Life Along the Quinnipiac River

Things are getting busy along the Q! Here's an update from the Quinnipiac River Watershed Association.


May offers many exciting opportunities at the (QRWA).  Volunteers are working hard to create educational and recreational activities to promote the organization.  April had several events in which we showcased and brought attention to the .  We had a talk on the results of the Rapid Bioassessment by Volunteers this past fall, released a bunch of live fish with our annual fish stocking and held our spring river cleanup which yielded tons of trash.

On Thursday, April 26 was the Nature Art Show, a collaborative effort with the Meriden Arts Council and the QRWA.  This inspired event was sponsored by the Naugatuck Savings Bank Foundation. students created wonderful pieces of three-dimensional art and Georgia O’Keefe –like botanical watercolors.

Over fifty parents and students viewed the Hanover Pond diorama featuring a variety of animals including turtles, birds, swans, ducks, butterflies, a squirrel, red fox, bunny, raccoon and chipmunk.  There was a beautiful collection of Quinnipiac creatures that were formed with multiple layers resulting in a stunning dimensional effect.  The botanical watercolors were matted and framed as part of the grant.

Students who participated in the Art Show were treated to a pizza lunch to thank them for their efforts.  The kids enjoyed the pizza provided by Napoli Pizza of Meriden and the lunch created excitement about the upcoming showing of their work to the public.

The program for the event included biographies of two students in the show.  They expressed the effect this project had on their artwork, their relationship to nature and other creative art projects they would like to pursue.

We are also treated to several musical selections by the All City Middle School Jazz band as we munched on an array of delicious and healthy hors d’oeuvres and fresh spring water.

Selected pieces of the Lincoln Middle School student art work will be relocated to the Naugatuck Savings Bank on Centennial Avenue in Meriden as well as participation in the upcoming Meriden Schools Art Show at Gallery 53 in May.

Many thanks to the Meriden Arts Council, especially president Wendy Ronitz Baker and her board for planning and organizing this event.  Thank you to the Lincoln Middle School art teachers Rachel Ash, Justin Piccirillo and Christine Webster for their guidance and support of using art a learning tool.  And thank you to Jeffrey S. Ward, Chief Scientist, Department of Forestry & Horticulture at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for providing the students with a presentation on forests in Connecticut.

The Naugatuck Savings Bank Foundation Nature Art Show was very successful and we look forward to working with these organizations next year to continue with this great event meshing art and nature. 

The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) recently presented its first two Speaker Series talks courtesy of Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas Services $2,500 Community Investment grant.  These monthly talks cover a wide variety of topics, from animals to the environment, with a CT focus and a theme of water being critical to life within the watershed.

On Wednesday, March 7th the QRWA was pleased to host Scott Williams, PhD from the Department of Forestry and Horticulture.  Scott’s talk, “White Tailed Deer and Invasive Plants”, explained the relationship between overabundant deer, the spread of invasive plants and the correlation of those invasive plants to the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease.

Meriden Record-Journal’s Woods n’ Water columnist and long time hunter and fisherman, Mike Roberts found Scott’s talk to be “absolutely amazing.”  And if Mike Roberts learned something new about deer, then that’s saying something.

Mike was also on hand to hear about the impending opening of the Wallace Dam Fishway when Steve Gephard, a fisheries biologist with the CT DEEP’s Inland Fisheries, was the CL&P and YGS April Speaker on Tuesday, April 10.

Steve gave an overview of the history of dams in Connecticut, which were installed during the industrial revolution and helped provide the power for many factories along the rivers.  But the environmental damage that resulted, primarily in the decline of migratory fish, is only recently begun to heal.

As part of the grant, each speaker suggests a book for the QRWA library.  Scott Williams recommended The Science of Overabundance, by McShea, Underwood, and Rappolle, and Steve Gephard suggested The Founding Fish by John McPhee.

Sunday, May 20 is our 32nd Annual Canoe and Kayak Race.  The five mile race starts at the Southington DOT parking lot on Route 322, winding through Southington, Cheshire, down the Quinnipiac River Gorge with the Finnish Line at Red Bridge, into Hanover Pond.  The event starts with registration at 9 am and usually finishes around 4 pm.  There are numerous classes for the serious and not-so-serious racers; lunch is provided for all the participants, along with fun and fellowship.  This is the longest running canoe race in CT, attracting racers from all over New England and beyond.

To learn more about the upcoming events, news and programs visit our web site at www.qrwa.org.  Or better yet, become a member, dues are $20 for an individual membership and $30 for families; we give a discount membership to students and senior citizens.  As a member you will receive advance notices of events and programs and special invites to selected programs exclusive to members.


Upcoming QRWA Events:

Sunday, May 6th  1:00 p.m.  2012 Fair Haven River Festival, sponsored by Chatham Square Neighborhood Association.  The QRWA will provide paddling down the Q River for a nominal fee.

Sunday, May 6th  1:30 pm.  Spring Walk, join Peter Picone, Wildlife Biologist as he leads a walk along the Meriden Linear Trail, meet at Red Bridge.

Tuesday, May 8th  7:00 p.m.  2012 Speaker Series with Peter Picone, Wildlife Biologist, sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas Services.  The presentation is entitled, Wildlife Observations on the Quinnipiac River's Canoeable Trail, light refreshments served.

Wednesday, May 9th  6:30 pm.  QRWA Board Meeting, the public is invited to attend.

Saturday, May 12th  10:00 am.  Second Annual Crafts Fair, sponsored by South Meriden Lions Club.  Stop by and pick up a special gift for Mother’s Day.

Sunday, May 20th  9:00 am.  32nd Annual Downriver Canoe and Kayak Race, chaired by Dan Pelletier.  Join diehard and novice paddlers as the travel down a scenic 5 mile course starting at the Southington DOT parking lot on Route 322.  A cookout is provided for all race participants.

Be sure to visit our web site at www.qrwa.org to confirm information, cancellations and details for upcoming events.

QRWA provides water activities, events in education, outreach, advocacy, scientific monitoring, conservation, restoration, recreation and public access to the watershed area.  The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization whose mission is to restore the Quinnipiac for the health and enjoyment of all citizens and communities along its reach and to educate everyone to be informed stewards of the river.  Thank you for your support and remember your donations are tax deductable.


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