The stewardship goal of the Advisory Committee is to comprehensively inventory and assess the Westfield River’s "Outstandingly Remarkable Resources" (ORRs) and implement the Committee’s long-term strategies and actions under the guidance of the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Stewardship Plan. The following are some of the ways the strategies outlined are implemented:
Stream Team volunteers lend their eyes, ears, hands – and yes, even sometimes their nose – for the Westfield River. Over 65 active Stream Team volunteers help steward and maintain the East Branch Trail corridor; stabilize riverbanks by planting native species along the river corridor; document river corridor conditions through water quality, shoreline surveys and photo-monitoring; and install the steps down to the base of Glendale Falls.
Stream Team volunteers assist with a variety of projects. Please see the Volunteer Opportunities page for descriptions of some of them.
Become a Stream Team Volunteer - sign up below or contact Meredyth Babcock, Volunteer Coordinator at (413) 623-2070 or email@example.com.
Volunteer Signup Form
Walkin’ the Watershed – Shoreline Surveys
Using protocols developed by the Commonwealth’s Riverways Program, Stream Team volunteers use their observational skills to document scenic, historical, geological, recreational and ecological features along the river. Trained volunteers adopt a section of the river to monitor on an on-going basis.
Findings are compiled into Shoreline Survey Reports which highlight problems, assets and priorities for action identified by the volunteers. Stream Team volunteers then help implement those recommendations.
Use the following links to download PDF versions of the previous Walkin’ the Watershed Shoreline Survey Reports for the three branches of the Westfield River (Acrobat Reader™ required):
- East Branch Shoreline Survey
- East Branch Executive Summary
- Middle Branch Shoreline Survey
- Middle Branch Executive Summary
- West Branch Shoreline Survey
- West Branch Executive Summary
The Westfield River Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program identifies sources of impairment in water quality conditions including physical, chemical and biological parameters. Samples are collected by volunteers and analyzed from 20 sites monthly from April to October. Data collected includes general observations, air and water temperature, pH, alkalinity, and total suspended solids. Bacterial counts (e.g., E. coli and Enterococcus) are also determined at three sites during six dry-weather events in May to October.
Eight of the baseline sampling locations are along the Wild & Scenic reaches. These include:
- Four sites on the East Branch of the river: two near Windsor State Park beach, one at Gardner State Park beach, and one at the USGS Knightville Dam gage station.
- Middle Branch site at the USGS Goss Heights gage station, below the Littleville Dam
- West Branch site at the USGS gage station in Huntington.
- Main Branch at the rest area opposite the Huntington Health Center.
Water Quality monitoring results are posted at http://envcenter.wsc.ma.edu/water-quality-monitoring.
The project is conducted in collaboration with Westfield River Environmental Center, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Westfield River Watershed Association and the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee. Partial funding was provided by the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee, with additional funds from a MassDEP 604(b) grant and from the US EPA Equipment Loan Program.
The East Branch of the Westfield River is noted for its remarkable features, including Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway, Windsor Jambs, Chesterfield Gorge and many historical and cultural features along the river corridor. The East Branch Trail project seeks to create a regional trail network along the East Branch of the Westfield River that connects unique natural, geological, cultural and historical features to the communities of Huntington, Chesterfield, Cummington, Windsor and Savoy. The trail network serves as a recreational asset and educational resource that promotes community stewardship of the Wild & Scenic resources. The existing nine-mile trail segment extends along the East Branch from Chesterfield Gorge down to the Knightville Dam Recreation Area. Additional trail segments are being considered.
Trail stewards are needed to help maintain the trail corridor. For more information, contact Meredyth Babcock, Volunteer Coordinator at (413) 623-2070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stream Team volunteers conducting a Shoreline Survey along Glendale Falls Brook noted poor parking lot drainage eroding several areas and fragile vegetation being trampled as visitors scampered down to the base of Glendale Falls. They recommended something be done. Partnering with The Trustees of Reservations, the Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee launched the “One Step at a Time” Campaign to solicit volunteers and donations to designate an official trail down Glendale Falls and to improve the parking lot drainage. With remarkable success volunteers and donors stepped forward – many of them sharing memories of visiting this hidden gem in Middlefield over the years or just discovering it in their backyard for the first time.
Sponsored workdays held June-October. For more information, contact Meredyth Babcock, Volunteer Coordinator at (413) 623-2070 or email@example.com.
Sponsor a step down Glendale Falls. Only $10 per step. Download and mail this form with your donations to PO Box 397, Huntington, MA 01050. Be sure to share your favorite memory or story about this special place!
For more information on the trail project contact the Resource Stewardship Sub-Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 579-3015.