Norwalk River Watershed Association
The Norwalk River Watershed Association and Woodcock Nature Center are collaborating to present The Community Conservation Initiative, a series of paired educational talks and “on the ground” conservation projects focused on involving the community in the conservation of our watershed. The first Initiative for 2018 focuses on importance of vernal pools. Join us for a talk on March 20 at the Wilton Library and a vernal pool walk on April 28 at Woodcock Nature Center in Wilton.

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-8PM. Vernal Pools: The Jewels of the Forest.  Dr. Michael Rubbo, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science at Pace University and Science Advisor to Woodcock Nature Center, will discuss vernal pools, an amazing habitat that might be hidden right in your own backyard.  Vernal pools are the temporary ponds formed in spring by melting snow that serve as nurseries for amphibians, such as salamanders and wood frogs, and many other creatures vital to the health of our forests and to the quality of our water. Mike will review how to identify these pools as well as their characteristic wildlife.  He will also discuss where to visit vernal pools in the Norwalk River watershed and practical measures for their conservation.  Registration is through the Wilton Library.

Tuesday, March 27. Doug Tallamy: Two Different lectures – 10AM and 6:30PM 

Making Insects: A Guide to Restoring the Little Things That Run the World.”  Ridgefield Library 10AM.Dr. Tallamy, professor of Ecology at the University of Maryland, will share a guide for restoring the little things that run our world. With insect populations in rapid decline, Doug will discuss their essential role in our own survival. Learn how our own gardens and communities can be beautifully designed to support the ecosystems we all depend on.(Hosted by Ridgefield Garden Club with support from Norwalk River Watershed Assoc).   Register at the Ridgefield Library.

“Bringing Nature Home: Gardening for Life.” Wilton Library, Brubeck Room, 6:30PM. (Hosted by Wilton Garden Club with support from Wilton Go Green). Register at Wilton Library. 

Thursday, March 29, 10AM. Clean up the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Norwalk. Meet at 40 Cross Street, rear lot, to help NRVT, Grace Farms and Keep Norwalk Beautiful pick up trash. With enough volunteers, they hope to also tackle the debris  dumped onto the Norwalk River bank from the parking lot of 3-5 Wilton Ave.; couches, cement, etc. Volunteers needed! For more information contact David Shockley at 203-854-7810 ext 46782 or
Wednesday, April 18, 7-9 PM.  “Bee” On the Pollinator Pathway: Bring Bees, Butterflies and Birds to Your Yard.  Ridgefield Library. Please join us in kicking off the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway.  The Pathway, which began last year in Wilton, is a connection of pesticide-free private and public properties with planted areas dedicated to pollinator-friendly native plants.  These plants will provide food and habitat for pollinators from Wilton, through Ridgefield north to Danbury, and ultimately south through Norwalk and west to Devils Den.

A panel of local experts, Dina Brewster of The Hickories; Mary Wilson, co-founder of POP (Protect Our Pollinators); Victor DiMasi, our local lepidopterist (butterfly expert); and Lisa Turoczi, of Earth Tones Nursery in Woodbury will share expertise on the plight of pollinators, what factors have led to their decline, what pollinators are native to our area and what native plants and growing practices are critical to improving their survival.

There will be plant lists and tip sheets, native plants and honey to purchase and an opportunity to sign up to be part of the Pathway.  All are welcome. Register at

Organized by NRWA, Woodcock Nature Center, Ridgefield Garden Club, Conservation Commission, Library, RACE, NRVT, Caudatowa Garden Club

Saturday, April 21, 10AM.  The Mayor’s Clean City Initiative Earth Day Cleanup in Norwalk. Meet at Lowe’s Store, 100 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk. Mayor Rilling will hand out gloves, bags, tee shirts and litter pick-up tools while supplies last.  Your team can choose a location, such as your neighborhood or the river bank. For more information, contact David Shockley, 203-854-7810 ex. 46782 or Help keep Norwalk beautiful.

Earth Day! Volunteers Needed to Plant  Pollinator Gardens

This Event has been postponed until Fall: Saturday, April 21, 10AM-noon. Plant a Pollinator Garden Along the Wilton Pollinator Pathway. Walter Preserve at the corner of Rt. 33 and Keelers Ridge Rd.  Bring gloves, shovels, spades if possible.  Limited supplies available. Plants and refreshments provided by REI Norwalk. Organized by NRWA, Woodcock Nature Center, Wilton Land Conservation Trust, Wilton Garden Club, NRVT

Sunday, April 22, 12-2PM. Plant a Pollinator Garden Along the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway. Pollinator populations are in sharp decline because of pesticide use and loss of habitat.  The pollinator pathway project will connect town open space and residents’ yards to create habitat by removing invasive plants, planting native nectar plants, and avoiding pesticides. Join us on Earth Day behind Ballard Park, 21 Gilbert Street, Ridgefield (park in the lot across from CVS). This spring is the launch of the Ridgefield pathway, which will connect to Wilton’s pathway along Route 33.  Bring gloves, shovels, spades if possible.  Limited supplies available. Plants and refreshements will paid for by a grant from REI Norwalk. Register at here.

Organized by NRWA, REI, Woodcock Nature Center, Ridgefield Garden Club, Conservation Commission, Library, RACE, NRVT, Caudatowa Garden Club

Date and time coming.  Plant a Pollinator Garden to Help Launch the Norwalk Pollinator Pathway. Norwalk Community College. More information coming soon.

Saturday, April 28, 1PM. Vernal Pool Walk. Join us for an exploration of vernal pools and the many amphibians born there every spring. Dave Havens, environmental science teacher at St. Luke’s School and Vice President of NRWA and Sarah Breznen, director of education at Woodcock, 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. Register for this free event at, space is limited.
Wednesday, May 31, 7-9PM. Update on the Health of Long Island Sound by Soundkeeper, Jim Lucey. Join us for our annual meeting at 6:30 for a brief update on the year’s activities at NRWA and stay to hear Jim Lucey at 7PM at the Ridgefield Library. The Talk will give background on the Soundkeeper Movement, how pollution impacts the Sound, and how we are monitoring water quality to track progress. Lucey, a Wilton native who took over as Soundkeeper last year, is a fish and wildlife biologist, a former commercial fisherman, and an experienced advocate. Most recently, he served as project manager for the Kauai Invasive Species Committee at the Research Corporation University of Hawaii. After three decades of conservation work across North America, he decided the time was right to bring his expertise back to benefit Long Island Sound. In addition to regular patrols, the Soundkeeper, now part of Save the Sound, acts an advocate, organizer, and resource. Register at
Saturday, August 11, 10AM. Butterfly Walk in Redding. Victor DeMasi, lepidopterist, research affiliate for Yale’s Peabody Museum and NRWA Advisory Board member, has been studying butterflies and moths in an area along the Norwalk River since 1977. He will introduce area butterflies and moths, discuss their food and habitats and show his remarkable collection. Meet at the corner of Simpaug Turnpike and Route 7, Redding. Easy walk. For reservations, contact DeMasi at or 203- 448-0106. (Rain date: Sunday, August 12).
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.