Saturday, April 30, 2011

Earth Day 2011

The French River Connection celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up the river along Chase Avenue in Dudley. Thanks to the efforts of Judy Perrault, John Dignam, Mike Branniff, Charles Perzanoski, Kathy DiVeglia, Darin Bazinet, Jack Josti, Ken Butkiewicz, Ed Bazinet, and Ken Parker, forty bags of trash were collected, along with tires, a shopping cart, luggage, and other items which were taken to the Dudley highway barn. Items collected earlier in the week from Oxford Avenue and Lower Perryville Road were also taken in. The Webster side of the river was also cleaned earlier in the week, with the collected trash taken in by the Webster Department of Public Works.

The Chase Avenue area, located just downstream of downtown and featuring several small channels, remains a common collection point for floating trash, and its proximity to the bridge means dumping occurs there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

French River Paddle Scheduled May 21

The French River Connection will host a paddle on the French River on Saturday May 21, 2011. This leisurely paddle will begin at Agguteback Pond just below Hodges Village Dam on Howarth Road in Oxford and end at North Village in Webster, a distance of about 4 miles. Paddlers will enjoy an easy flowing river that meanders through marshlands and woodlands. There should be opportunities to see some of the wildlife that inhabit the French River, including turtles, great blue heron, geese, ducks, and beavers.

This trip is suitable for paddlers with moving water experience. PFDs are absolutely required and must be worn. There is no charge for this trip.

To register, email trip leader Jay Wade or call 860-928-5599 (work) or 508-461-9813 (home). The number of registrations accepted, and the ability of paddlers to participate, is at the discretion of the trip leader.

Meet at 9:00 AM at Hodges Village; bring your lunch and clothing appropriate for the weather. We will shuttle cars down to the takeout starting at 9:30

The paddle is listed on the French River Connection web site at

Here is a map

You may refer to our Shoreline Survey sections 2 though 6 to see where we’ll be paddling.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Perryville Trace Walk Scheduled May 21

The French River Connection will host a short walk on the Perryville Trace at 10 AM on Saturday May 21, 2011. A second walk is scheduled August 13. The Massachusetts Department of Travel and Tourism lists the Perryville Trace as one of “a thousand great places” in Massachusetts. The purpose of the walk is to familiarize the community with this resource.

The walk is one-mile round trip and follows the French River upstream from Perryville. There is some uneven terrain due to tree roots and the path is inappropriate for wheelchairs or those who have difficulty with balance. This slow paced walk through the woods will take about 45 minutes.

Meet at 10 AM at the entrance to the path located just over the railroad tracks on the Webster side of Perryville Road (at the bridge construction). Parking is available along Perryville Road and Brookside Avenue. Don’t be deterred by road closure or detour signs. There is no access from the Dudley side.

The walk is listed on the French River Connection web site at or you may call 508-943-2698 for information

Here is a map

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

2011 Water Quality Monitoring Campaign Begins

On April 2, our 2011 water quality monitoring campaign began, with the opening honors performed by two members of the Shepherd Hill Environment Club, and their adviser Judy Nawrocki. This year we're doing the same locations as we have for several years, but we are performing the work under a quality plan developed by The Last Green Valley for all users of their equipment. The main differences that volunteers from previous seasons will notice is that we record data on a more consolidated form, and the TROLL is transported from station to station in a bucket of water.

One down, seven to go.