Norwalk River Watershed Association

Norwalk River Watershed Association and Woodcock Nature Center are once again collaborating to present

The Community Conservation Initiative 

A series of coordinated educational talks and “on the ground” conservation projects focused on involving the local community in the conservation of our watershed

Educational Talk

Tuesday, April 11, 7PM. Vernal Pools: The Jewels of Ridgefield’s Forests. Dr. Michael Rubbo, Executive Director of the Woodcock Nature Center, will discuss an amazing habitat that might be hidden right in your own backyard.  Vernal pools are incredibly productive ecosystems that are common in the forests of the region.  Mike will review how to identify these pools as well as their characteristic wildlife.  He will also discuss where to visit these pools in Ridgefield and practical measures for their conservation.  More information Register through the Ridgefield Library.

Conservation Project

April 15, 10AM Vernal Pool/Amphibian Walk. Join us in search of frogs and salamanders! Dave Havens of NRWA and Mike Rubbo of Woodcock Nature Center will begin with a short introduction on amphibians and how to spot them, then lead a woodland walk along the trails at Woodcock to visit vernal ponds coming to life with salamanders, newts, frogs and toads. Discover some of the many species in our area, search for eggs and tadpoles, and learn about amphibian development. Meet at the Woodcock Trail Head parking lot at 56 Deer Run Road, Wilton. Tall, waterproof boots are suggested. All ages are welcome to this free event. Please register at Woodcock Nature Center, space is limited.

Educational Talk 

Tuesday, April 18 7-8:30PM.  The Wilton Pollinator Pathway: How to Bring Butterflies and Bees Back to Your Yard. At the Wilton Library. Join us to learn about how Wilton residents are creating a pollinator pathway through town and to hear a panel discussion on why pollinators are important to the environment and what homeowners can do to protect and attract them. Panel experts will include Jim Nordgren, an environmental consultant from South Salem who served as Executive Director of the Northeast Wilderness Trust and the Bedford Audubon Society and who has written natural resource inventories and open space plans for land trusts, municipalities, recreational and religious institutions and individuals. Shaun McCoshum, Ph.D., the Preserve Manager and Educator for Westchester Land Trust, whose academic work focuses on native bee and butterfly ecology, including monarch butterflies. Victor DeMasi, a lepidopterist, research affiliate for Yale’ s Peabody Museum, Redding wetland conservation officer and NRWA Advisory Board member, has been studying butterflies and moths along the Norwalk River since 1977. His fieldwork with butterflies is cited in Connecticut Butterfly Atlas and his mark-recapture studies with Swallowtails is cited in Swallowtails of the Americas. The Wilton Library Association, Norwalk River Watershed Association, Wilton Garden Club, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust and Woodcock Nature Center are collaborating to make this panel presentation available to all residents and neighbors as the first step in learning about and then joining the activities of the Pollinator Pathway Project.   Register through the Wilton Library.

April 22 is Earth Day! Celebrate By Attending A Town-wide Clean Up in Norwalk, Wilton Or Ridgefield!

Saturday, April 22 & Sunday, April 23 8AM.  Celebrate Earth Day During Ridgefield’s Annual Rid Litter Days. Let’s all do our part in keeping Ridgefield beautiful by picking up litter in our neighborhoods or anywhere else! Refuse bags and safety vests are available at Ridgefield Parks and Recreation (95 Danbury Road) or Chamber of Commerce (13 Grove Street)

Drop-off points for filled refuse bags are:

  • Farmingville School, 324 Farmingville Road
  • East Ridge Middle School, 10 East Ridge
  • Ridgefield High School, 700 North Salem Road
  • Fox Hill Lake Beach Area, Bennetts Farm Road 

       If everyone helped for 15 minutes, what a difference it would make.

Thursday, April 20, 9:30AM. Cleanup Along Proposed New Section of Norwalk River Valley Trail. Meet at 34 Riverside Ave, north of Casetelli Tile, Norwalk. Look for the NRVT banner. NRVT, Keep America Beautiful and the Grace Farms Foundation are hosting this clean up of the proposed newest section of the NRVT in Norwalk along the Norwalk River.  Mayor Rilling will attend.
Friday, April 21, 10AM-12PM. Norwalk Community College Phi Theta Kappa River Cleanup. Meet at 40 Cross Street by the river.

Saturday, April 22, 10 AM. Norwalk’s Citywide Clean Up. Mayor Harry and Lucia Rilling will help kick off the event at the Lowe’s parking lot, 100 Connecticut Avenue. They will have gloves, bags, litter pickup tools, and tee shirts (while supplies last) and lists of locations to tackle in your own neighborhood.  Bring out your team and join in the fun. Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and The Norwalk Department of Public Works will help coordinate the event sponsored by Lowes, The Hour Newspaper, Keep America Beautiful, and neighborhood groups.

Saturday, April 22, 9AM-12PM. Wilton Townwide Clean Up. The Wilton Conservation Commission is looking for volunteers on Earth Day! Meet at the Town Green Gazebo. Work gloves and trash bags will be available.  Groups will then drive to designated areas around town to pick up litter and return to the Town Green to dispose of the garbage bags. For more information or to sign up please contact Jenn Fanzutti at the Wilton Department of Environmental Affairs 203-563-0180.



Also on Earth Day April 22nd: Science March in NYC and DC

Saturday, April 22, 8AM.  March for Science in Washington D.C. This Earth Day, Earth Day Network and the March for Science are co-organizing a rally and teach-in on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The day’s program will include speeches and trainings with scientists and civic organizers, musical performances, and a march through the streets of Washington, D.C. The crowd will gather at 8:00am, and the teach-in will begin at 10:00am. More info at

Saturday, April 22, March for Science in New York City. More information at the NYC March Facebook page.


Sunday, April 23, 1-3PM. Plant A Pollinator Garden Along the Wilton Pollinator Pathway. Wilton scout pack 17 and the Wilton Congregational Church will “bee” pioneers of the Wilton Pollinator Pathway when they plant the first anchor pollinator garden at Hillside Cemetery across from the Congregational Church. The Pathway is a community-wide effort organized by several conservation organizations, including NRWA, 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. Bring a shovel, work gloves, watering cans and come volunteer! This is a great family event for Earth Day weekend. For more information and to register, contact us at Learn more about the Wilton Pollinator Pathway by following it on Facebook.

Conservation Project

Sunday April 30, 9:30-12:30. Help Plant A Pollinator Garden Along the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) and the Wilton Pollinator Pathway. Join us, REI and partner conservation organizations for a day of volunteer planting. We will remove invasive plants from the site and plant native pollinator-friendly shrubs, wildflowers and grasses as an anchor garden for the Pollinator Pathway along the Norwalk River Valley Trail. The Pathway is a community-wide effort organized by several conservation organizations, including NRWA, 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.

We will also be unveiling our new hiking trail map of the Norwalk River Watershed, which includes the future route of the NRVT.  Park at the lot on Autumn Ridge Drive, just off Sharp Hill Road, Wilton. Plants, refreshments and the new maps provided by a grant from REI. Bring gloves, shovels and spades if possible. Limited supplies will be available. More information and registration at or 877-NRWA-INFO (877-679-2463).

Click right to see a hummingbird moth taking pollen from some bee balm!

Saturday, May 6, 8:30-10:30AM. Guided Birding Walk at Allen’s Meadows. Internationally known Audubon birding guide and Wilton resident​, Joe Bear, will lead this walk at the peak time for observing migratory birds. Allen’s Meadows (on Rt 7 just north of Wilton High School) is a recognized flyway for migration, and promises to provide an excellent array of birds not commonly seen in our area at other times of the year. This walk is one of the Walks and Talks Program collaboratively provided by the Wilton Conservation Commission, NRWA, Wilton Garden Club and the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. All are welcome to attend this walk; dogs are not permitted on this walk, as their presence could disturb the birds.  Following the walk, there will be refreshments and time to ask questions and to meet neighbors and representatives of the groups that collaborate to provide the walks.  Pre-registration [] is strongly recommended so we can contact you should the weather force a cancellation.  Attendees should wear light-colored clothing: long pants tucked into their socks, long-sleeved shirts, hats and should use tick-repellent with DEET to help prevent ticks from boarding during the walk.


Sunday, May 7, 11AM-4PM. The 7th Annual Wilton Go Green Festival. Visit the NRWA table and help us celebrate green living. Event includes Wilton Go Green Dog Parade, magic, face painting, art projects, nature walk, fire engine, great music, delicious food, tiny house and MORE! For more info visit

Friday (noon-6PM) & Saturday (10AM-2PM), May 12 & 13.  Wilton Garden Club Plant Sale. At the gazebo on the green in Wilton Center.


Monday, May 22. 6:30-8PM. Preserving Plum Island for Future Generations. Ridgefield Library.  Join us for a presentation on Plum Island, home to over 200 resident and migratory bird species, about a quarter of all birds known in the U.S., 57 of which are listed as in urgent need of conservation. Learn how you can help preserve this incredible public resource from the threat of development. Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Save the Sound and the outreach coordinator for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, will present a short film produced for PBS, “Conservation of a Precious Island” starring Sam Waterston as well as the latest efforts to protect the island. Located in eastern Long Island Sound, the island has been home to the nation’s foreign animal disease center, which is now relocating.  The island has also served as a de facto wildlife refuge for the last 60 years and is home to several endangered species and unique habitats. Now, Plum Island is slated to be sold by the federal government to the highest bidder. Many organizations would rather see the amazing island conserved and are fighting to save it. This presentation is co-sponsored by the Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Conservation Commission, Woodcock Nature Center and the Norwalk River Watershed Association, which is hosting the talk for its annual meeting.  All are welcome! Please register at

Plum Island Light House photograph courtesy of

Educational Talk and Walk 

Sunday, May 28, 10AM-1PM.  What’s Fun about Fungi? Come learn how to identify wild mushrooms through classroom and field activities. Mycology experts and authors Karen Monger and Robert Gergulics will introduce the world of mushrooms and review the process for developing the ability to confidently identify mushrooms in the wild using observational skills and senses and confirming identifications with guidebooks. For more information, contact us at Please register with Woodcock Nature Center, space is limited.

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.