Friday, December 24, 2010
On December 24, the French River Park boat launch arrived on site and was quickly installed. The launch is constructed of concrete blocks cabled together to make an articulated pad. You can follow development of the park here.
The contractor intends to proceed through the winter weather permitting, the next step being installation of the rain gardens.
Friday, November 19, 2010
In general the year was characterized by historically low flows. In addition, the duration of highest water temperatures was longer than previously seen. These factors combined to produce low dissolved oxygen levels, occurring at more sites, at lower levels, for longer durations. There were twelve instances where state dissolved oxygen standards were not met. Similarly, conductivity was generally higher than in previous years, with particularly high levels at the Stateline, Commerce Parking Lot, both Mill Brook, Nancy Drive, and Old Mill Brook sites. There were 22 instances where state pH standards were not met. These occurred during high flow in March and April as well as during the warm months.
High nutrient levels were observed at the Stateline site, below the wastewater treatment plant.
We monitored during a storm in May and found slightly elevated turbidity throughout the watershed, measurable but not visually noticeable. However, the Potash Brook, Commerce Parking Lot, Mill Brook Webster Nursery, and Old Mill Brook sites were murky and exhibited mid-double-digit turbidity values, clearly carrying a sediment load. There were also instances of warm weather turbidity, with values in the low double digits at the Packard Pond, both Mill Brook, and Old Mill Brook sites. This has rarely been seen.
Other observations include:
In August, a beaver dam was started at the Mill Brook Bigelow Road site. At the end of our season, it was two feet high and its fate is under consideration by the town.
In the spring, we continued to observe that snow and sand has been pushed into the Commerce Parking Lot storm drain
From July on, flow was so low that a volunteer had to climb into the chasm that is the Low Pond outflow. It’s not unusual to have to do this a couple of times, but not five.
Potash Brook was dry on two occasions, and Packard Pond outflow was on one occasion not flowing enough to collect nutrient samples. Although flowing, Nancy Drive brook was once too shallow to sink the TROLL.
There is roadside trash accumulating around many sites, but only the Low Pond outflow is being used as a dumpsite for larger objects.
It continues to be striking how high individual temperatures found with the HOBOs can be, compared to the monthly collection of TROLL data taken in the morning, on days which may not be particularly hot.
Record high conductivity and the presence of oil slicks at the Mill Brook Webster Nursery site may indicate a developing problem. Cranston Print Works has ceased industrial activity there, and perhaps a problem which would have previously been seen is escaping notice.
Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers who made this work possible.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The summer months were marked by an extended period of very low flow, with daily levels from mid-July until the end of September often ranking as the lowest recorded at the Webster USGS gauge for the date over many decades of operation. Low flows and high temperatures combined to reduce dissolved oxygen levels, and when the data is analyzed we expect we expect to see deeper and more extended summertime lows than we have seen since we began monitoring six years ago.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
On September 25, members of Oxford Boy Scout Troop 147 and family members gathered at 52 Dudley Road in Oxford, to complete work on the Leovich Landing project where a canoe/kayak launch was installed earlier in the year. The work is the Eagle project of scout Josh Escobar. It included leveling the parking lot, planting junipers and daffodils at the entrance, construction of a fence, preparation of a picnic area, and installation of a new sign. More than fifty people took part in the event.
Leovich Landing was purchased in 2009 by the Dudley Conservation Land Trust. Troop 147 joined a collaboration of the Land Trust, the French River Connection, the Last Green Valley, the town of Oxford, and the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the work. Many local businesses and volunteers provided funding, materials and services to make the project a success.Among them are Ron Rheault Construction, Sam Hicks Paving, Bonsal American, J.S. Lane Asphalt and Gravel companies, Robbins Garden Center, and Wal-Mart
Monday, September 20, 2010
The French River adjacent the French River Park site is the home of Triangle Floater and Creeper mussels, listed by the state as species of special concern. In order to protect them, we are required to move any we can find upstream prior to starting construction. Above, mussel scientist Sean Werle is on the hunt. It was not expected that many would be found because mussels had been translocated from this area several years ago prior to a remediation project on the opposite bank, and that proved to be the case.
The construction contract for the park was won by Webster contractor Henry Ceppetelli. With the mussel project completed, we can look forward to an October start on the park, with completion in Spring 2011.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Our TROLL and colorimeter data collection continues until November, with flow rates. remaining at historic lows.
Friday, September 10, 2010
On September 25, Oxford Boy Scout Troop 147 will come on site to essentially finish the job, including
We are continuing to get wonderful in-kind donations and discounts from local businesses, helping us stay on budget.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Although this year's Thompson French River cleanup was cancelled by the organizers, that didn't stop us from working on "our" section from Perryville to Wilsonville. We found very little lightweight trash like plastic bottles, so we left them for another time and concentated on heavyweight items: two pickup truck doors, a large compressed gas tank, a waterlogged couch cushion, and the usual assortment of tires and bicycles. On August 26 Norma O'Leary and grandsons Karlin and Jarrett Thomas helped drag out the last of it and carry it to the recycling center.
Friday, August 13, 2010
On Aug 12, volunteers installed the canoe/kayak launch at Leovich Landing, accomplishing one of the major goals of the project. The launch was constructed by Lavallee Construction from granite curbstones donated by the town of Oxford. Volunteers included Charles Perzanoski, Jean Hixson, Tom Ryzewski, Janet Blanchette, and Dick Kister.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Please bring a potluck dish, dessert, or beverages to share.
If you're planning to attend, please RSVP to Elaine or call 508-943-2698, and let her know what you'll be bringing.
For directions and other information, click here.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Over 120 runners left the starting line at 9am August 7 to compete in two simultaneous races held at Hodges Village.
The weather was perfect, and the runners appreciated the clear marking of the course. And we appreciate our many volunteers who assisted in making this a smooth and safe event, our sponsors whose contributions made this our most successful fundraising event ever and our other supporters who generously provided food and prizes. Thank you all!
Special gratitude is due to Race Director John Grenier and his team for all their hard work in making this such a success.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Features of the 1.66 acre park include accessible walking paths, picnic tables and benches, site lighting, a canoe/kayak launch, and water and power to support community events. There will be 23 parking spaces, and a bike rack. The shoreline will be stabilized and rain gardens installed for stormwater management. Plantings will consist of indigenous species appropriate to the river corridor.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This year an 11.5 and a 5 mile course will be run simultaneously. There will be cash prizes for the overall male and female winners of each race, and special prizes for the top finishers from the French River watershed. Age group and random draw prizes will consist of baked goods, Dick's Sporting Goods gift certificates, and other items.
The starting gun goes off at 9am sharp. Runners may preregister, or enter on race day beginning at 7:30.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
On June 16 the French River Connection received a $500 donation from Wal-Mart to purchase wire to protect trees threatened by beavers. So far in 2010, we have already protected 100 trees with wire mostly donated by Home Depot. This will allow us to continue the program, which has proven to be a good way to introduce youth groups to the river.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We are always eager to work with young people; it was an enjoyable and productive day, and we are grateful for their help.
Earlier in the Spring, French River Connection members installed pipe under a section of the Trace that gets wet from Brookside Avenue runoff to carry the water away, and cleaned up trash from the riverbanks on both sides of the River above Perryville.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
We're grateful to The Last Green Valley for selecting us; approximately one in four requests were funded. We couldn't have gotten to this point without J&D Civil Engineers doing the work (at a significant discount) to make us "shovel ready". We're also grateful to all who helped estimate the work and who have offered in-kind donations, and to those who wrote letters of support: The town of Oxford, the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and state Senator Richard T. Moore.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
We are raffling off a men's or women's Specialized Carmel 700 bicycle donated by Southbridge Bicycles.
Tickets are $5.00 or three for $10.00.
The winner will by drawn at the Dam Trail Race on August 7.
Read the bike spec and see a larger image.
Visit our website to purchase tickets and support our projects!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
April 14, 7pm
7:00 Grab a cookie
7:15 Minutes of January 2010 meeting---Elaine
7:20 Treasurer’s Report---Sheila
7:25 Water Quality Monitoring Certificates---Ken
7:30 Brief Progress Summary---Ken
7:45 Guest Speaker: Delpha Very, Putnam CT Office of Economic and Community Development Ms. Very will describe her experiences developing the riverfront in Putnam CT. Her “lessons learned” will help us develop public riverfront.
8:15 Bike raffle kick-off---Ken
8:25 Election of Directors
3 year term--Tim Bell, nominations from the floor
3 year term--Ken Parker, nominations from the floor
1 year term--nominations from the floor, must be willing to serve
8:40 Other business
8:50 Adjourn for refreshments
There will be a short board meeting immediately following.
New members are invited to join at this meeting only at a 50% discount, and receive a screensaver
Notecards and bike raffle tickets will be available for purchase.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On Wednesday March 10, MASS DEP approved our Water Quality Monitoring Quality Assurance Project Plan through 2012. There are document maintenance edits required every year, but real changes are becoming few and far between.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
On March 6, the French River Connection began its sixth water quality monitoring campaign on the French River and its tributaries. We visit 15 sites once per month from March through November. This year we started with young volunteers who work with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Shown using the TROLL 9500 at Clara Barton Road are Oxford residents Nicole Giles and Adam Carrier. Dodging the photo was park ranger Jean Hixson
Saturday, February 13, 2010
On February 12, the Webster Office of Community Development submitted an application for the next round of Community Development Block Grant funding, which includes approximately $290,000 for French River Park. In order to demonstrate readiness to proceed, considerable engineering, cost estimating, and submission of permits was required in the last month by our engineers, Lenard Engineering of Auburn.
There is a very long list of people to thank for getting this far, but here is a good time to mention our membership and friends who have done the hard work over the last five years, whether related directly to the park or not, which has enabled us to show that this is a project which has gained community support and fits in with other goals. With the Office of Community Development also including funding for a downtown facade and signage program, there is a lot of synergy within the application.
While it is possible that the project will be done in 2010, that requires everything to fall into place optimally, so 2011 is more realistic.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Here is the payment page: Membership and Donations