Nature Walk in Mine Falls Park

Saturday, May 13, 2017, from 9:00 to 11:30 p.m., at Mine Falls Park, off Whipple Street, Nashua, NH

Spring is a wonderful time to get outdoors, to take in some fresh air, and to see what’s new. The NRWA invites the public to join naturalist Bruce Lund for a walk in the 325-acre Mine Falls Park – Nashua’s natural “Crown Jewel” park. This being the height of spring, we’ll look for spring wildflowers and nesting birds as we walk easy foot trails around an oxbow lake and its marshes, along the man-dug Nashua Power Canal, and over forested paths on the bank of the Nashua River. Mark Archambault from the NRWA, an avid birder, will be joining Bruce to co-lead this walk.

Regular walking footwear is all that’s needed – binoculars and cameras are welcome. Park and meet in the parking lot on Whipple Street in Nashua, NH.  The parking lot is on the opposite side of the street from the UPS facility (whose address is 3 Whipple Street).  View Google map and directions.

This walk is free and open to the public. For the comfort of all, no dogs are allowed. Pre-registration is not required, but is appreciated for planning purposes.  To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Mark Archambault, NRWA Smart Growth Circuit Rider, at (978) 448-0299 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Birds of the Nashua River

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Thayer Memorial Library, 717 Main Street in Lancaster, MA 

The Nashua River and its tributaries are part of the vital habitat for a wide variety of species of birds.  Join NRWA's Mark Archambault for this free presentation on the birds who make their homes along our rivers and streams, as well as those whose migration path is influenced by our waterways and surrounding habitat.  Mark will cover water birds as well as woodland and field birds. Learn about the Great Blue Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Belted Kingfisher, Baltimore Oriole, and Yellow Warbler, to name a few. Mark will discuss their behaviors and habitat, and the importance of clean water and protected woodlands for their survival. Learn tips on identifying these birds by sight and sound when out paddling or walking.

Free and open to the public, this program, part of Thayer Library’s “H2O Series”, is funded by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Rosemary Davis Memorial Fund. For information, please contact Karen Silverthorn, Assistant Director at Thayer Memorial Library, at (978) 368-8928, ext. 4 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Spring Birding Walk

Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. in Groton, MA

Early May heralds the beginning of the ‘high season’ of spring migration, when many species of neo-tropical migrant birds including warblers, vireos, orioles, flycatchers, swallows and others start to arrive in Massachusetts.  To see some of these migrants and learn more about birds of our region, the public is invited to join Mark Archambault of the Nashua River Watershed Association for a free “Spring Birding Walk” in Groton  After meeting at the NRWA’s River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA at 8:00 a.m., participants will bird one or more locations in Groton, including Surrenden Farm/General Fields and either the Nashua River Rail Trail or Groton Woods. Please bring binoculars, a field guide, drinks and snacks for a few hours, and dress appropriately for a field walk including sturdy shoes and mosquito/tick bite protection. Children over 10 are welcome accompanied by an adult. For the comfort of all, no dogs are allowed. This program is free and open to the public; pre-registration is appreciated for planning purposes, but is not required.  For more information, please contact Mark Archambault, NRWA Smart Growth Circuit Rider, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Protecting Townsend's Waterways

Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Townsend Public Library, 12 Dudley Road, Townsend, MA

The Squannacook River winds its way through the center of the community of Townsend, through Harbor Pond, on its journey to join with the Nashua River. What is being done to protect this beautiful waterway? Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director, and Kathryn Nelson, NRWA Water Monitoring Coordinator, will discuss the history of the cleanup of the Nashua River since the 1960’s, and the water quality issues facing Townsends‘s waterways today. Learn more about the Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study (which includes the Squannacook River), NRWA’s monitoring program, habitat connectivity and paddling improvements in the Squannacook watershed, invasive aquatic plants such as water chestnut and milfoil, and efforts to curtail the spread of invasive plants. And there will be details about how you can get involved as a volunteer. Appropriate for adults and young adults. This presentation is free and open to the public, supported by a grant from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.  For more information, please contact Martha Morgan at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local Earth Day 2017 Clean-ups

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd!  Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity to help out with a local clean-up?  Here are a few that we are aware of:

Groton Grange Annual Town Wide Litter Clean Up and Bike Drive

Saturday, April 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday April 23, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Celebrate Earth Day with your friends and neighbors at Groton Grange #7 during our Annual Town Wide Litter Clean Up. Meet at Prescott School, Main Street in Groton, MA for gloves, trash bags, and choose a street to clean. Return bags to dumpsters located at Prescott School parking lot.  On Saturday from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Bikes not Bombs (BNB) will be accepting your old, unwanted bikes to be repurposed, recycled, and kept out of the trash stream. BNB ships bikes overseas to economic development projects through International Programs in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.  https://bikesnotbombs.org/bike-drive/1358  The Bike Drive is Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ONLY!  Call if you would like someone to pick up your bike!  Information will be available from Friends of the Tree Warden's Arbor Day celebration.  Refreshments available.  For more information:  George 978-448-3715 or Brad 978-448-3418

2nd Annual Harvard Town-wide Trash Cleanup

Thursday, April 27 thru Sunday, April 30, 2017 in Harvard, MA

The second annual Harvard Town-wide Trash Cleanup is taking place April 27-30, and the Harvard Trash Committee hopes to include the Nashua River this year. A recent hike on the River Trail in Harvard by Committee members revealed both submerged and floating/snagged items (including basketballs!) visible in the river. The Committee is looking for individuals with a canoe or kayak who can volunteer an hour to collect hard to reach litter in the river. Sturdy yellow trash bags and disposable gloves will be provided.  Boats can be launched from the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge boat launch at the bottom of Still River Depot Road in Harvard.  Trash can be collected and filled yellow bags can be deposited at the Refuge parking lot near the boat launch by the evening of Sunday, April 30th.  The bags will be collected by Harvard DPW on Monday, May 1st. Gloves and bags will be handed out at the Harvard Congregational Church on Wednesday, April 16th from  2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and on Saturday, April 29th from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  For sign-up information, please contact the Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nashua River Rail Trail Clean-up for Park Serve Day

Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the Nashua River Rail Trail

Lend a hand for this year’s Annual Park Serve Day sponsored by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, MA State Parks.  This is a day of state-wide volunteer service at MA state parks.  The Friends of the Nashua River Rail Trail are looking for volunteers to help get the trail in shape for the new season.  Meet at the Sand Hill Parking lot on Nod Road, in Groton MA where we’ll organize for clean-up along the length of the trail from Ayer, MA to Nashua, NH.  Help pick up litter and debris along the Trail. Bring your gloves, and maybe rake or shovel, if you have one.  Along with clearing up the trail surface, we'll work on sprucing up kiosks, and checking trail signage.  To sign-up, or for more information about the Friends of the Nashua River Rail Trail, please contact Duane Cromwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Ayer Town-wide Clean-up

Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Meet up at Depot Square on Main Street in Ayer.  Join your friends and neighbors, to Keep Ayer (and the Rail Trail) Beautiful! In addition to town streets, parks and other areas, we will include designated cleanup spots along the Nashua River Rail Trail. Reserve your cleanup spots ahead of time at http://tinyurl.com/kab2017 or just stop by Depot Square to register and to pick up trash bags and gloves. Students will receive community service hours for volunteering. We also welcome scout groups, houses of worship and local businesses to get involved. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 978-496-4839 for more info. Help make a difference right here in Ayer!

 

Natural History of Timber Rattlesnakes in the Adirondacks (and the Northeast) with William S. Brown

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the NRWA River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

William S. Brown has been studying the Timber Rattlesnake population in the Adirondacks for nearly 40 years. His study of the life history and ecology of these snakes is the longest running continuous capture-recapture study of any rattlesnake conducted in the wild. Learn about the life history of the Timber Rattlesnake, its behaviors and habitat. Professor Brown will share information on these snakes that has come to light thru his study.  For example, these snakes are long-lived (over 40 years), and females generally don’t reproduce until age 9 or 10.  He’ll discuss winter rattlesnake denning, essential to their survival.  Did you know that winter dens in New York represent ancestral populations which have been in continuous existence for approximately 8,000 years? Brown will also cover how to live with these shy and retiring snakes, and efforts to preserve native Timber Rattlesnake populations.

Brown is an Associate Professor Emeritus of Biology at Skidmore College and lecturer in the Dept of Biological Sciences at the University at Albany (SUNY). His work has been published in National Geographic and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Currently, he is an editor and author for a national group of research biologists producing a "Conservation Action Plan" for the Timber Rattlesnake, and serves on the Timber Rattlesnake Recovery Team of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Professor Brown was a recipient of The Nature Conservancy's (Eastern New York Chapter) annual Oak Leaf Award in 2003 citing his "many years of study and efforts toward preservation of Timber Rattlesnakes."  He is a zoologist and herpetologist with Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. degree in Biology from the University of Utah.

This program is free and open to the public, made possible by a grant from the Groton Trust Funds’ Lecture Fund.  Pre-registration is required; seating is limited.  To pre-register, please contact Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold, NRWA Communications Manager, at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Park Serve Day: Nashua River Rail Trail

Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the Nashua River Rail Trail

Lend a hand for this year’s Annual Park Serve Day sponsored by the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, MA State Parks.  This is a day of state-wide volunteer service at MA state parks.  The Friends of the Nashua River Rail Trail are looking for volunteers to help get the trail in shape for the new season.  Meet at the Sand Hill Parking lot on Nod Road, in Groton MA where we’ll organize for clean-up along the length of the trail from Ayer, MA to Nashua, NH.  Help pick up litter and debris along the Trail. Bring your gloves, and maybe rake or shovel, if you have one.  Along with clearing up the trail surface, we'll work on sprucing up kiosks, and checking trail signage.  To sign-up, or for more information about the Friends of the Nashua River Rail Trail, please contact Duane Cromwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

"Wild and Scenic" Nashua Rivers Study Committee: Update and Input Session

Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

Have you always thought that our rivers are among the most scenic in New England? Are you impressed by the diversity of plants and animals found along our rivers?  Join the Nashua River “Wild and Scenic River” Study Committee on Thursday April 27th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Nashua River Watershed Association’s River Resource Center, 592 Main Street, Groton, MA.  There will be a general public information sharing and opportunity for input.

 

The Study Committee was formed after the U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing the National Park Service to commence a study of sections of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers to determine if they are eligible and suitable for designation as part of the federal Wild and Scenic Partnership River Program.  For more information, please see the newly–created Study Committee website: www.WildandScenicNashuaRivers.org

 

The Study is expected to be about a three year process and is voluntarily undertaken by the towns of Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Pepperell, Shirley, and Townsend. The locally-appointed Study Committee is currently reviewing our rivers’ cultural history, outstanding biological and ecological resources, and extensive recreational opportunities. 

 

Committee members are combing through any and all pertinent local, regional, state and federal records, reports, historical documents, and related data to clarify which resources are considered “outstanding and remarkable”.  At the April 27th event, findings to date will be reported, and the views of attendees will be solicited.

 

A Study Report will be prepared on the Committee’s findings and a locally-developed Management Plan will be drafted with extensive community input.  That Management Plan will be used to guide future ecological, recreational, historical and cultural protection efforts. Towards the end of the study process, town boards will deliberate on the Management Plan and its non-binding recommendations, and, ultimately each town will vote – at its Town Meeting – on whether it recommends that ”Wild and Scenic” designation be pursued. It is expected that these votes will take place in the spring of 2018.

 

The April 27th event is an opportunity for any interested area resident to learn more about the Study, to give input, and to talk with Committee members. The Nashua River Watershed Association is playing a lead role along with the National Park Service. The towns have each appointed a Representative to the Committee, and the Committee also includes representatives from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the MA Department of Fish & Game, the MA Division of Ecological Restoration, USGS, and volunteers. 

For planning purposes, please RSVP to the April 27th event; walk-ins are welcome.  To RSVP or for questions, please contact Al Futterman, NRWA Land Programs and Outreach Director, at 978/ 448-0299 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NRWA FSU Grad/PDP Course for Teachers Grades 5 thru 8

Monday, July 10 thru Friday, July 14, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the NRWA River Resource Center, 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA

The Nashua River Watershed Association will lead a course for teachers this summer through Fitchburg State University. “NRWA Watershed Investigations Course: Connecting Watersheds and 2016 MA Science & Technology/ Engineering Standards” will allow graduate level and/or in-service teachers grades 5-8 to dissect and apply the new Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Draft Revised Standards. This course, offered through Fitchburg State University/Summer II 2017, will run from July 10 through July 14, 2017, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., based at the NRWA’s River Resource Center located at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119) in Groton, MA.  

Candidates will practice using the publication Nashua River Watershed Investigations for Grades 5-8: Connecting Watersheds to the 2016 MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards, including 12 lessons ready for classroom use. They will learn through hands-on outdoor science lessons, presentations from NRWA scientists, and collaboration with peers. Candidates will also design a science unit including a self-designed research project with measurable data collection. Outdoor excursions will include a short canoe trip, walks through several forested areas, and explorations in a schoolyard.

The cost is $600 for 3 graduate credits from Fitchburg State University, or $400 for 37.5 PDPs.  Space is limited; be sure to register today to reserve your spot. The deadline for registration is June 30, 2017.  To register, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Environmental Education Associate.

Summer Eco-adventures for Youth for Ages 6 to 14

Get ready for summer!  Registration is open for Nashua River Watershed Association’s popular Summer Eco-adventure programs.  Your children will enjoy days of fun science, outdoor adventure, and making new friends. These small group programs are each led by NRWA professional educators/naturalists.  Sign up soon; space is limited.

Wilderness Summer Survival Week for Ages 11- 14
June 26 – June 29,2017 (Mon -Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Challenge yourself in nature with four adventurous, action-packed days of hiking Groton trails through numerous conservation properties, paddling the Squannacook River, developing summer survival skills, and exploring the inner world of our local river, woodlands and fields while making new friends. Outdoor adventure at its best with River Classroom Director Stacey Chilcoat. Program fees are $200 for NRWA members or $230 for non-members.

Wild World of Water Week for Ages 6-8
July 17– July 20,2017 (Mon - Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Escape the heat of summer with a fun-filled four days all about water!  Collect aquatic critters from the Nashua River, make a fresh water aquarium, do water experiments, make mini-boats to race on mini streams, and stay cool each day with lots of water games. Perfect for nature & water loving kids! Program fees are $180 for NRWA members or $210 for non-members.

Animal Adventures: Discover the creatures that share our forests, fields and wetlands
July 24 – July 27, 2017 (Mon – Thu) 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Calling all animal lovers and nature explorers!  From reptiles to mammals, this program focuses on the amazing lives of our local wildlife. Collect fascinating insects, practice summer tracking skills, hike local trails and play animal camouflage games. Discover how our local wildlife has adapted to live and thrive in these three distinct habitants. Program fees are $190 for NRWA members or $220 for non-members

Wee Play: Nature Detectives for Ages 6-7
Joint program with Nashoba Paddler’s Wee Paddle 3-day Camp
Tuesday, August 1 & Thursday, August 3, 2017, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The NRWA is offering two land-based outdoor adventure days for children participating in Nashoba Paddler’s Wee Paddle 3-day camp which runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday during this same week. Children will explore woods and fields, collect aquatic insects, play eco-games, and learn about the local wildlife. These two days are open to all families but will expand the outdoor fun for Nashoba Paddler Wee Paddle Campers interested in a full week of adventure! Program fees are $75 for NRWA members or $90 for non-members.

All programs are based at the Nashua River Watershed Association River Resource Center at 592 Main Street (Rt. 119), in Groton.  Pre-registration is required. Space is limited! To register This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Environmental Education Assistant, or (978) 448-0299.