Contact Nashua River Watershed Association

Mailing address:
Nashua River Watershed Association
592 Main Street
Groton, MA 01450-1230

Phone: (978) 448-0299
Fax: (978) 448-0941

General email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Individual staff emails

Regular office hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(with the exception of holidays and special occasions)

For a Google Map and directions from your home to the NRWA River Resource Center.

For questions or comments about this website, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the NRWA rent canoes and kayaks?

A: No, but we’d be happy to refer you to local outfitters who do and to provide you with ideas of great places to paddle. Don’t forget to consider buying an NRWA Canoe and Kayak Guide for maps of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers and information on put ins, hazards, and what you might see during your paddle.

Q: Is the NRWA a governmental agency?

A: No, we are not a governmental, regulatory, or enforcement entity. The NRWA is an independent 501( c )(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the natural resources within our geographic region as defined by the watershed of the Nashua River. The NRWA works closely with federal, state and local government officials and agencies to forward our mission. As a non-profit, the NRWA depends on the support of members, donors, and grantmakers (including some government grants).

Q: What is a watershed?

A: Click here. The NRWA uses the term “watershed” to define both the geographic region in which we work as well as our approach to protecting resources, i.e. melding projects to further good land use choices in order to protect water quality and forming inter-municipal and inter-state coalitions to act on a regional landscape.

Q: Does the NRWA purchase land for conservation?

A: While it has been NRWA’s decision to date not to seek to hold land in fee or Conservation Restriction on land, it is not prohibited by our by-laws. In cases of last resort where no other eligible conservation entity will hold a Conservation Restriction, the NRWA may consider doing so. View NRWA General Policy on Conservation Restrictions. Although the NRWA does not itself hold land, the NRWA works in partnership with other entities to facilitate the protection of priority parcels.

Q: Are the rivers safe to swim in?

A: Although the NRWA would not generally recommend swimming in the Nashua River due to continuing issues with non-point source pollution, there are many places to swim in the watershed. Most towns and cities in the watershed maintain town beaches on their ponds. Some of these beaches are open to the general public and some are restricted to town residents. The Town Clerk will provide you with information on access to area ponds in any given town.

Q: Is it safe to eat fish (bass, panfish, catfish, etc.) caught in the Nashua River?

A: MA Fish Consumption Advisories
NH Fish Consumption Advisories

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the NRWA rent canoes and kayaks?

A: No, but we’d be happy to refer you to local outfitters who do and to provide you with ideas of great places to paddle. Don’t forget to consider buying an NRWA Canoe and Kayak Guide for maps of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers and information on put ins, hazards, and what you might see during your paddle.

Q: Is the NRWA a governmental agency?

A: No, we are not a governmental, regulatory, or enforcement entity. The NRWA is an independent 501( c )(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the natural resources within our geographic region as defined by the watershed of the Nashua River. The NRWA works closely with federal, state and local government officials and agencies to forward our mission. As a non-profit, the NRWA depends on the support of members, donors, and grantmakers (including some government grants).

Q: What is a watershed?

A: Click here. The NRWA uses the term “watershed” to define both the geographic region in which we work as well as our approach to protecting resources, i.e. melding projects to further good land use choices in order to protect water quality and forming inter-municipal and inter-state coalitions to act on a regional landscape.

Q: Does the NRWA purchase land for conservation?

A: While it has been NRWA’s decision to date not to seek to hold land in fee or Conservation Restriction on land, it is not prohibited by our by-laws. In cases of last resort where no other eligible conservation entity will hold a Conservation Restriction, the NRWA may consider doing so. View NRWA General Policy on Conservation Restrictions. Although the NRWA does not itself hold land, the NRWA works in partnership with other entities to facilitate the protection of priority parcels.

Q: Are the rivers safe to swim in?

A: Although the NRWA would not generally recommend swimming in the Nashua River due to continuing issues with non-point source pollution, there are many places to swim in the watershed. Most towns and cities in the watershed maintain town beaches on their ponds. Some of these beaches are open to the general public and some are restricted to town residents. The Town Clerk will provide you with information on access to area ponds in any given town.

Q: Is it safe to eat fish (bass, panfish, catfish, etc.) caught in the Nashua River?

A: MA Fish Consumption Advisories
A: NH Freshwater Fish Consumption Guidelines

Privacy Policy

Introduction

We have created this statement to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. We do not collect personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary. This policy is your guide to how we will handle information we learn about you from your visit to our Web site.

Use of Links

Throughout our Web pages, we provide links to other servers which may contain information of interest to our readers. We take no responsibility for, and exercise no control over, the organizations, views, or accuracy of the information contained on other servers. Creating a text link from your Web site to our site does not require permission. If you have a link you'd like us to consider adding to our Web site, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject "Link request."

Use of Text and Images

If you would like to publish information that you find on our Web site, please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Accessibility

This Web site is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities, and to comply with federal guidelines concerning accessibility. We welcome your comments. If you have suggestions on how to make the site more accessible, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reading or Downloading

We collect and store only the following information about you: the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example, aol.com, if you are connecting from an America Online account, or princeton.edu if you are connecting from Princeton University's domain), the date and time you access our site, and the Internet address of the Web site from which you linked to our site.

We use the information we collect to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site, and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

Online Profile Updates and Donations

If you share personally identifying information, this information will be used only to provide you with more targeted content. We may use your contact information to send further information about our organization or to contact you when necessary. You may always opt-out of receiving future mailings; see the "Opt Out" section below.

Sending us an Email

You also may decide to send us personally identifying information, for example, in an electronic mail message containing a question or comment, or by filling out a Web form that provides us this information. We use personally identifying information from email primarily to respond to your requests. We may forward your email to other employees who are better able to answer you questions. We may also use your email to contact you in the future about our programs that may be of interest.

We want to be very clear: We will not obtain personally identifying information about you when you visit our site, unless you choose to provide such information to us. Providing such information is strictly voluntary. Except as might be required by law, we do not share any information we receive with any outside parties.

If you sign up for one of our email lists, we will only send you the kinds of information you have requested. We won't share your name or email address with any outside parties.

Kids and Privacy

For children who visit our site, special rules apply. We do not request personal information about children, such as first and last name or street address and city. When kids send email to us, their online contact information (email address) is not used to re-contact them and is not maintained in retrievable form.

Opt-Out or Change Your Contact Information

Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving communications from us through a special online form. You may choose to receive only specific communications or none at all. You may also update your contact information previously provided to us through another online form.

Questions about our policies

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Web site, you can contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (978) 448-0299.

Employment Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in the Nashua River Watershed Association. The NRWA is an equal opportunity organization and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.

Currently we have no open positions.

Governance

The NRWA Board of Directors and Executive Director hold themselves, and the Association, to the highest standards of governance and accountability, and ensure that the organization is in compliance with all laws applicable to non-profits. It is their goal to further the mission of the NRWA, create a sustainable organization, and maintain the integrity of the Association on behalf of our members, donors, and supporters.

Governance Structure

The Nashua River Watershed Association is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the Association’s membership at our Annual Meeting. The legal responsibilities of the NRWA Board of Directors are to set policy, approve budgets, hire the Executive Director, and generally oversee the affairs of the organization. The Board has a minimum of seven directors with no maximum. The Board of Directors meets every other month. The Executive Committee fulfills the obligations of the full Board between meeting sessions. The NRWA’s professional Executive Director is responsible for the daily operations of the organization and hiring of staff.

Current NRWA Board of Directors and Staff.

Annual Reports

2017 Annual Report
FY2017 Financial Highlights - unaudited 
FY2017 Balance Sheet- unaudited

NRWA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws

NRWA Articles of Incorporation
NRWA Bylaws

NRWA Policies

Administrative Policies
Board Member Job Description
Code of Conduct Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
CORI Policy
Data Security Policy
Document Retention Policy
Investment Policy
Whistleblower Policy 

Program Policies
Conservation Restriction Policy
Dam Removal Policy
Sustainable Water Use Policy 

NRWA Tax Documents

501c3 IRS Tax Exempt Determination Letter 

Publications page hero

NRWA Publications: Online and For Sale

The following publications are available through the NRWA. To obtain any of the hard copy publications or to purchase Publications which are for sale, visit the River Resource Center. 

View Online

NRWA Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
FY2017 Financial Highlights- unaudited
FY2017 Balance Sheet- unaudited

NRWA Newsletters
The NRWA newsletter is mailed bi-monthly to members, free of charge.

2017 Newsletter Issue 1

2015 Newsletter Issue 2
2015 Newsletter Issue 1

2014 Newsletter Issue 1

2013 Newsletter Issue 2
2013 Newsletter Issue 1

2012 Newsletter Issue 2
2012 Newsletter Issue 1

2011 Newsletter Issue 4
2011 Newsletter Issue 3
2011 Newsletter Issue 2
2011 Newsletter Issue 1

Be sure to sign up for NRWA Enews to receive our monthly enewsletter with updates on our project work and advance notice of upcoming programs.

Other NRWA Publications

1995 to 2020 Vision for the Nashua River Watershed
The 2020 Plan establishes a Vision for the watershed in the next quarter century, with goals and strategies for achieving the Vision. Developed by NRWA with input from watershed communities and many local groups, agencies, and individuals.

Books for Sale

Nashua River Canoe & Kayak Guide
Sixth Edition

Published June 2017

NRWA's newly revised pocket-sized Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide provides information on canoe put-ins and take-outs, river hazards like dams and rapids, portages, and mile-by-mile notes for all paddleable segments of the Nashua, Nissitissit, Squannacook, North Nashua, and Stillwater Rivers.  The Guide is full color, 120-pages, spiral bound for easy use, and pocket-sized to fit in your jacket pocket or backpack (4.5” x 6”).  

Price: $16 per Guide (plus shipping and handling if mailed)  Order Online Now.

You can also purchase the Nashua River Canoe and Kayak Guide at Nashoba Paddler in West Groton.

National Geographic's
Written in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth's Most Precious Resource
(Hardcover)

In 1993, National Geographic chronicled the story of the clean-up of the Nashua River in its special Water edition. Water resources have become increasingly recognized as a top priority for local and international communities around the globe to assess and protect. With that in mind, National Geographic turned to the world's leading water scientists, authors, and activists to share their thoughts and stories of their work to ensure that there will be enough clean water for all in the future. The result was Written in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth's Most Precious Resource, a collection of essays from world leaders in the field of water supply protection and clean water innovations, including NRWA founder, Marion Stoddart. Other essayists, include Alexandra Cousteau, social environmental advocate and granddaughter of legendary marine scientist Jacques Cousteau; Peter Gleick, environmental visionary and winner of a 2003 MacArthur "genius grant"; Bill McKibben, bestselling author and winner of a Guggenheim fellowship; and Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and National Geographic’s first Freshwater Fellow.

Price: $26 (Plus $5.00 shipping and handling if mailed).
Note: $13 of your purchase goes to support the work of the NRWA!

A River Ran Wild
by Lynne Cherry
(Hardcover)
www.lynnecherry.com

The true story of the history, the polluting and the clean-up of the Nashua River. Lynne Cherry is the author and/or illustrator of over thirty award-winning books for children. She is also a conservationist whose books are used to launch campaigns to save land, clean up rivers, save forests and help migratory birds.

Price: $17 (Plus $5.00 shipping and handling if mailed).
Note: $6 of your purchase goes to support the work of the NRWA!

The Nashua River Watershed Association River Resource Center - Photo by Kristopher Kvenvold

NRWA River Resource Center

The Nashua River Watershed Association is headquartered at our River Resource Center in Groton, Massachusetts (just one block from the mainstem Nashua River and Petapawag Boat Launch). Map and directions. The River Resource Center houses staff offices, large and small meeting spaces, a collection of wildlife mounts, and the Bill Farnsworth Conservation Clearinghouse. A short self-guided Nature Trail on the property is open to visitors. The trail is less than a half-mile on flat wooded terrain where visitors can view local flora and find signs of local birds and mammals.

Bill Farnsworth Conservation Clearinghouse

Named after one of the NRWA’s founders, the Bill Farnsworth Conservation Clearinghouse provides citizens, watershed planners, local governments, teachers, students, and others access to a wide variety of information about our watershed. The collection of information available includes watershed planning resources, such as by-laws, open space and master plans, historic archives on conservation, resources for educators, audio-visual materials, and materials on recreation in our watershed. The NRWA is in the process of electronically cataloguing the Clearinghouse collection. Those interested in using the Clearinghouse are encouraged to contact the NRWA to make an appointment to do so. Materials must be used on-site, and are not available for check-out.

Contact Us

40 on Our 40th Awards: NRWA honors 40 individuals on 40th anniversary - Photo by Bob Lotz

NRWA Partners: Strength through Collaboration

The Nashua River Watershed Association’s position as a regional organization allows us to work across town and state boundaries, and to work with groups and individuals focused on land protection, water quality, or environmental education, all in the effort to improve and sustain a healthy quality of life in our communities. One of the Association’s greatest strengths is its ability to form partnerships, gathering together interested stakeholders, government officials, community leaders, educators, and funders, to accomplish both large and small scale projects.

For example, to complete land protection projects, the NRWA has partnered with the Trust for Public Land, The Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, along with local land trusts like the Groton Conservation Trust, North County Land Trust, and Beaver Brook Association. The Association has worked collaboratively with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the City of Fitchburg, and sportsmen’s groups like Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited to protect water quality and quantity. When providing environmental education opportunities to youth and adults, NRWA works with public schools in Harvard, Groton, Fitchburg, Nashua, and in many other communities, along with private schools like Applewild School in Fitchburg, and participates in groups such as the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Environmental Education (a group advising the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs).

On the occasion of our 40th anniversary, the NRWA took the opportunity to honor our partners through our 40 on Our 40th Awards, recognizing 40 individuals who are both worthy of recognition in their own right, and who also represent the scores of individuals and organizations that have worked with the NRWA through the years.

Also supporting the work of the NRWA are our business partners, along with individual members and donors. Your financial support makes our ongoing work possible.

It would be impossible to list the multitude of organizations and individuals who have partnered with and supported the work of the NRWA; we cannot accomplish our mission alone, and we look forward to a future of continued partnerships and collaboration.

 

Board and Staff

Staff

Executive Director
Elizabeth Ainsley Campbell

Elizabeth Ainsley CampbellElizabeth joined the NRWA as Executive Director in 1994. Under her leadership the Association has become more sophisticated in its watershed approach, has grown in its capacity to protect the natural resources of the watershed, and has launched an award-winning environmental education program for youth and adults. The Association is making significant strides in fulfilling the goals of its long-range “2020 Vision Plan.” Elizabeth has provided oversight on many large projects, including the “Protecting Today’s Water for Tomorrow” multi-year partnership project funded by the U.S. EPA for over $700,000 which garnered more than $400,000 in matching services from three dozen partners. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College in General Studies and a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Communications.

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Land Programs and Outreach Director
Al Futterman, MPH

Al FuttermanAl forwards the NRWA’s Greenway Program and Land Protection Program, working with landowners to permanently protect riverfront and other priority properties through conservation restrictions or easements and through acquisition by local land trusts, municipalities, or state and federal conservation agencies. Al participates in numerous collaborations, including the Fitchburg Greenway Committee and MassLIFT. The NRWA serves as Sponsor of the Nashua River Greenway Forest Legacy Program, and Mr. Futterman oversees that effort. Al also assists watershed towns with their Open Space plans and provides educational programs for adults at the River Resource Center. Al has been the NRWA’s Land Programs and Outreach Director since 1999. Al holds a Bachelor’s degree in Rural Sociology from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University, and has done additional graduate study at the University of Massachusetts Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Program at Amherst.

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River Classroom & Environmental Education Director 
Stacey Billings Chilcoat

Stacey Billings ChilcoatStacey coordinates and implements the NRWA’s “on the water”, canoe-based education programs for youth and adults serving 2000+ participants annually. In this position, she serves as lead environmental educator and river guide on river trips for all ages. She also works with the Environmental Education Director to create and lead “off water” programs including in school and school yard science classes, family workshops, afterschool nature and science clubs, and outdoor adventure hiking programs for young teens. Stacey serves as an educational consultant to teachers, administrators, and schools developing inquiry-based science programs within the Nashua River watershed. She has been the NRWA’s River Classroom Director since 2001. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She is certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid, and holds an American Canoe Association Level 3: River Canoeing Instructor Certification.

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Environmental Education Associate 
Mary H. Marro

Mary H. MarroMary coordinates and implements programs for 7,000+ students and adults annually. She has initiated curriculum-based environmental education school programs in Pepperell, Fitchburg, Ayer, Leominster, Ashburnham, and Shirley, MA and in Nashua, NH. Mary serves as Scientist-in-Residence in several schools. Mary has provided professional development and college credit for teachers in several communities, at Fitchburg State University, with the Museum Institute for Teaching Science, and at the NRWA’s River Resource Center. Mary develops service learning projects for schools that provide opportunities for teachers and students to be involved in watershed stewardship. She provides youth programming afterschool, during school vacations and in the summer, and also offers popular programs for the public. Mary has been the NRWA’s Environmental Education Director since 2001. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Education from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology from Antioch New England Graduate School.

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Environmental Education Assistant 
Gaynor Bigelbach

Gaynor BigelbachGaynor grew up, largely outdoors, in Wales, which, paradoxically, led her to a BA in Dramatic Literature. She worked for BBC Television for several years, until life in dark editing suites became too unpalatable.  On arriving in the USA, Gaynor immersed herself in learning about the ecology of eastern forests and waterways. After working as a freelance correspondent for local newspapers, writing about environmental issues, and family outdoor activities, she spent a year at NRWA as their Americorps Service Learning Coordinator. She has been an educational consultant for NRWA for a number of years, in addition to working as a River Classroom Guide, and a Discovery Museum Traveling Science Teacher.

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Water Programs Director
Martha Snow Morgan

Martha Snow MorganMartha supervises the NRWA’s Water Monitoring Program, including authoring the NRWA’s EPA, MassDEP and NH DES-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan for the Water Monitoring Program. She manages other water quality-related projects, including Bacterial Source Investigations and nutrient investigations, and provides comments and advocacy on issues concerning water quantity and quality as they affect the Nashua River watershed, including NPDES permits, dam issues, water conservation, and land use issues as they affect water. Martha has been the NRWA’s Water Programs Director since 1999. Martha holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an Associate Degree in Animal Science, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, and a Master’s degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Maine at Orono.

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Water Monitoring Coordinator
Kathryn Nelson

Kathryn NelsonKath coordinates seasonal water sample collection with the NRWA stream monitoring teams and supervises laboratory analysis for the NRWA’s Water Monitoring Program. She works closely with Water Programs Director in addressing a wide range of water issues. Kath also coordinates student interns and volunteers who assist with special projects, data analysis, and field work, including the NRWA’s bio-control project to reduce invasive purple loosestrife. Kath has been the NRWA’s Water Monitoring Coordinator since 2006. Additionally, Kath serves as Chair of the Lower Merrimack River Advisory Committee, and is a member of the NH Rivers Management Advisory Committee providing input on stream flow policy and regulation. Kath holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Boston College and a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Communications Manager
Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold

Wynne Treanor-KvenvoldWynne publicizes NRWA events and programs through press releases, bi-monthly newsletters, monthly e-newsletters, the NRWA website, and various other avenues. She is a member of the staff Development Team, working on online appeals, assisting with event planning and logistics, and supporting individual and organizational membership acquisition and retention efforts. She also works on adult education programming and serves as staff IT support. Wynne has been the NRWA’s Communications Manager since 2000. Wynne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies from Winona State University in Minnesota.

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Development Manager
Lauri Johnson

Lauri JohnsonLauri focuses on increasing awareness of and support for the Association from individuals and businesses in the community. She coordinates support from individuals via memberships, annual appeals, and major gifts as well as business and organization membership, sponsorship, and matching gifts. She also supports the Association’s marketing, planning, and outreach activities. Lauri has been the NRWA’s Development Manager since 2002. Lauri holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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Office Administrator 
Kate McNierney

Kate McNierney joined the team in January of 2016. She coordinates the office volunteers, assists with programs, greets visitors, and keeps everything running smoothly. She works closely with the Executive Director and supports the work of the Development Team and Program staff. In addition, she takes on special projects and is currently overseeing the renovation of the NRWA’s River Resource Center. Kate has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Dartmouth College.

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Board

Judy Larter, Paul Matisse, and Lucy Wallace, current and past NRWA presidents - photo by Bob Lotz.

Judy Larter, Paul Matisse, and Lucy Wallace, current and past NRWA presidents

President
Lucy Wallace, Harvard, MA
Lucy served as Grants Administrator for National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, doing wetlands, resource protection and restoration, and land-related grants. She has served as a Member of the Harvard Board of Selectmen, and also served on the Harvard Conservation Commission, Harvard Planning Board, and chaired the Harvard Town Plan Committee. Lucy has been involved with Devens redevelopment planning since the base closure announcement in the early 1990’s. She is a Board member of the Harvard Conservation Trust.

 


 

Vice President
Melissa Maranda, Fitchburg, MA
Melissa is a life-long resident of North Central Massachusetts and currently lives in Fitchburg. Melissa is the Senior Vice President and Senior Trust Officer of Rollstone Bank and Trust’s Wealth Management Division. The Bank has offices in Fitchburg, Leominster, Harvard, Townsend, and Worcester. Melissa holds a Law Degree from UNH School of Law, and has extensive non-profit, fund-raising, and sale management experience. In her former position as Director of Gift Planning for the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, Melissa was with the Foundation during its first decade and provided leadership in raising over $40 million in charitable assets. Melissa volunteers in the community and her interests include many outdoor activities.

 


 

Secretary 
Robert Pine, Groton, MA
Bob is a principal and founder of Pine and Swallow Environmental where he is Director of Environmental Planning and Engineering. A Professional Engineer and a Landscape Architect, he has been involved with major landscape development projects throughout the United States and worldwide. He has served as Trustee for the Groton Conservation Trust for over 30 years, as a Director of the Groton Land Foundation, and on numerous Groton town boards and committees. He also served as Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Squannassit and Petapawag Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. 

 


 

Treasurer 
Fredericka Baytos, Stoughton, MA

Freddie has been with the Deluxe Corporation for over 15 years, most of that time in the position of Corporate Marketing Research Director for the Minneapolis headquartered company, which has a satellite location in Groton, MA. Freddie belongs to professional associations, such as the American Marketing Association. She also volunteers time to assist various community organizations, is an avid hiker, enjoys flower gardening and has a special interest in protecting and restoring natural places. Freddie previously served on the NRWA Board of Directors from 2001 to 2007.

 


  

Executive Committee Member-at-Large
Ralph Baker, Fitchburg, MA
Ralph is the Chairman and Chief Scientist of TerraTherm, Inc., an environmental remediation contractor based in Fitchburg.  A co-founder of the firm, Ralph holds a Ph.D. in Soil Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has been an environmental scientist for 40 years, and is an expert in hazardous waste cleanup technology.  He is the author of over sixty-five technical papers and four books.  Ralph was formerly Chair of the Groton Board of Health, and has been a long-time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club. Ralph previously served on the NRWA Board from 2006-2012.

 


Directors

Sue Edwards, Pepperell, MA
Sue is an aspiring illustrator and essayist. She has been a movie maker, a Youth and Community Services Librarian, and she founded Extra Mile Design, a firm she recently retired after 20+ years serving libraries and non-profits with identity programs, marketing campaigns, and websites. Sue is the Executive Producer of several documentaries including “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000”, a film about NRWA’s founder. She has been a long-term champion of friends and causes devoted to peace, and to the well-being of people and our planet. She enjoys drawing, dancing, cat-sitting in cities worldwide, and riding her bicycle and Amtrak long distances.

 


 

Arthur Feehan, Lunenburg, MA
Arthur is an avid outdoorsman.  You can often find him on a stream fly fishing or taking runs with the family dog through the natural areas the Nashua River Watershed Association has helped to conserve.  He is a firm believer that you protect what you love.  Art is currently a Technology and Regulatory Consultant assisting clients in the financial industry transform their business. Prior to consulting Art held the position of Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank where he developed and ran several successful businesses.

 


 

Michael Fleming, Leominster, MA
Mike is recently retired from the MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (formerly Dept. of Environmental Management).He earned a BS in Forestry (UMass Amherst).He started out as a Forester working on State Forests and Parks land in Essex, Middlesex, & Berkshire Counties, and with private and municipal forest landowners in Worcester County.He then served as the SuAsCo Watershed Team Leader with the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs/MA Watershed Initiative, a broad partnership of state & federal agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, local officials, and individuals working on watershed related issues, and was appointed as one of two gubernatorial appointees to the SuAsCo Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council. For 12 years, he served as MA Forest Legacy Program Coordinator, a US Forest Service funded program with a goal to protect important forest resources.

 


 

Warren Kimball, Boylston, MA
Warren is recently retired from the MA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Warren has a BS in Microbiology (UMass Amherst) and a MS in Environmental Engineering (Northeastern University). Warren joined the DEP in 1972 as one of the original “Water Wrats,” sampling, analyzing, and modeling rivers and lakes. He has served as the head of the Water Quality Standards, Biology, Research and Demonstration Programs. Warren was involved in revisions to the Water Quality Standards for 25 years and wrote the CSO, mixing zone, thermal, toxics & antidegradation policies. As a consultant to EPA, he helped found the Water Quality Standards Academy, assisted with the National CSO Policy & the National Water Quality Assessment Guidance (305 (B) requirements). He has worked with DEP’s Streamflow Task Force, and serves as a consultant to USGS and EPA’s National Water Quality Monitoring Council on subcommittees for the Water Information Services & Volunteer Monitoring.

 


 

Ray Martino, Hollis, NH
Ray previously lived for many years in Lunenburg, MA. He is the President and CEO of Simonds International in Fitchburg, joining them in 1999 after a twenty year career with The Stanley Works. Ray has an MA in Economics and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He is active in leadership roles on many Boards, including Vice Chair of Workers Credit Union, Chair of North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, Chair of Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation and Director of American Knife Manufacturer’s Association, and is a former Director of the Fitchburg State University Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the University of Connecticut School of Business Board of Overseers. Ray enjoys outdoors activities – including hiking, running, golfing, skiing, and time on his tractor.

 


 

John Maynard, Groton, MA
John has been a resident of Groton, MA since 2009. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1965. After a two year fellowship in Nairobi, where he met his wife Penelope (Pepe), he spent his career practicing business law in New York City. He was managing and presiding partner of the firm of Reboul MacMurray Hewitt Maynard from 1974 to 2003, when that firm became the New York office of Ropes Gray. He is an experienced sailor; he and Pepe have spent many summers cruising the coast of Maine. Pepe is an experienced horticuturalist and garden designer. After John’s retirement he and Pepe decided to leave behind the rocky hillside garden they had built together in Westchester County in favor of a more level piece of property overlooking Surrenden Farm, where they have been at work on an ambitious garden. John has been a trustee of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge MA since 1974.


 

Daniel Nigrosh, Boston, MA 
Dan is President of Can-Am Machinery of Fitchburg. Since 1988 Can-Am Machinery has been dealing in secondhand papermaking machinery from mill buildings along the North Nashua River. Prior to that Dan worked at a recycled paperboard mill in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Dan earned a BA in Economics and Political Science from Boston University. Dan is active with the Fitchburg Greenway Committee, The Rodman Ride for Kids, and has been an NRWA member for 20 years. Dan and his wife spend an increasing amount of time at their Westminster, MA property where Dan enjoys Paddle Boarding on Wyman Lake. Dan also enjoys golf, skiing, and cycling.


 

Thomas Ryden, Pepperell, MA
Tom is cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of Vgo Communications, a start-up company headquartered in Nashua, NH that provides robotic telepresence products to the healthcare, education and business markets.  Tom serves on the board of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, a non-profit technology trade association.  He also chairs the association’s robotics cluster.  Tom has an engineering degree from University of Vermont and an MBA from Bentley University.  In his free time, Tom enjoys kayaking on the river with his children.

 


 

Gerald Smith, Lancaster, MA
Gerry, along with his wife Janet, have lived on Spectacle Pond for the past three years. They previously lived in Bolton for 24 years. Gerry recently retired; he previously worked in the environmental field as a Freshwater Biologist for some 40 years.  He was the founder and President of Aquatic Control Technology, Inc., a lake management and restoration firm based in Sutton, MA. He was also a Principal and Biologist with IEP Inc., an environmental consulting firm, formerly of Northborough.  Gerry served a three- year term as a Director of the North American Lake Management Society; is a Past-President of the Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society; and has been active with the MA Congress of Lakes & Ponds since its inception. He enjoys most outdoor activities and particularly fly-fishing. 

 


 

William Stevenson, Harvard, MA
Will has been a resident of Harvard since 1997. Will is the Director of Integration and Business Development for SOLitude Lake Management. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering from Union College, Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of Forestry, and an MBA from Babson College. He has spent his professional career working in a variety of positions and industries. He serves on the Advisory Council for MassAudubon and the Board of Wildlife Conservation Trust.

 


 

Frank Sweet, Boxborough, MA
Frank is a senior executive at AECOM, a global engineering and consulting firm. He has served in a variety of positions including leadership of the Environment Business Line, the Northeast Region and Corporate Operations. Frank also serves on the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, a non-partisan organization which has done extensive public policy work on education, health care, workforce development and infrastructure issues. He served on the Tewksbury Planning Board for 10 years and chaired the town’s Master Plan Committee. Frank Sweet earned a BS in Geology at UMASS Amherst and an MBA at Northeastern University. Frank and his wife Robin have six children and are very active in youth sports. Frank also enjoys most outdoor activities including fly fishing and hiking.

 


 

Alison Tocci, Shirley, MA
After 30 years in the media and non-profit sectors in NYC, Alison now runs her own consulting company called Meet The Future, LLC based in her home town of Shirley, MA. Previously, Alison was the General Manager of Brooklyn Paper Publications, Publisher of Brooklyn Bridge Magazine, and President CEO of Time Out North America Media. In 2011 she was named President of the City Parks Foundation (CPF), the non-profit arm of the NYC Parks Department where she oversaw a $30m budget and mission to provide free environmental and arts programming in parks throughout the city. While at CPF, Alison launched the first fundraising Candlelight Dinner in Central Park, which raised $1.2m in donations in one night. Alison was Chair of the Waterfront Museum in Brooklyn, NY from 1999 to 2011 and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served two years in Gabon, Central Africa. In 2010, Alison and her husband George Tocci reimagined and successfully revitalized the historic Bull Run in Shirley as a farm-to-table restaurant and live music venue.


 

 Charles Vander Linden, Groton, MA
Chuck is a co-founder (1981) and partner in the law firm Starr Vander Linden, LLP, which has offices in Fitchburg and Worcester. Chuck graduated from Harvard Law School in 1976, then served as a law clerk for the Honorable Reuben Goodman on the MA Appeals Court. He has been engaged in the practice of law in central Massachusetts since 1977. He served as a member of the Groton Zoning Board of Appeals for 15 years and has been a Trustee of the Groton Conservation Trust since 1984.

 


   

Joan Wotkowicz, Townsend, MA
An active NRWA member since the 90's, Joan has volunteered in the water monitoring program and contributed many hours of web site development. She is on the board of directors of Squannacook Greenways, a non-profit building the Squannacook River Rail Trail in Townsend and Groton, and has been a dedicated contributor to the Townsend Meeting Hall Gallery Committee and the Society for Technical Communication. A technical writer and former analytical chemist, she is currently a proposal writer at MorphoTrust, working on identification security technologies such as driver licenses, passports, facial recognition, and fingerprinting. Residing in Townsend near the Squannacook River, she loves to mountain bike, hike, and paddle. Her favorite outings are spending weekends at her cabin in the Berkshires and sea kayaking along the coast of Maine.

 


  

Founding Director Emeritus
Marion Stoddart, Groton, MA
Marion Stoddart - Photo by Nancy OhringerMarion is the founder of the Nashua River Clean-up Committee and the NRWA. She has played a key role in the clean up of the Nashua River and the success of the organization. Marion is an active member of the Groton Greenway Committee. She is the former Chairman of the Groton Conservation Commission and the Groton Conservation Trust. Interests include adventure travel, hiking canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, bicycling and tennis.

Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, President, and CEO of Stonyfield Farm   Sandra Postel, Founder of the Global Water Policy Project and Author   Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Photo by Tami Heilemann   Dr. Eric Chivian, Founder of the Center for Health & the Global Environment and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

NRWA’s Annual Meeting Keynote Speakers

The NRWA has had a long line of distinguished Keynote Speakers at our Annual Meetings. Our speakers have included leaders in the field of freshwater resource protection, notable wildlife conservationists and biologists, acclaimed authors, and leaders in the business world. Their work inspires ours, and we hope the reverse is true as well.

2016    Christopher A. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geography, Clark University
2015    Robert Zimmerman, Jr., Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association
2014    Wayne Klockner, Vice President and MA State Director at The Nature Conservancy
2013    Eric Chivian, M.D., Founder of the Center for Health & the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, recipient of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, Author
2012    Dave Anderson, Director of Education, Society for the Protection of NH Forests
2011    Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
2010    William Waterway Marks, Author and Water Activist
2009    NRWA 40th Anniversary-- 40 on Our 40th Awards
2008    Akiko Busch, Swimmer and Author
2007    Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, President, and CEO of Stonyfield Farm
2006    Mitchell Thomashow, Environmental Educator and Author
2005    Sandra Postel, Founder of the Global Water Policy Project and Author
2004    NRWA 35th Anniversary—Celebratory Contra Dance
2003    Marion Stoddart, NRWA Founder
2002    Ben Kilham, Wildlife Biologist and Author
2001    Peter Alden, Naturalist and Author
2000    Tom Wessels, Ecologist and Author
1999    NRWA 30th Anniversary Celebration
1998    Arthur Bergeron, Historian
1997    Lyn Billman-Golemme, AICP, Regional Planner

NRWA Archival Photo Gallery

The NRWA has a long and rich history, a story memorably told through images. We invite you to view our archival gallery depicting our river in its most polluted days, as well as the people and projects that led to its restoration and ongoing protection efforts.

If you have historic pictures, newspaper clippings, or other material that you would like to share with the NRWA and its supporters, please contact Wynne Treanor-Kvenvold, NRWA Communications Manager, at (978) 448-0299, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NRWA Historical Highlights

The restoration of the Nashua River launched the Nashua River Watershed Association into an international spotlight, a prime example of collaboration to accomplish a goal for the betterment of all society. The Association’s leadership and approach to protecting natural resources through a watershed approach, protecting both land and water throughout the region, continues to be recognized by federal, state, and local governmental leaders, as well as by leaders in the fields of environmental protection and environmental education.

Historical Highlights by Decade

 1960s  Hold your nose! Nashua River ahead  1960s  Marion Stoddart leads drive to clean up the Nashua River

1960s

  • Nashua River Clean-up Committee (NRCC) formed by Marion Stoddart and others
  • US Congress passed Clean Water Act in 1965
  • The North Nashua River in 1966 reached a septic condition and would not support life except for sludge worms
  • Petition and signatures and a bottle of dirty Nashua River waters presented to Massachusetts Governor Volpe and legislators
  • Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, Senator Ted Kennedy, Governor Volpe, and Lt. Governor Richardson visited the Nashua River and met with citizens
  • Massachusetts Clean Water Act signed into law
  • NRCC successfully pushed to raise the River Classification from “U”, unsuitable for the transportation of waste, to “B-“, suitable for all uses including fishing, swimming, and boating

Wastewater treatment plantMine Falls Canal in Nashua NH - Photo by Walter Remeis

1969-1979

  • Nashua River Watershed Association founded on October 16, 1969
  • Petition with 13,000 signatures sent to President Nixon, Governors Sargent and Peterson, Congressmen and Legislators seeking assurance that federal monies be appropriated to help with the construction of waste water treatment plants
  • Nashua River selected for the $15 million River Basin Demonstration Project (Nashua River Program) by the New England Region Commission
  • Mine Falls Canal Park purchased by the City of Nashua with Land and Water Conservation Grant
  • Nashua River Watershed Association’s office established at Fort Devens with donated space and staff time
  • Hydrology and Water Resources Study of the Nashua River watershed completed and published
  • First Plan for the Nashua River watershed published
  • $1 million of the Model River Demonstration Project money spent to construct major sewer interceptors in Nashua, NH
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formed. Goal set that all US waters be fishable and swimmable by 1983
  • Squannacook-Nissitissit Sanctuary Act passed in 1975
  • The US Fish & Wildlife’s Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge established in 1974
  • West Fitchburg and East Fitchburg Treatment plants began operation
  • Squannacook Task Force organized
  • Project CURB (Clean Up Our River Banks) and the Groton Conservation Commission coordinated effort and established the Petapawag Canoe Launch site
  • Pepperell Treatment Plant began operations
  • Bolton Flats Wildlife Area established in 1977
  • Lancaster Greenway Committee helped assemble the 412 acres of the Cook Conservation Area

 Squannacook River in Townsend, MA - Photo by Bill Conaway J. Harry Rich State Forest on the banks of the Nashua River in Groton, MA - Photo by Robin Hebert

1979-1989

  • Lane-Comerford Conservation Area acquired in 1979 for wildlife habitat to mitigate the loss of flood plain with construction of I-90
  • First Nashua River Canoe Guide published and first Canoe Race held
  • The first state-owned Tree Farm in the nation, J. Harry Rich State Forest in Groton, acquired by Department of Environmental Management in1981, with efforts from Rich Tree Farm Task Force
  • NRWA Office relocated to Main Street in Fitchburg after 11 years at Fort Devens
  • Nashua River Greenway Management Plan and the Squannacook and Stillwater River Protection Plans completed. All three rivers designated by the Commonwealth as Scenic Rivers
  • Acid Rain Monitoring (ARM) began in 1983 and the NRWA was district coordinator for the statewide volunteer effort
  • NRWA received the Environmental Merit Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1984
  • Dam in Mine Falls Park in Nashua converted to hydroelectric dam with fish lift
  • United Nations honored NRWA Founder Marion Stoddart, naming her to the “Global 500 Roll of Honor”
  • Clinton Wastewater Treatment Plant started construction, Leominster Wastewater Facility completed and Ayer Wastewater Treatment Plant began advanced treatment
  • Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) began acquisition program in 1986 in Wachusett subwatershed
  • Monoosnoc Brook Greenway Project began with public and private partnership of the city, state, and Searstown developers brought together by NRWA
  • The Stillwater Task Force established in 1988

 Senator Kennedy speaks overlooking the Oxbow RefugeA River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry tells the story of the clean-up of the Nashua River

1989-1999

  • Prevent Pointless Pollution Program began alerting citizens to non-point sources of pollution and their prevention
  • Clinton Wastewater Treatment Facility completed
  • Children’s book about the Nashua River and its environmental history, A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, published in 1992. It went on to win numerous awards including ABA’s Pick of the List, NCSS-CBC Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and selection as a PBS Reading Rainbow book
  • New Hampshire Shorelands Protection Act passed in 1991
  • National Geographic visited the NRWA in 1992 and featured a story on the restoration of the Nashua River in its special Water issue devoted to fresh water in North America
  • NRWA began its volunteer water quality monitoring program in 1992
  • Governor William Weld helped celebrate the official opening of the NRWA’s River Resource Center in Groton, purchased in 1993
  • Environmental Education began at the River Resource Center and watershed curriculum was developed and taught in schools throughout the watershed
  • Fort Devens closed as US Army Base. NRWA helped develop Re-Use Plan
  • The 1995 to 2020 Vision for the Nashua River Watershed was published
  • 12,900 acres in the Nashua River watershed’s heartland designated as the Central Nashua River Valley Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)
  • Restoration of riverbank in Howard Park helped by the Squannacook Task Force, Town of Townsend, AmeriCorps, and NRWA volunteers
  • Massachusetts State Legislature passed the Rivers Protection Act on July 31, 1996. The Rivers Act provides protection for over 9,000 miles of riverfront in Massachusetts
  • NRWA’s Communities Connected by Water program was initiated
  • NRWA had key role in developing the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative, which became widely acclaimed as a model for protecting and restoring the nation’s waterways
  • NRWA launched its first website

1999-2009 River ClassroomProtecting forests to protect water quality - Photo by Joan Wotkowicz

1999-2009

  • Both the cities of Fitchburg, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire drafted community development plans that make the Nashua River the focal point of their urban riverfront revitalization
  • In 2000, the Massachusetts Riverways Program presented the Fitchburg Stream Team with an Adopt-a-Stream award for its work to protect riverside greenways along the North Nashua River in Fitchburg
  • “River Classroom” canoe-based environmental education program, originally developed by Nashoba Paddler, transferred to the NRWA in 2001. NRWA now puts 1,800 students on the river each year
  • Squannassit and Petapawag Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) designated in 2002, the two largest ACECs in the Commonwealth to date, with Squannassit covering 37,450 acres and Petapawag covering 25,630 acres in the communities of Ashby, Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Tyngsboro
  • The Squannacook-Nissitissit Rivers combined sub-basin served as one of four sites nationally to merit a Source Water Stewardship Project, brought to the watershed by Trust for Public Land with their funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency
  • Nashua River Watershed Five Year Action Plan 2003 to 2007 drafted by the NRWA in partnership with the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative’s Team in the Nashua River watershed
  • 265-acre Pepperell Springs property on Gulf Brook, a tributary to the Nissitissit River, which is a major tributary to the Nashua River, successfully preserved by a coalition of partners including Pepperell residents, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the Nashoba Conservation Trust, the Nissitissit River Land Trust, and the Town of Pepperell. Key funding of $1.383 million came from a Forest Legacy Program grant. NRWA co-chaired the Pepperell Springs Preservation Project
  • “Fund for the Future” capacity- building program began
  • NRWA’s partnership with the J.R. Briggs Elementary School in Ashburnham chosen as one of the five schools in Massachusetts to implement a "Environment in an Integrating Context" curriculum
  • NRWA and three partner organizations, Beaver Brook Association, New England Forestry Foundation, and the Trust for Public Land, awarded a multi-year Targeted Watershed Initiative grant of $770,192 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – one of only fourteen awarded nationwide in 2004—for the NRWA’s "Protecting Today's Water for Tomorrow" project to proactively combat threats to drinking water in the Squannacook-Nissitissit sub-basin
  • The Nashua River Rail Trail completed and opened for public use
  • Education staff and programs, River Classroom and Scientist-in-Residence won multiple awards for “Excellence in Environmental Education” from the MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
  • Protection of 360-acre Surrenden Farm in Groton protected ¾ miles of Nashua River greenway as a result of a partnership project led by the Trust for Public Land, the Groton Conservation Trust, and others
  • Electronic cataloguing of the contents of the Bill Farnsworth Conservation Clearinghouse began in 2007
  • NRWA’s Smart Growth Circuit Rider worked with the Massachusetts towns of Ashby, Groton, Pepperell, and Townsend, and the New Hampshire towns of Mason, Greenville, New Ipswich, Hollis, and Brookline on writing or revising bylaws, ordinances, and town plans for the purpose of better protecting water resources
  • 1,162 students participate in Monoosnoc Brook Poster Contest at MBGP "Environmental Art & Music Festival" at Fall Brook Elementary School in 2008
  • Devens Open Space and Recreation Plan 2008 to 2013 drafted by NRWA
  • USDA awarded NRWA a Forest Innovation Grant to apply strategies learned from the EPA Targeted Watershed Initiative grant to 11 towns and lands in the southern portion of the watershed
  • In 2008, the NRWA began managing a multi-year project to eradicate invasive water chestnuts from the Pepperell Pond impoundment of the Nashua River under a grant from the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Town of Pepperell
  • EIC program that began at one school with 2 teachers in a single grade grew to include all teachers in grades 1 through 5 at J.R. Briggs Elementary in Ashburnham, and expanded to Fall Brook Elementary in Leominster
  • Over 1 mile of the Squannacook and Nashua Rivers’ frontage at their confluence in Shirley was permanently protected
  • Fitchburg protected two riverfront properties by creating parks, the 2-acre downtown Riverfront Park and the Steamline Trail Park which protects ¾ mile of North Nashua River frontage. In 2009, the City permanently protected a third riverfront property, with a proposal to create Gateway Park, with grant funding from the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs. Active partners in that project included Mayor Lisa Wong and the City of Fitchburg, the Fitchburg Greenway Committee, the Nashua River Watershed Association, the North Central Charter Essential School, and particularly the North County Land Trust and The Trustees of Reservations
  • ExtraMile Design produces a documentary biography on NRWA founder Marion Stoddart called Work of 1000
  • “Nashua River Greenway” Forest Legacy Area, the largest such area of the half dozen in Massachusetts (over 420,000 eligible acres), designated as eligible for the Forest Legacy Program, a partnership between participating States and the USDA Forest Service focused on identifying and helping to protect environmentally important forests from conversion to non-forest uses
  • By 2009, NRWA worked on seven Forest Legacy projects (two of which were multi-tract) which will protect over 3,000 acres with a federal contribution of nearly $8 million

NRWA provides hands on outdoor science programs for youthControlling purple loosestrife through the release of Galerucella beetles

2009-present

  • Fitchburg Greenway Committee, of which NRWA was a founding member and active participant, received The Trustees of Reservations 2010 Conservationist of the Year Award
  • National Geographic’s Written in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth’s Most Precious Resource (2010) contains an essay on the Nashua River cleanup by Marion Stoddart
  • NRWA’s Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring program began its 20th consecutive year in 2012. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts uses NRWA’s monitoring data to create its MA Water Quality Assessment Report, and the State of New Hampshire uses NRWA’s data in its Volunteer River Assessment Program
  • NRWA providing environmental education programs to over 10,000 children and adults each year
  • Bio-control project using Galerucella beetles to control invasive purple loosestrife in watershed wetlands begins

 

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The Nashua River in the 1960’s and 1980's

The Nashua River in the 1960’s and 1980's


NRWA’s Mission and History: Leadership and Success

The mission of the Nashua River Watershed Association is to work for a healthy ecosystem with clean water and open spaces for human and wildlife communities, where people work together to sustain mutual economic and environmental well-being in the Nashua River watershed.

The Nashua River Watershed Association was founded in 1969 on the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. That belief led to the clean-up of one of the nation’s most polluted rivers, an internationally recognized success story.

That same belief powers the work of the NRWA today, to act as a regional leader in natural resource protection and environmental education for our 32 watershed communities in north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

Our goals:

Our work is guided by our 1995 to 2020 Vision for the Nashua River Watershed (The 2020 Plan).

As a non-profit, our success depends on the support of members, donors, and volunteers. Help make a difference, now and for the future, by getting involved today!

“Sewer-Cide” newspaper  clipping - Marion Stoddart and Andre Reggio report on the Nashua River clean-up to the League of Women Voters

Founders-Andre C Reggio showing Sewer-Cide. “Sewer-Cide” newspaper  clipping - Marion Stoddart and Andre Reggio report on the Nashua River clean-up to the League of Women Voters

 

NRWA Founders and Incorporators

The effort to clean-up the Nashua River began in the early 1960’s when Marion Stoddart, a housewife in Groton, Massachusetts, observed the appalling condition of the Nashua River. At that time, effluent from local mills and raw sewage were all dumped directly into the river creating a foul-smelling, colorful, and pulp-filled dead waterway. Having grown up near Reno, Nevada where water was a scarce and highly valued resource, and being influenced by the League of Women Voters, Marion made the decision to make the clean-up of the Nashua River her life’s goal.

The first annual meeting of the NRWA Board of Directors: Marion Stoddart, Robert Brown, Wayne Kimmerlin, and Mary Haueisen (Longsworth Mathis)
In 1962, having rallied friends, neighbors, and local officials to work with her, Marion and others formed the Nashua River Clean-up Committee. That Committee worked tirelessly to advocate for passage of the Clean Water Act, to solicit support for the clean-up from federal, state, and local government officials (even delivering a bottle of dirty river water to Massachusetts Governor Volpe), to engage mill and other business owners in the cause, and to educate citizens in every watershed town about the need to restore the river.

As the work of the Clean-up Committee progressed and drew more support, the decision was made to establish a non-profit environmental organization. In 1969, the Nashua River Watershed Association was formed. The Incorporators and first Board of Directors of the Association included community leaders from throughout the watershed, including Benton MacKaye, creator of the Appalachian Mountain Trail; Jeffrey P. Smith, renowned land conservationist and a founder of Beaver Brook Association in Hollis, New Hampshire; Louise Doyle, environmental benefactor and donor of the Trustees of Reservations’ Doyle Reservation in Leominster, Massachusetts; and, of course, Marion Stoddart, who was recognized by the United Nations for her work to restore the river. Marion’s story has become the basis of the award-winning documentary "Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000".

NRWA Incorporators

Robert M. Boehme of Bolton, MA
Robert W. Brown of Harvard, MA
Lee P. “Bill” Farnsworth of Lancaster, MA
Frank Hanchett of Dunstable, MA
Harold Harley of Lunenburg, MA
Mary L. Haueisen of Pepperell, MA
Joyce R. Huff of Fitchburg, MA
Judith Holloway of Pepperell, MA
Benton MacKaye of Shirley, MA
Ernest W. Mitchell of Shirley, MA
Andre C. Reggio of Groton, MA
Stephen W. Sabine of Groton, MA
Emily Smith of Leominster, MA
Jeffrey P. Smith of Hollis, NH
Marion R. Stoddart of Groton, MA
Lois Taylor of Nashua, NH
Harold Vanasse of Clinton, MA
William P. Wharton of Groton, MA

NRWA’s First Board of Directors

Marion R. Stoddart of Groton, MA—President
W.F. Kimmerlin of Hollis, NH—Vice President
Robert W. Brown of Harvard, MA—Treasurer
Mary L. Haueisen of Pepperell, MA—Secretary

Joseph C. Broyles of Groton, MA
Donald M. Crocker of Fitchburg, MA
Louise Doyle of Leominster, MA
Joyce R. Huff of Fitchburg, MA
Raymond B. Lang of Lancaster, MA
M. Donald Piermarini of Leominster, MA
Emily Smith of Leominster, MA

The NRWA is proud of its history of grassroots activism and citizen involvement, and honors the vision of our founders and incorporators by continuing their work today and by inspiring new generations to join in that vision.