History of the Nashua River and the NRWA

Saturday, March 30, 2019, 1:00- 2:30 p.m., Fitchburg Public Library, 610 Main Street in Fitchburg, MA

In the 1960s, the Nashua River was one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. The North Nashua River in Fitchburg ran different colors from day-to-day depending on the dyes being used by the papermills. There was no Clean Water Act, wastewater treatment plants did not exist along the river, and wastewater from industry and households was discharged directly to the river. This is where the story of the Nashua River Watershed Association begins. Hear about the early days of the endeavor to restore the Nashua River from our panel of guest speakers:

  • Marion Stoddart, NRWA founder who led the efforts to restore the Nashua River
  • Bill Flynn, who was the young Mayor of Fitchburg at that time
  • Ellen DiGeronimo, who was a Fitchburg City Councilor who supported Marion’s efforts

The audience will be encouraged to share their own memories and stories from this time, as well as ask questions of the panel. The auditorium at the library can be quite cool, so please dress warmly.

Moving forward in time, learn about what the NRWA is doing in the City of Fitchburg today—from monitoring water quality, to helping to protect greenway and promote trails, to providing environmental education programs in Fitchburg schools.

This conversation is a celebration of all the individuals, businesses, city officials, and organizations whose efforts transformed a dead river into the beautiful focal point in the heart of the City now. 

Pre-registration if encouraged for planning purposes. To pre-register, please call the NRWA at (978) 448-0299, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Can Am Machinery logoThis program is free and open to the public, made possible with the support of our Event Sponsor, CanAm Machinery, Inc. of Fitchburg.


This presentation is part of the year-long series of free programs being presented in NRWA watershed communities as part of NRWA’s celebration of its 50th Anniversary (1969 to 2019). 

Thank you to our 50th Anniversary Sponsors for making this series possible!

Presenting Sponsor

Rollstone Bank & Trust logo
 Anniversary Sponsors

Can Am Machinery logo  Enterprise Bank logo