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Earth Day Celebration: Will the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers Join the 50 Year Success Story of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Program?

Public Info Meeting and Guided Walk

The public is invited to join in the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Committee’s Earth Day celebration of 50 years of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers program, and the exploration of the possible designation of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers as Wild & Scenic. This will be a two-part program with indoor presentations and videos on the topic of Wild & Scenic Rivers, followed by a guided hike at J. Harry Rich State Forest. Free and open to all.

On Earth Day, Sunday, April 22nd from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., gather at the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) River Resource Center at 592 Main Street in Groton. We’ll begin with a brief presentation on the 50 years of success that the National Wild & Scenic River program has enjoyed, with comments from Jamie Fosburgh, Manager of the National Park Service’s Northeast Rivers Program. We’ll also screen the Park Service’s new short video “River Connections: Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers.” Following that, Julia Blatt, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, will talk about the 20 year history of success of the Wild & Scenic Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Next, we’ll screen the short video “Nashua, Squannacook, & Nissitissit Rivers: Wild and Scenic Forever,” and the Study Committee will make a PowerPoint presentation on their 3-year project, that is now culminating with Annual Town Meeting votes in 11 riverfront communities, on the question of designation of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers as Wild & Scenic. Following the Study Committee’s presentation, there will be plenty of time for questions, answers, and discussion. Refreshments will be served.

Following the indoor presentations, there will be a guided walk at J. Harry Rich State Forest, off Nod Road in Groton, a short drive (car pool) from the NRWA River Resource Center. The walk will begin at 3:15 p.m., and last approximately one hour. The trail is generally flat for easy walking; please dress for the weather and for tick season, and wear appropriate footwear. For the comfort of all, no dogs are allowed. Our guides will be Stacey Chilcoat and Nadia Madden, Groton’s representatives to the Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study Committee.

This free Earth Day celebration is open to all. Residents of the nine Massachusetts communities that will be voting on this question at their Annual Town Meetings are particularly encouraged to attend to learn more. These communities are Ayer, Bolton, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Pepperell, Shirley, and Townsend. For Groton residents who will be voting at their Town Meeting on March 30th, this is a convenient local opportunity to learn more. The New Hampshire communities of Brookline and Hollis have already both voted “yes’’ at their Annual Meetings in March.

Pre-registration is not required, but is encouraged for planning purposes. To pre-register, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., NRWA Office Administrator, or call (978) 448-0299. Please indicate if you are attending both parts of the program, or if you are attending only the indoor presentations or only the walk.

For a list of other upcoming Wild and Scenic public meetings and events in other communities, or to learn more about the project to designate the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers as Wild and Scenic, visit

Photo: Nashua River; photo by Cindy Knox Photography.