after the sampling on a partner web site titled “Is It Clean.” We are having samples analyzed at the Connecticut River Watershed Council lab.

See our program flyer here. C4RWC adopt a sample 2017

Can you help us?