Norwalk River Watershed Association
Tuesday, September 25, 7-8:30PM. Create Beautiful Gardens without Pesticides. Dina Brewster, of the Hickories, an organic farm in Ridgefield, will tell the story of returning her family’s farm to its natural state after decades of pesticide and chemical fertilizer use and how planting pollinator-friendly plants is part of the success story. In-store class hosted by NRWA and REI at the REI Norwalk Store, 189 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk. Register here.

Wednesdays, September 19 & 26, 6PM. Fall Gardening with American Beauties: Native Plants for the Birds and Bees at Norwalk Community College Continuing Education. Join instructors, Master Gardeners and co-founders of the Pollinator Pathway, Jackie Algon and Liz Craig for this course which will include a lecture and a wildflower meadow walk where you will see stunningly beautiful native New England late season wildflower combinations that you can easily replicate at home. Adding more native wildflowers, trees and shrubs to your garden can make a huge difference to our local wildlife and support migrating songbirds and butterflies, particularly monarchs. CRN 7152 meets Wed Sept 19th on the NCC campus at 6:30pm. The Meadow Walk is Sept 26th at 6pm. The course is $39. Register here or call NCC (203) 857-7237 Mon-Fri 10am to 3pm. More information.

Saturday, September 29, 10am-noon. River Clean Up & Invasives Abatement. Join us to cut back invasives and pick up trash along the Norwalk River Valley Trail where Route 123 crosses the Norwalk River at Riverside Ave, Norwalk. Park at the Wendys, cross the bridge and turn in at the substation where you will see the start of the trail along the river. To register, email us at

Sunday, September 30, 4PM. Youth Climate Movement in CT. NRWA is thrilled to co-host a Q&A with youth climate movement Zero Hour co-founder Zanagee Artis of Connecticut.  Join us & co-host TILL Georgetown at 101 Peaceable Street, Redding! Read the New York Times report on Zero Hour here. 
Register at Space is limited.

Adults welcome in attendance with a young person (18 years and under).

Tuesday, October 2, 7-8:30PM.  Local Butterflies & What to Plant to Attract Them. Victor DeMasi, lepidopterist, research affiliate for Yale’s Peabody Museum, Redding Wetland Conservation Officer, and NRWA Advisory Board member, has been studying butterflies and moths in an area along the Norwalk River since 1977. He will introduce area species, discuss what factors have led to declines in their populations, and what native plants and growing practices are critical to improving their survival rates. In-store class hosted by NRWA and REI at the REI Norwalk Store, 189 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk. Register here.

DeMasi’s field work with butterflies contributed almost a thousand citations to the recently published Connecticut Butterfly Atlas. He has contributed articles to scientific publications and his mark-recapture studies with Swallowtail butterflies was recently cited in the book Swallowtails of the Americas. His work in south America was recently featured in The Yale Environmental News.

Monarch Painting, Demasi’s business, is a decorative painting firm which specializes, in faux finishes and tromple l’oeil.  His murals often feature natural history subjects such as native wild flowers and butterflies.  He has done historical painting-restoration projects for Yale University, the National Park Service, and the State of Washington. He has worked in over 1000 residences, and his name appears on the referral list maintained by the Connecticut Historical Trust.  DeMasi is author of Designer Faux Finishing, Rockport publications, and his work has appeared in several publications including House and GardenThe New York TimesYankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine.

Saturday, October 6, 10AM-1PM. Trail Maintenance & Riverbank Habitat Restoration. Volunteers needed to help remove invasive plants and plant a native pollinator-friendly garden along the Norwalk River Valley Trail at Oyster Shell Park in Norwalk.  The garden will be part of the launch of the Norwalk Pollinator Pathway ( and will be planted under the Sandy Hook Memorial trees just off the trail. The Pollinator Pathway project seeks to restore habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. Please bring a water bottle, work gloves, and shovel, spade, clippers, and/or saws.  Limited supplies will be available.  Plants and refreshements provided by a generous grant from REI. Meet at the playground on North Water Street, just down from the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. Parking is available there or at the Aquarium. Register here. 


Monday, October 8, 6-7:30 PM. How to Protect Public Lands in CT This November. In CT we will have the chance this November to vote in a referendum on a Constitutional Amendment to protect public lands. Eric Hammerling, Executive Director of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and Treasurer of the Protect CT Public Lands Coalition, Inc., will present on the public lands measure that will appear on the CT 2018 statewide ballot at the REI Norwalk store.  Register here.

Sunday, October 14 7:30 PM. Skywatch in Wilton. Join us for an event that will include sightings of several lunar, planetary and other astronomical wonders through the telescopes of members of the John J McCarthy Observatory in New Milford, CT. Meet at Slaughter Field at the corner of Nod Hill and Piper’s Hill Roads. There will be a bonfire near the Piper’s Road entry where s’mores, hot chocolate, hot cider, and other refreshments will be available.  

Park along Piper’s Hill Road and dress for the weather (as well as care against ticks) including long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and bring a blanket since the astronomers also will provide an opportunity to lie on the ground to identify some of the celestial bodies overhead.  While the event is free, please register in case of possible postponement due to rain. (Rain date: Sunday, October 28). Register at Because the Skywatch will occur in a dark environment, dogs are not permitted for this occasion to avoid any harm to attendees or pets.  

 Skywatch is organized by the Wilton Conservation Conservation Commission, in collaboration with Norwalk River Watershed Association, Wilton Garden Club, Wilton Land Conservation Trust and Woodcock Nature Center.

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.