Events

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Join Us for a Three-part Webinar Series on Wilton’s Comstock Brook–
Its Importance as a Trout Brook, Threats to its Health, and What We Can Do to Restore It. 
Comstock Brook provides Wilton and Norwalk with drinking water and is home to some of our watershed’s only native brook trout—which is exciting for fishermen but is also an indicator of a healthy aquatic ecosystem, and one we as a community need to work together to protect. The Brook is currently threatened by storm-water runoff, habitat fragmentation, dams, and water company withdrawals. All of these impacts are magnified by the impacts of climate change.

We would like to open a town-wide discussion in Wilton about how we can advocate for protecting and restoring it. Please join us and learn how you can play a role in protecting and conserving this precious stream. This series is presented by NRWA, Wilton Library, Wilton Land Conservation Trust, and Trout Unlimited Mianus Chapter. 

Comstock Brook: Protecting & Restoring Our Native Brook Trout Stream. In the first talk, Jeff Yates, Conservation Chair of the local Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited, provides a history of this special stream that runs from North Wilton to Merwin Meadows, where it joins the Norwalk River. (You walk over it when you go from the playground area to the playing fields at Merwin.) He discusses the importance of the stream as both fish habitat and drinking water supply as well as the threats it faces as demand for water increases and how new state policy, as well as action on our community’s part, offer a chance for restoring the brook to health. Watch a recording of Jeff’s talk here.

 

Monday, August 31 – 7pm – “Bee” The Change: Protect Wilton’s Rivers by Joining the Pollinator Pathway. Louise Washer of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, and Donna Merrill of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, will present a two-part talk where they will lay out specific steps Wiltonians can take in their own yards to help restore water quality in the Comstock Brook and Norwalk River while also bringing more birds, bees and butterflies to their yards. Learn the importance of working together with your neighbors to help protect more land in Wilton, which is the key to providing heathy water and wildlife habitat.  Watch a recording of the talk here.   

Thursday, September 15, 7PM. From Spectacle Swamp to Long Island Sound: Growing Up Fishing Comstock Brook. Bill Lucey, our Long Island Soundkeeper, grew up in Wilton exploring and fishing the Comstock Brook, Norwalk River, and Long Island Sound before embarking on a career that has taken him around the world and, thankfully, back to CT. Bill will talk about fishing in Comstock Brook when he was growing up and how that stream led to his career in water conservation. He will discuss the reasons for the decline in water quality in the Comstock Brook and Norwalk River Watershed, as a whole, including stormwater runoff and the many dams along the brook.  He will talk about the headwaters of the brook in North Wilton and the importance of protecting them. And finally, he will make the connection between the protecting the health of streams like this and protecting Long Island Sound.  Register here.

Wednesdays & Saturdays 9-11AM. Restoring the Gardens & Riverbank at Oyster Shell Park. Volunteers Needed for safe, outdoor, socially distanced, masked habitat restoration work for birds and pollinators! Join us along the Pollinator Pathway and the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Norwalk to help restore the riverbank and the gardens at Oyster Shell Park. Learn how to identify invasive plants and also the beautiful natives that support our native pollinators. Bring gloves, clippers, and a spade or shovel if possible. Meet at the playground on North Water Street near the intersection with Anne Street, between the Aquarium and the new mall. Make sure to register so we can notify you in case of cancellations. To register email Nancy at theperennialgardener@gmail.com.

Nature Friendly Gardening Series with Norwalk Public Library
Thursday, September 24, noon-1:30. Songbirds of the Northeast! Please join us as John Root presents–through recordings and beautiful photographs–our region’s songbirds. He will discuss the role of song in these birds’ lives as well as their diet, social behavior, and other adaptations for survival. Learn how to provide attractive habitat for songbirds! Register here.
In addition to his work as a landscaper, John leads edible wild plant walks and lectures on a variety of topics. He also promotes pollinator habitat through his participation in the Western Massachusetts Pollinator Network and is active in establishing community orchards for local food resilience as a member of Grow Food Amherst and Help Yourself Northampton. John is a member of the Ecological Landscapers Association and is an accredited Organic Landscape Professional through the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Saturday, September 26, 10AM-1PM. River Cleanup for International Coastal Cleanup Day. Volunteers needed to help clean up the riverbank along East Avenue in Norwalk.  We will weigh the collected trash, categorize it, and report it the Ocean Conservancy to help them track and eliminate ocean debris as part of International Coastal Cleanup 2020. Meet at Norwalk River Rowing docks at 1 Moody’s Lane, Norwalk. Waterproof footwear, long pants, and gloves advised. Rain date: Sunday Sept. 27. For more information and to register, contact NRWA at 877-NRWA-INFO or info@norwalkriver.org. 

The cleanup is hosted by Norwalk River Rowing with support from NRWA, Surfrider, Skip the Plastic Norwalk, Cleaner CT Coalition, and Harbor Watch at Earthplace.

Ocean Conservancy’s 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 10 years. Save the Sound organizes the ICC for CT. 

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.