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Watershed News September 2017

President’s Message
Hi Everybody, Meanwhile the board will be planning next years
activities. If any member has an idea of a new activ-
We are quickly approaching the fall weather. The days
ity or any other concern, then please contact a board
are shorter and the nights are cooler.
member. I cannot stress enough that we can not be
It was a great summer in the watershed. The water everywhere so we invite everybody to be our eyes
levels were up, so unlike last year, we were able to and ears. Only by working together can we protect
have our canoe cruise. and preserve the watershed . You really are the most
Now it is time to focus on the fall activities. The river important part of this organization and I invite mem-
is in great shape and stocked for fall fishing. Leaves bers to attend the board meetings.
are starting to turn and the whole watershed is adjust- SEE YOU IN THE WATERSHED!!!
ing for the approaching winter. It is a beautiful time of
Bill Rose
the year, so get out there and enjoy!!!
WRWA President

In This Issue
Fly Fishing Clinic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Our Watershed Helps Guard
Against an Uncertain Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Plaque Installed at Glendale Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Westfield River Cleanup Part of Source-To-Sea
Volunteer Program on September 23rd . . . . . . . . 4
Officers and Directors for 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Fly Fishing Clinic
by Bill Rose
This annual event took place on Saturday, September 9 A decent beginning fly-fishing combo is available for
on Route 20 in Huntington and ran from 9:00 a.m. to as low as $25-30 complete. I started fly-fishing when I
1:00 p.m. Although the attendance was light it was more was only 5. My father and grandfather were both avid
than last year with 13 very enthusiastic people and one fly fishermen and I guess I just inherited the love of the
very friendly puppy that swam cross the Westfield River sport from them. I love the challenge of outwitting the
to join in. The attendees came from Westfield, Hun- fish. It’s great family fun!
tington, Southwick, Southampton, Feeding Hills, and We are always open to suggestions from our members
Worthington. Of the 13 people, (8) stayed all morning. as to how to improve the activity.
Many people brought their own equipment to learn how Contact Bill Rose with any suggestions.
to use it and in some cases to learn how to set it up for
fishing. They were eager to learn the many different SEE YOU ON THE RIVER!!!
ways to enjoy the sport.

Our Watershed Helps Guard Against an Uncertain Future

by Brian W. Conz
As exciting as it is to know that fall is on the way,
I’m finding it hard to let go of summer this year. This
is due in large part to the fact that this was the first
summer my children have been old enough to really
engage in some serious watershed exploration. So the
summer was filled with canoe trips, river walks and
visits to local swimming holes. Of course, we only
scratched the surface and I’m filled with excitement
knowing just how much more we will be doing in
coming years as each of them passes through what
is sometimes called the ‘golden age’ of childhood, After all, this is our greatest buffer against the type
roughly from age 7 to 13 or so. of disasters being suffered in the Gulf and elsewhere.
It will not protect us from extreme weather in any
Ands yet, as I write this my mind is distracted from
sort of complete way. We have known floods and
these rather blissful memories by the extreme weather
hurricanes here and we will know them again. But
events taking place in the Caribbean, the Gulf and
it should be clear that we need our healthy, forested
in South Asia. On one hand, there is the fear of an
watershed more than ever to provide us with the eco-
unknown future for the next generations. As extreme
system services of intercepting and slowing rainfall,
weather events gain in their destructive capacity
holding soil in place, storing carbon out of the atmo-
fueled by a warming climate, communities struggle to
sphere, and yes, providing the habitat and recreational
recover and social and economic tensions grow. What
opportunities for future generations. Thank you as
will the world be like for them?
always for all you do to help keep this happening.
Another part of me feels proud and secure living in a
watershed that is so well protected and looked after.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  2  

Plaque Installed at Glendale Falls
by Mike Young
If you’d like to visit, you’ll need to travel west on
Rt. 20 to Huntington, where you’ll turn north briefly
on Rt. 112. Turn left just over the bridge that crosses
the West Branch of the river and the railroad tracks
onto Basket St, which you’ll follow for a little over a
half mile before turning right on Bromley Rd. After
3.3 miles turn right onto E. River Road, which you’ll
follow for 6.4 miles, where you’ll turn left onto Clark
Wright Rd., going steeply uphill a short distance to
the Glendale Falls parking area. Be sure to look for
the plaque!

Glendale Falls, a Trustees of Reservations property

along the Middle Branch of the Westfield River, is
one of the lesser-known attractions of our watershed.
The falls is really more a series of falls and cascades,
and is often fairly dry in the summer. There’s a small
parking area near the top of the falls, and a short
hiking trail that leads down to the base, with access to
the rocks of the falls at several points. Scrambling out
into the broad rocky area through which the stream
flows affords some nice views.
A few years ago a series of stairs, some constructed of
rock and some of lumber, were added to the trail and
a portion of that stairway was funded by donations in
honor of J. Kenneth Taylor, longtime WRWA Board
member (including service as president and treasurer),
Westfield State College faculty member, and member
of the Westfield Conservation Commission. A plaque
honoring Ken, who passed away in 2009, was
recently added to the lumber portion of the stairway.
Phil Sousa, another long-time WRWA Board member
(and our go-to guy for hands-on projects of all sorts)
did the installation, affixing the bronze plaque with Phil Sousa installing the plaque.
wood screws and waterproof goop. It’ll be most obvi-
ous if you’re climbing back up to the parking area
from the base of the falls.

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  3  

Westfield River Cleanup Part of Source-To-Sea Volunteer Program
on September 23rd
Volunteers along the Westfield River and its streams
will join cleanup crews across four states on Saturday,
September 23 according to Sheryl Becker, coordinator
for the Westfield River Watershed Association. “Our
volunteers, like other Source to Sea groups, make an
important difference to our local environment. We
haul trash and debris to keep the water cleaner and the
river banks safer for the people and wildlife who use
the streams and rivers in our Westfield watershed.”
The WRWA is a part of the
Connecticut River Conser-
vancy which sponsors the
Source to Sea Cleanup, a
WRWA encourages people to come and join them for
volunteer network taking
the morning on Saturday, September 23. Volunteers for
care of the Connecticut River
the Fall 2017 Westfield River cleanup will gather at one
and its tributaries. “It’s a
of two locations by 9:00 a.m., meeting in Westfield in
great cause—keeping our
the public parking lot at the end of Meadow Street near
environment clean—and
the green bridge or in Agawam at the Pynchon Point
everyone is welcome,” adds
parking lot near the South End bridge circle on River
Becker. “Mostly we just clean up along the banks of
Road. WRWA will distribute gloves and trash bags and
our rivers and streams. We find all kinds of garbage
offer safety tips, then send off site teams. Organizers
from old tires and baby carriages to discarded plastic
target watershed sites in Westfield, Russell, Hunting-
water bottles and snack food wrappers. The Westfield
ton, West Springfield and Agawam. Assignments are
River always looks so good when we are done. And
generally completed by noon or earlier.
kids (well the adults, too) can point to their section
with such pride and know they’ve contributed in a Everyone is welcome; children must be super-
significant way!” vised by an adult. WRWA will arrange with
local communities for pickup of trash and debris
Mark Damon, the other WRWA coordinator, offers
recovered at each site. For questions, contact
his thanks for the groups that participate. “Besides
Mark Damon regarding Westfield locations at
individuals who just show up at one of our gathering
413-977-1577, or Sheryl
points, we get groups from businesses and organiza-
Becker for Agawam area sites at 413-374-1921,
tions, and students from the local schools and colleges.
We’ve been doing this clean-up for about 20 years
now. Some companies like Lane Construction and The Westfield River Watershed Association was
schools like Agawam High send crews almost every established in 1953 to protect and improve the
year.” Damon, who teaches at Westfield State Univer- natural resources of the watershed, as well as to
sity invites his students to join in. Becker smiles. “The expand recreational and other land use opportuni-
kids from the high school and college teams are espe- ties for people’s enjoyment and for sound ecology.
cially helpful in providing the muscle that we need to To learn more, visit and
move some of the bigger items we find.”

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  4  

Officers and Directors for 2017
President: Bill Rose 39 Sunset Terrace Feeding Hills 01030 786-0195
First Vice President: Brian Conz 999 General Knox Rd., Russell, MA 01071 572-8084
Second Vice President: Allan Ouimet 16 Russell Rd. Westfield 01085 539-0964
Secretary: Mark Damon 297 Western Ave Westfield 01085 977-1577
Treasurer: Mike Young 721 West Rd. Westfield 01085 562-8498
Ann Barone 3 Delancey St, Westfield 01085 374-9799
Sheryl Becker 142 Beekman Drive, Agawam, MA 01085 374-1921
Timblin Judy 37 Mountain Rd. Holyoke 01040 569-9018
Ron Lucassen 39 Rachael Terrace Westfield 01085 568-4252
John A. Pelli 32 Laro Road, Westfield 01085 562-0182
Aaron Reyes On sabbatical, Fall 2017
Phillip Sousa 29 Yankee Circle Westfield 01085 568-3982
Henry Warchol 2 Sackville Road Westfield 01085 562-3467
Honorary Directors:
Dan Call 777 College Highway Southwick 01077 569-9677

For more information on WRWA’s activities, check our website at

  Westfield River Watershed Association News  5  

PO Box 1764
Westfield, MA  01086-1764

Westfield River Watershed Association Newsletter
September 2017

In This Issue
Fly Fishing Clinic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Our Watershed Helps Guard
Against an Uncertain Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Plaque Installed at Glendale Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Westfield River Cleanup Part of Source-To-Sea
Volunteer Program on September 23rd . . . . . . . . 4
Officers and Directors for 2017 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

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