Here’s a sketch of some NRWA “activities/involvements” since November:
1/1/11- Naugatuck River Forum Steering Committee (NRSC)
Bob Gregorski continues to work on the NRSC and the newly formed sub-committee investigating creating a website for the entire river and its tributaries.
OUTDOORS 3-5-11 W R-A BOB GREGORSKI
Naugatuck Valley—the river flows through it
I was one of the 135 Naugatuck River advocates who attended the first Naugatuck River Forum held recently at the Mattatuck Museum. It was a project of the Connecticut Community Foundation and co-hosted by Rivers Alliance of Connecticut. “Celebrating the river’s revival and planning a green, prosperous future for the river and its communities” was the Forum’s title. The agenda of the Forum’s speakers and panelists was impressive.
It was a successful gathering of people to learn about the past, present and future of the river and its valley communities. I came away with renewed hope that many of the dreams of greenways and utilization of this natural resource would come to fruition in my lifetime.
Some Forum attendees did not realize how long and how much work has been done. In 1984 when the Naugatuck Valley Trout Unlimited began its focus on restoring the river, it was fortunate if 20 people attended a “River Awareness” program. That’s when some of us Trout Unlimited old timers started working to restore a waterway that was one of the most polluted in the country and its restoration efforts has been ongoing since.
Back in those early years, people shunned having any thing to do with the polluted rivers and its riverbanks. Many times I heard ‘why are you doing this work; it will never happen’. Our response was and still is—“If we don’t, who will?”
Having 42 species of fish now living in the 39 miles of its main stem and having eagles, osprey, mergansers, mink, muskrat, otter and many other wildlife species using the river and its riparian habitat for housing and food.is a testimony or some restoration accomplishments. Anglers, canoers, kayakers and wildlife observers have been enjoying the river for about the last fifteen years and there is much to be done to improve access to the river and to keep it clean. All are invited to join us. Contact information will be provided soon.
03-03-11 Bob Gregorski met with the V.P. of the Polish American Club Naug. & "we" have the club's permission to park in its lot any time there is a clean up. It's a lot easier to clean the west bank and put all the trash at the south end of the parking lot & have the town truck pick it up. He marked the 4-30-11 & 5-7-11 days on the calendar as cleanup & RACE days.
The club's security camera is operational, but is reviewed only when there is damage to club property. They have had several arrests. Last year after the cleanup near the bridge, vandals tossed some of the carts back into the river before members chased them away.
Today, one member & I counted 10 Big Y and 2 CVS carts in the river near the footbridge.
Then Bob met with the asst. mgr. Big Y and asked for his assistance; he will discuss it with the mgr. & corporate office. I suggested they consider paying for extending the railings on the bridge high enough so the vandals can't toss them off the bridge. It is borough property & Joe & I will discuss it with Mayor Mezzo.
Bob met with the supervisor at CVS & discussed the same issue. They both have my NRWA card.
4-19-11 Naugatuck High School, Air Force Junior ROTC cadets to erect wood duck, screech owl and tree swallow houses on school property. In addition NRWA has provided cadets wood for at least ten bird houses which they intend to build and erect.
4-20-11 Press Release VOICES & MY CITIZEN NEWS (Naugatuck News)
Naugatuck River Banks Cleaned (4-14-11)
Recently a hard working group of Naugatuck High School, Air Force Junior ROTC cadets cleaned the riverbank of the Naugatuck River and Linden Park in Naugatuck. Master Sergeant Gary Morrone, USAF (ret) and Lieutenant Colonel Valerie Lofland, USAF (ret) lead the cadets in this effort to improve the quality of life in the Naugatuck River Valley.
More than ten bags of debris, a radio, a bicycle and rusted metal debris were removed. The project was organized by Joe Savarese and Bob Gregorski of the Naugatuck River Watershed Association and sponsored by the Borough of Naugatuck including the Mayor’s office, Public Works and Recreation Departments.
4-21-11 Bob Gregorski is discussing a birdhouse project with a Boy Scout Troop 444 in Middlebury. It will involve erecting two wood duck houses and one screech owl house on Middlebury Land Trust property.
4-30-11 Naugatuck River Pre-Race river clean up was held on 4-30-11 along the race route.
5-2-11 Bob G. (NRWA), Sam Gold (COG), Kevin Zak (NRRG) and Ingrid Manning (CCF—A.K.A. Waterbury Fnd) met and discussed the future of a Naugatuck River Website. A follow up meeting will be held in June.