About Us - Norwalk River Watershed Association

NRWA Mission and NRWA Board Bios

NRWA Mission

The Norwalk River Watershed Association, incorporated in 1996, is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to improve the water quality and fish and wildlife habitats of the 40,000-acre Norwalk River watershed; to restore the riverbanks, meadows and forests through invasive plant abatement and promotion of native species; to encourage recreational use of the river, the surrounding open space and its trails; and to promote research, legislative advocacy, education, cooperation, and action on the part of the stakeholders in the seven watershed towns in CT (Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, and Norwalk) and NY (Lewisboro).

To view the NRWA Newsletter, click here.

NRWA Board Members

Ann Collis is a lifelong resident of Wilton, where she has worked and raised her family. Ann got involved with the NRWA when she assisted in blazing a new trail at Quarry Head Park in 2016, she then joined the NRWA board in 2017. A certified gardener through The New York Botanical Garden, Ann joined the Wilton Garden Club in 2007. She has served on the garden club’s board of directors and has been the co-chair of the greenhouse and youth gardens for the last five years. In addition, she has been active in the Annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale for the last ten years. Ann also serves on the Steering Committee for the Norwalk River Valley Trail; she is involved with trail maintenance and coordinates the removal of invasive species throughout the trail. Ann received a BS in Marine Geology from Long Island University and worked for 40 years in the corporate world as an Import/Export Logistics Manager and as an Inventory Planning Manager. She is an avid gardener and hiker and constantly looks for ways she can help improve the environment.

James Bartley, a former member of the Stamford Harbor Commission lives in Norwalk and manages Women’s Healthcare of New England. He also teaches at Sacred Heart University.

David Havens, Vice President, has been a lifelong resident of Connecticut, splitting his time between Norwalk, Stamford and New Canaan and serves as the Vice President of NRWA.  After growing up along the Norwalk River, Dave spent six years conducting full-time environmental fieldwork from 1971 to 1977, while also working for the Stamford Museum and Nature Center. Since 1977 Dave has worked as a science teacher for Pre-K students to Graduate Studies. He has been an active voice for environmental issues locally and nationally, working with several organizations such as Greenpeace, Earth First!, Audubon, Green Schools Alliance and NRWA. Along the way Dave earned two BS degrees and three graduate degrees in science as he continued to conduct research on a number of issues: Invasive Species, Open Space, Habitat Destruction, Breeding Bird Census and much more. Over the last few years, he designed and built a raised outdoor classroom and boardwalk through his school’s wetlands, developed a plan to eliminate 14 species of invasive plants that gained a strong foot hold on the property and taken his passion of teaching and environmental work to an international level with the Green Schools Alliance. In 2012, David and his students were selected as state finalist in “Siemens We Can Change the World High School Challenge, sponsored by Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board”, for their efforts to selectively and safely exterminate invasive plants along the Norwalk River.

Jana Hogan is Board President, Woodcock Nature Center,  Volunteer for Ridgefield Meals on Wheels, and WCHN Palliative Care and Boy Scout Troop 76 Committee member. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Nuclear Medicine and is a former Executive Director for IBM’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Advisory Board.

Kitsey Snow has served on the Board for seven years and on the Ridgefield Conservation Commission Board for eight where she helps to oversee the many miles of hiking trails for the RCC.  A 25-year resident of Ridgefield, she is raising three sons and has been an active member of the PTA, serving in several positions.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ridgefield Garden Club and enjoys hiking and kayaking.  She graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in psychology and worked in operations for Bankers Trust Co. in New York for seven years before moving to Connecticut.

Lisa Stuart, treasurer, joined the NRWA board in August 2016. She became aware of the organization in 2010 when her daughter earned her Girl Scout Silver Award by completing an environmental protection project under the NRWA’s guidance. Lisa graduated from the University of Connecticut and from Fordham University School of Law. Over the past 20 years she held leadership positions in Fairfield County non-profit organizations. She currently provides development and operations consulting to the non-profit sector. Lisa is an avid gardener and passionate about protecting our local watershed.

Cathy Smith, secretary.

Louise Washer, president, has lived in the Silvermine area, both in Wilton and Norwalk, for over 20 years.  She graduated from Smith College and has worked in magazine publishing in New York and as a sculptor.  She has been a member of the NRWA board since 2010 and now serves as its President. Louise got involved in NRWA after volunteering for the river study program at Cider Mill School in Wilton when her children were students there.

Our Intern

NRWA is thrilled to welcome Sarah Emigh as an intern for 2018. Sarah recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Environmental Studies. During her time there she was a resident assistant and a volunteer at Spring Valley Farm. She also completed an internship with UConn Public Interest Research Group, where she worked on grassroots campaigns such as “Ban the Bottle” and “Connecticut Carbon Cut” as well as a sociology internship where she researched the need for a food pantry on campus. Before transferring to UConn, she attended Norwalk Community College where she received her Associate’s Degree in General Studies. At NCC, she was involved in environmental clubs and served as president of Student World Assembly and Earth and Environmental Justice Alliance. Sarah will help organize and run our spring events and is working on the launch of the Norwalk Pollinator Pathway.