Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trestles and Tributaries: Seasons on the Westfield River

A patient sculptor, the Westfield river flows through the seasons beneath bent bough and rusted trestle, caressing with clear cold water the stones beneath her ever-changing surface to soft smoothness on her way to the sea. Affectionately and simply known as "the River" to local folks, the Westfield has come a long way from the days not so long ago when one could tell what shade of paper the upstream mills were making by the color of the water rolling by. Today, the Westfield river is designated a National Wild & Scenic River, the first in Massachusetts, a distinction made possible by the dedicated efforts of folks like the members of the Westfield River Watershed Association (WRWA), who have been loyal and true stewards of the river for five and a half decades now, marking their 55th year of organization this annum. The WRWA is always on the lookout for new members or donations, which, along with grants, the non-profit depends upon to keep its good work going. One cool way to check out the way the WRWA is making a difference in the lives of everyone living within the vast Westfield river watershed area, and maybe make up your mind whether you want to hop in and make a difference too, is to check out the upcoming 2008 Westfield River Symposium, a free event open to the public, sponsored by the Westfield River Watershed Association, the Westfield River Environmental Center at Westfield State College and Westfield State College (WSC).

Here are the details, from the WRWA web site:
14th Westfield River Symposium: Our annual symposium, with a keynote address this year by Commissioner of the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Richard Sullivan, will take place in the Scanlon Banquet Hall at Westfield State College on Saturday, April 5. Registration (it's FREE!) begins at 8:15, with a free continental breakfast. A variety of talks will be given throughout the morning, and about two dozen exhibits will be available for viewing. An afternoon performance of "The Watershed Waltz", and a field trip are also part of the program. Check the symposium program for the most up-to-date information.
There are lots of other WRWA-sponsored events and ways to get involved in helping the river stay healthy throughout the year. Make sure you check out the WRWA web site for their calendar of upcoming events!

Here are some photographs of the old and unused New Haven railroad trestle spanning the Westfield river just west of the Great River bridge. Man's work rusts and crumbles in an indifferent current, time the great equalizer. And too, the seasons hold sway.

April, 2007

July, 2007

November, 2007

December, 2007

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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