Conservation Projects

Historically, NRWA has organized and/or sponsored a variety of conservation projects which have included: river bank cleanup (remove unsightly debris), planted flora (enhance scenic beauty), planted bushes, trees and grasses (increase riverine habitat for wildlife), planted willow bush cuttings (abate erosion) and erected bird nesting houses (increase bird population).

In 2015 NRWA added erecting BEE SHELTER and BUTTERFLY HIBERNATION SHELTERS and planting flora that attracts Bees and Butterflies. It plans to expand its Bee and Butterfly projects in the Naugatuck River Watershed.

The following describes what these shelters are and their function.

“Frail Children of the Air”— Samuel Hubbard Scudder -a 19th century botanist.

Butterfly Hibernation Shelters are used by butterfly species that hibernate and/or do NOT migrate. Shelters encourage butterflies that frequent gardens to remain through cold months. Shelters provide an incentive for active spring butterflies to lay eggs inside them.

Life Cycle: Adults mate-egg (ovum) develops-caterpillar (larva) form-chrysalis (pupa)-Adults

Butterfly Garden Food sources include: purple cone flower plants, phlox, coreopsis, wild aster, yarrow, bee balm, butterfly bush, honeysuckle, candytuft, goldenrod, dandelion, parsley, black eyed susan and wild columbine.

Examples of two of the many styles of Butterfly Hibernatio

Bee Shelters
Though honeybees get all the credit, native pollen bees do the bulk of the pollination chores in many gardens, parks and forests. Unlike the highly social honeybees, nearly all pollen bees live solitary lives. Most native pollen bees work more efficiently than honeybees at pollinating flowers. They don't travel far, so focus their pollination efforts on fewer plants. Native bees fly quickly, visiting more plants in a shorter amount of time.

While honeybees have hives, solitary bees do not. They depend on shelters like this one to stay safe and keep healthy. We benefit from them, too. Without their pollination efforts, about one-third of our food supply would be at risk.

One example of many styles of Bee Shelters.

Bird Nesting Houses—The bird nesting houses erected in the Naugatuck Watershed by NRWA, Inc. are primarily designed for Blue Birds,Tree Swallows and Wood Ducks. NRWA works cooperatively with the conservation-minded groups.These groups include: Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, High School Ecology and ROTC students and middle school students.

Cluster Housing --Blue Birds & Tree Swallows
Tree swallows claiming a newly erected nesting home.

Don Leveillee, a NRWA volunteer master craftsman, continues to build many types of conservation items including: bird nesting houses, bee shelters, bat houses and butterfly hibernators.