Will you help NRWA celebrate Marion's 85th Birthday?
Marion Stoddart, one of the Nashua River Watershed Association's founders, will celebrate her 85th birthday this May!
To honor her, the NRWA invites you to contribute to the Marion Stoddart Greenway Fund. And, in addition to donating to that Fund, we invite you to send her your birthday greetings which we will collect in a book to be presented to her.
Marion's work to restore the Nashua River and protect our watershed has touched thousands of lives over nearly five decades. This is our opportunity to say thank you to Marion and let her know what her efforts mean to all of us.
Her long time passion has been to expand and complete the protection of the greenway along the Nashua River and its tributaries. Marion speaks of a vision of sparkling blue water with a ribbon of green alongside it. Currently, 156 miles of riverside greenway are permanently protected, but there is much remaining to be done. Forwarding the greenway vision is an important component of NRWA's watershed approach to protecting our natural resources.
The Marion Stoddart Greenway Fund is dedicated to the Nashua River Watershed Association's programs and activities to expand, promote and permanently protect greenways along the rivers, streams, and wetlands in the Nashua River watershed; to increase awareness of the role of greenways in protecting water quality and in providing habitat and corridors for wildlife; and where appropriate to encourage the use of greenways for education and recreation.
We invite you to contribute to the Marion Stoddart Greenway Fund, and to add your birthday greetings to Marion's special 85th birthday book.
Honor Marion today and help us continue the work to fulfill the greenway vision!
Donate Now to the Marion Stoddart Greenway Fund. You will receive instructions on how to submit your birthday message for Marion's book when you receive your donation acknowledgement email. Messages need to be received by May 24th to guarantee inclusion in the birthday book.
We hope that you'll share this message with others who you think would be interested in sending greetings to Marion.
If you prefer to mail your donation and greetings, please send them to:
Stoddart Greenway Fund
Nashua River Watershed Association
592 Main Street
Groton, MA 01450
Top image: Photo of Marion by Bob Lotz of Groton, MA.
Bottom image: Original oil painting of the Nashua River at the Petapawag site in Groton by Heather Stoddart Barros, in honor of her mother's 85th birthday.
The NRWA is a non-profit organization [501 c (3)]. Your contribution to the NRWA is tax-deductible as allowable by law.
Healthy Watersheds Foster Healthy Economies
The Nashua River Watershed Association has always recognized the vital link between a healthy environment and a healthy economy-- it's right in our mission statement. We're pleased that businesses, governmental agencies, and individuals are increasingly realizing that protecting natural resources boosts our economy and helps us to create sustainable communities.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's report The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds (EPA 841-N-12-004 April 2012) concludes that the "ecosystem services" provided by healthy intact watersheds are "necessary for our social and economic well-being." Those ecosystem services include minimizing vulnerability and damages from natural disasters, reducing costs of drinking water treatment, cycling of nutrients and carbon storage, increasing property values, and providing recreational opportunities. Read the full EPA report.
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation produced a study that examined the value of jobs, tax revenues, and other economic impacts related to recreation, natural resource protection, and historic preservation. This study, like the EPA's, discusses the value of ecosystem services and recreation both of which are enhanced by preserving a healthy watershed. The study's Summary Findings (in 2011 dollars) are that the combined value of outdoor recreation, nature conservation and historic preservation add up to approximately 9.4 million jobs nationwide, $107 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues, and total economic activity (equivalent to GDP) of $1.06 trillion. View NFWF study The Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the United States (Oct. 2011).
A third interesting article is "Paying for Nature" by Bryan Walsh published in Time magazine in February 21, 2011. He states, "Many greens — and a growing chorus of corporate suits — are arguing that nature in its own right provides economically valuable services that underpin business." At the end of the article, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris concludes that, "The economy and the environment are interdependent." And as Walsh ends, "they're united by one color: green." Read full Time article.
The NRWA has long enjoyed support from local businesses (see a list of our Business supporters). We welcome this national movement toward broader partnerships between businesses, government, and conservation groups to reach our common goal of both a healthy economy and a healthy environment-- for the well-being of us all.
NRWA's Outdoor Wellness Walking Program
The NRWA is leading the Outdoor Wellness Walking program on the Nashua River Rail Trail five days a week—Mondays & Wednesdays at 8:00 a.m. in Ayer, Tuesdays & Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. in Groton, and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. in Ayer and 3:00 p.m. in Groton. The public is invited to walk for wellness as many days of the week as they choose, while simultaneously learning more about plants, animals, and ecosystems along the trail. The Ayer group has even seen turkey hens and poults (young turkeys). These free walks are guided by NRWA's land, water, and education program directors. The walking program began in June and will continue through the fall and beyond. New participants are always welcome.
In addition to the weekly walks, there will be a series of eleven hikes in eleven different communities beginning in September. These hikes are intended to introduce people to properties in their own area where they can walk for exercise. The walks also provide "naturalist observations" about what can be seen at each property.
There will be a series of presentations including lectures, films, and a special program with Henry David Thoreau interpreter, Richard Smith, on Thoreau's famous essay "Walking." The Nashoba Valley Medical Center is collaborating with NRWA on healthy lifestyle lecture topics such as benefits of exercise to chronic disease prevention and management, diet for wellness, and stress and mood management.
The primary goal of the NRWA's Outdoor Walking Wellness program is to help people in Nashoba Valley communities develop the habit of taking regular walks that will enable them to prevent a suite of health problems. The secondary goal is to introduce people to their natural world, leading to a positive environmental experience, improved mental health and personal well-being, and a higher quality of life. This program is being funded in part by a grant from the Nashoba Valley Community Health Care Fund.
Nashua River Wild & Scenic River Study Act Passed by House Committee
On August 1, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced that her “Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act” bill was approved by the full House Committee on Natural Resources. The Committee recommends that the bill should be considered by the House of Representatives as a whole.
NRWA's Executive Director, Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, submitted testimony in favor of HR 5319, the “Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act”, and spoke at a legislative hearing held at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C. by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands. She testified along with Massachusetts Congresswoman Tsongas, who introduced the legislation in May.
The legislation would authorize a three-year study of segments of the
On May 2, 2012, by the banks of the Nashua River in Groton, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas unveiled her legislation. “The Rivers of the Fifth District have helped to shape our history, culture, and economy for generations,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The legislation that I am introducing recognizes the great role that the Nashua has played in contributing to our region and would help to keep the River clean, vibrant and easily accessible. Thanks to the work of the Nashua River Watershed Association, the Nashua has undergone a tremendous recovery and its designation as a Wild & Scenic River would enable additional preservation efforts while allowing this natural treasure to be enjoyed for many years to come.”
“The Nashua River Watershed Association is absolutely delighted that Congresswoman Tsongas is introducing the Nashua River Wild and Scenic River Study Act,” said Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell, Executive Director Nashua River Watershed Association. “The Study provides a very significant opportunity for stakeholders to come together to develop a River Management Plan for these beautiful stretches of river that mean so much to our communities. Undertaking the Study as part of the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program enables stakeholders to take advantage of expertise and funding that would otherwise be unavailable.”
If approved, the Nashua would join the Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet as rivers in the Fifth District that have been designated as Wild & Scenic. The Nashua is considered a strong candidate for this designation because the river previously ranked among the nation’s most polluted, and while significant progress has been made in cleaning up the river, threats to water quality from polluted runoff and biological diversity are still present. A 4.8 mile segment in Pepperell would be excluded from the study because of an existing hydro project that FERC is in the midst of permitting.
Tsongas is a member of the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives and has worked to preserve and protect the rivers and waterways in the Fifth Congressional District. She hosts an annual ‘River Day’ to highlight the importance of the Rivers in the communities she represents and to recognize the organizations, volunteers and different levels of government working together to sustain and preserve the integrity of these resources.