Outreach for Impact

At the Mystic River Watershed Association where our mission is to protect and restore the Mystic River and its tributaries including 44 lakes and ponds and serving 22 communities, it is impossible to do it alone. Therefore, we look to our community of conservationists to help create awareness of the need for aid in healing the Mystic River and to promote the value and importance of this beautiful natural resource. 

Every year, MyRWA joins other innovative and impactful non profit organizations at local fairs and neighborhood festivals to spread our mission and invite community members to do their part in cleaning up the Mystic.

Community volunteers with an interest in education and outreach sign up through MyRWA's volunteer site to help the Mystic River Watershed Association in the capacity of acting as a liaison at local events.

MyRWA volunteers are given both informative outreach materials and fun participatory activities to take to festivals such as: enlarged maps of the Mystic River Watershed, urban trail maps, newsletters and brochures, a magnet board that teaches kids how and what is recyclable through a hands on activity, river herring fish to color and place along the paper river, and lots of giveaways to take home. Volunteers also invite attendees to sign up for more information about the Mystic River Watershed Association and learn how they can get involved with the organization.

The photos to the left are from MyRWA Volunteer, Sarah Braun, who volunteered to table at this year's Fresh Pond Day in Cambridge hosted by Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation and the Cambridge Water Department. Fresh Pond Day was a successful and well attended event that received a great deal of positive feedback from the community! 

Winchester Town Day was another incredibly successful event that exceeded all expectations thanks to MyRWA volunteers and support from John Kilbourn of the EPA. 

At this particular event, MyRWA and John's main goal was to create awareness of the need for a fish ladder in Winchester. River herring life cycle posters were placed at the Winchester Main Street Bridge which provided context to this year’s historic herring run. Thousands of river herring whose upstream impulse was impeded by the Mill Pond Dam could be seen from the bridge. Adults from Winchester spoke to our volunteers about how they had never seen anything like this; children were in awe.

According to MyRWA Volunteer, David Mussina, "John had the perfect setting to talk to a spellbound audience, Senator Pat Jehlen among them, about the proposed Winchester fish ladder thanks to our third and fourth year returning herring, clearly thriving in the their expanded habitats of the Upper Mystic Lake and Aberjona River. I even heard several people at the bridge talking about the need of a fish ladder at Horn Pond. Most heartwarming and significant for me was hearing from people how the abundant return of the river herring gave them for a change some “good” news."

                                                                              Photo of river herring near the proposed fish ladder by David Mussina

Thanks to the support of John and MyRWA volunteers like David Mussina at Winchester Town Day, the following Monday the storm drain located within Winchester’s future fish ladder was opened. The draining of Mill Pond created a channel enabling the herring to swim upstream!

So far this year, MyRWA Volunteers have tabled at: Earth Day Celebration at Menotomy Rocks Park, Fresh Pond Day in Cambridge, Spy Pond Fun Day in Arlington, and Winchester Town Day. 

If you would like to join our incredible team of education and outreach volunteers and do your part in being the voice for the Mystic River fill out this form and make an impact with us!

Posted by Andrea Ritter