Norwalk River Watershed Association

International Coastal Cleanup Day

Saturday, September 16, 10AM to 1PM. Oyster Shell Park Riverbank Cleanup. Volunteers needed to help clean up Oyster Shell Park in Norwalk! We will weigh the collected, bagged trash, categorize it and report it the Ocean Conservancy to help them track and eliminate ocean debris as part of International Coastal Cleanup 2017.  International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) is the largest volunteer effort of its kind. Every September for more than 30 years, ICC has motivated over 11.5 million people from around the world to pick up over 210 million pounds of trash from nearly 390,000 miles of shoreline, according to Save the Sound.  The Norwalk River watershed community is part of that statistic, having participated in the ICC for 7 years. This year Terracycle will pick up and recycle all of the hard plastic trash for use by Proctor & Gamble and other companies in packaging.

Meet at Heritage Park by Ann and North Water Streets in Norwalk. Lunch provided by The Sheffield Sono Apartments in the clubhouse at 55 Water Street. The cleanup is co-sponsored by NRWA, Woodcock Nature Center, Norwalk Land Trust, Harbor Watch, Grace Farms, Keep Norwalk Beautiful and The Sheffield Sono. Waterproof footwear advised. Families welcome. Rain date: Sunday Sept. 17. For more information and to register, contact NRWA at 877-NRWA-INFO or

Water Challenges in the 21st Century. Sunday, September 17, 2:30-4:30PM. Screening of excerpts from the award-winning documentary Flow: For the Love of Water followed by a panel discussion at the Wilton Library. Sponsored by Wilton Go Green and the Wilton Library in honor of International Coastal Cleanup Day. Register.



Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 11AM-5PM. 19th Annual Fall Festival & Hawk Watch. Family-friendly nature festival, celebrating the fall season and annual migration of raptors at Audubon Center in Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, 06831. More information.

Saturday, September 16, 6AM-Midnight. Big Day of Birding on the Norwalk River Valley Trail from Calf Pasture Beach to Grist Mill Road, Norwalk. Birdwatchers Wanted: Experienced to Beginners. Volunteer birdwatchers will form teams to explore sections of the Norwalk River Valley Trail. The goal is to identify the maximum number of bird species on the day of September 16. This is known in the birding world as a Big Day. Birders of all experience levels are welcome. Teams will be organized to mix more experienced birders with less experienced birders. The Norwalk Hour and the NRVT are promoting the idea. The first twenty-four volunteers will receive a free, 12 oz. bag of Birds & Beans, the Bird Friendly Coffee. A checklist of birds will be provided.  NRVT will organize teams and assign a section of trail and time frame. For example: your team might be assigned the NRVT section from Calf Pasture Beach to the Maritime Aquarium from 6 AM – 9AM. The team leader will report back to Charlie by email on the bird species they spotted no later than midnight on the 16th. The results will be compiled by mid-day on September 17. There will be a Birds & Beans coffee gathering at I PM on September 17 at the Norwalk Hour offices at 301 Merritt 7. Interested birdwatchers should contact Charlie Taney, the NRVT’s Executive Director at no later than Thursday, September 14 at 5 PM.

Tuesday, September 19, 7PM. Public Information Meeting to Review the Plans for the Missing Link Section of the NRVT in Norwalk. PROJECT NO. 102-350. NORWALK RIVER VALLEY MULTI-PURPOSE TRAIL – PHASE 2. Please note the date has been changed to September 19. Room 101, Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT. More information.

Tuesday, September 19, 7:30PM. Wasps versus Beetles: How we are fighting the Emerald Ash Borer in Connecticut by Dr. Claire Rutledge, of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. The Conservation Commission and the Wilton Tree Committee, in collaboration with the Wilton Garden Club, Norwalk River Watershed Association and the Wilton Library Association are pleased to offer this important scientific history of efforts to address the destruction of ash trees by the emerald ash borer beetle.  The emerald ash borer, discovered in Wilton three years ago, presents a risk to a significant portion of our town’s ash trees. Understanding the life cycle of the insect, the diagnostics and the treatments are paramount to finding ways to stop the progress of this pest.  Knowing how to address the resulting loss of ash trees will also help Wilton sustain its Tree City status. Wilton Library’s Brubeck Room, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton. Register here.

Thursday, September 14-Sunday, September 24. REI and NRWA at the Feast of San Gennaro in NYC. Join REI Soho for 10 days outside on Mulberry Street as part of the 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro. Visit the NRWA table on Sunday, September 24. REI is creating an escape from the hustle and bustle of NYC where city dwellers can relax, connect, and learn. Within our Outdoor Oasis we well be hosting classes and demonstrations every half-hour throughout the day. Classes include: The Perfect Cup of Camp Coffee, Bicycle Fix-a-Flat, Yoga, Water Filtration, Photography, Camping Essentials, and more. Hours are: Monday-Friday 3:00-7:30PM, and Saturday-Sunday 12:00-5:00PM. Soho REI, 303 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012.

Celebrate National Public Lands Day!

Saturday, September 30, 10AM-1PM. Volunteer with REI, NRWA and NRVT on a Trail Stewardship and Habitat Restoration Project. Volunteers will restore the trail at the site of the next section of Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) in Ridgefield, by clearing debris and invasive plants. The NRVT steering committee will be on hand to answer questions about its goal of building 38 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Norwalk and Danbury. We will also kick off the new Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway with a talk by local butterfly expert, Victor DeMasi. Volunteers will focus on removing black swallow wort, the invasive plant pictured here that is especially harmful to monarch butterflies. and will plant native pollinator-friendly plants along the trail near the Norwalk River. Experts will be on hand to discuss the connections between open space, native plants and wildlife and water quality. Lunch and volunteer tee-shirts will be provided FREE plus hiking trail maps of the watershed. REI will be raffling off gear! Wear long pants to prevent ticks. Bring a water bottle, work gloves, clippers and/or shovels. Limited supplies available. Co-sponsored by REI, NRWA, Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), Ridgefield Conservation Commission, Harbor Watch and Woodcock Nature Center. Park at the corner of Simpaug Tpk and Danbury Rd, Ridgefield. Register.

Sunday, October 1, 6:30PM doors open, 7:30PM screening. Before The Flood at Ridgefield Playhouse. Film followed by Q&A with Academy Award winning filmmaker, Fisher Stevens, who produced and directed this important National Geographic film about climate change. Admission $10; youth/student/senior $5. Buy tickets online. Proceeds benefit projects in community conservation at Woodcock Nature Center and NRWA. Supporting organizations: Save the Sound, Ridgefield Library, RACE.

Sunday, October 8, 10AM to 1PM. Invasive Plant Removal Along the Norwalk River Valley Trail and Pollinator Pathway. Come help remove invasive plants and plant some native pollinator-friendly wildflowers and grasses in a garden for the Pollinator Pathway along the Norwalk River Valley Trail. The Pathway is a community-wide effort to create a corridor of native pollinator-friendly plants to help protect and attract bees, butterflies, birds and other beneficial insects which are threatened by loss of native, pesticide-free habitat.  Park at the lot on Autumn Ridge Drive, just off Sharp Hill Road, Wilton. Bring gloves, shovels and spades if possible. Limited supplies will be available. Co-sponsored by NRWA, NRVT and Wilton Pollinator Pathway. More information and registration at  or 877-NRWA-INFO (877-679-2463).

Friday & Saturday, October 13 & 14, 1PM-5PM Friday & 10AM-4PM Saturday. Visit the Pollinator Pathway Table at the Wilton Garden Club Flower Show “Art in Bloom.” Seven local artists have loaned their work for design inspiration.  There are five divisions:  Horticulture, Design, Education, Youth and Sponsored Groups, and Botanical Design.  Cost is $10/person.  Old Town Hall, 68 Ridgefield Road, Wilton.

Saturday, October 21. 1PM-5PM. Visit the Pollinator Pathway Table at the Wilton Library Innovation Day. Learn about how you can join the pathway and help create a corridor of connected pollinator habitat in Wilton. Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton. More information.

Tuesday, October 24, 9AM-12PM. Wilton Pocket Park Riverbank Restoration. Volunteer gardeners needed! This is the third workday organized by the Wilton Garden Club and Wilton Pollinator Pathway to remove invasives and plant native plants along the Norwalk River at the Pocket Park across from the Stop & Shop shopping center on River Road in Wilton. Come learn from Master Gardeners which plants are invasive and which are natives that help nurture local birds, bees and butterflies. Bring a water bottle, gloves, clippers, and/or shovels. Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect from ticks and poison ivy. Please rsvp to Jackie at

NRWA programs highlight the importance and features of the river and its watershed and ways people collectively and individually can improve the region. Programs are free, unless specified, but space may be limited; reservations are suggested. Call the leader listed or NRWA toll free at 877-NRWA-INFO (877-679-2463) for information, directions, and reservations. Hikers should always wear hiking shoes and bring water.