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. 

Tuesday, August 18 – 7pm – Comstock Brook: Protecting & Restoring Our Native Brook Trout Stream. Jeff Yates, Conservation Chair of the local Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited, will provide 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 will discuss 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. Register 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.  Register 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.

Join us for another webinar in our Nature-Friendly Gardening Series with the Norwalk Public Library 

 

Thursday, August 20, 12-1PM. Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden and Yard. Victor DeMasi, lepidopterist, research affiliate for Yale’s Peabody Museum and NRWA Advisory Board member, has been studying butterflies and moths in the Norwalk River valley since 1977. He will introduce area butterflies and moths and talk about what plants they need to survive and thrive in your yard. Victor lives near the Norwalk River in Redding on an old dairy farm that he has managed as pollinator habitat for over 40 years and where he has watched populations of pollinators change over time. He conducts an annual monarch count and is currently collecting specimens for a new collection of pollinators from this area for the Yale Peabody museum. Please register here.

Join us for This New Canaan Pollinator Pathway Event Co-Sponsored with the New Canaan Library

Thursday, August 20, 7-8PM. Planting for What Bees Need With Dr. Kimberly Stoner. Join entomologist Dr. Kimberly Stoner for an informative talk on the importance of bees to the pollination of our crops and native plants. We get many of our ideas about bees from what we know of honeybees, but honeybees are only one of the 349 species in Connecticut. Dr. Stoner will describe the diversity of bees and their life cycles, and how we can create habitats for them to not only survive but thrive. The talk will also cover the routes by which bees are exposed to pesticides and the controversies over restricting or banning certain pesticides due to their toxic effects on bees.

Kimberly A. Stoner joined the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 1987, after receiving her PhD in entomology from Cornell University, and spending a year on a fellowship with the Africa Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Her PhD and early professional work at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station was in vegetable entomology. In her 30 years at CAES, she has moved from studying plant resistance to insects, to other alternatives to insecticides for managing vegetable insects, to holistic case studies of organic farms, to focusing on bees, including both wild bees and honeybees. She is currently studying bee diversity in Connecticut, pollination of pumpkins and squash, and how bees are exposed to pesticides. She also works with groups across Connecticut, including farmers, beekeepers, and communities, in creating habitat for pollinators.

Thursday, August 27,  7- 8PM. Pollinator Pathway: Working Together to Protect Pollinators. Please join the Darien Public Library for a collaborative lecture involving both the Norwalk and Darien Pollinator Pathways where the discussion will involve habitat restoration along the Norwalk River and how you can help support wildlife and protect water quality in your own yard.

About the Presenters: 

Louise Washer is president of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, serves on the Norwalk Mayor’s Water Quality Committee and the steering committee for the Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Partnership (H2H). Louise also serves on the steering committee of the Pollinator Pathway Northeast project, which she helped found in 2017 and has helped expand to over 100 towns in CT, NY, and PA.

The Norwalk River Watershed Association works to protect water quality and wildlife habitat in the 7-town Norwalk River Watershed. Louise’s work on water quality led her to collaborate with fellow conservationists in SW CT to create the Pollinator Pathway project northeast, which encourages homeowners to bring more birds, bees and butterflies to their yards by planting the plants they need and avoiding pesticides. Louise works closely with Deepika Saksena and Juliet Cain of the Darien Pollinator Pathway on projects around our region. Most recently they partnered to start a program that helps fund and train kids from underserved communities to develop skills to build and sell raised-bed pollinator gardens for vacant lots in CT cities. The pilot project was successfully completed in New Haven last month.

This event will take place on Zoom. All registrants will be emailed the link. Please register here. 

Need help registering? Email Susie at sskerrett@darienlibrary.org

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.