Acting Director, Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration
June is National Rivers Month and Carrie Banks, our Westfield River Wild and Scenic River liaison, has tipped me off to activities and happenings along the Westfield River. The Westfield River is renowned for its many treasures – including one of the best coldwater fisheries in Massachusetts, outstanding historic resources, one of the highest waterfalls in Massachusetts, and bountiful opportunities for outdoor recreation.
To kick-off Rivers Month, I hiked to America’s first Keystone Arch Railroad Bridges (circa 1840s) along the West Branch of the Westfield River. The serpentine nature of the river made constant bridging necessary to carry the Western Railroad – the longest and highest railroad in the world at that time. Today, you can visit two of the bridges located in the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Walnut Hill Wildlife Management Area via the Keystone Arch Bridge Trail. Visitors will appreciate these aesthetic and historic wonders found along a National Wild and Scenic River and in one of Massachusetts’ most superb settings.
On June 5, my next visit will be to Glendale Falls where I will roll up my sleeves and get to work installing a new staircase. The One Step at a Time Campaign – launched at the suggestion of Stream Team volunteers – will protect trampled and exposed tree roots and fragile vegetation near this magnificent tributary by building an official trail to the base of the falls. As part of the Wild and Scenic Saturdays series, volunteers will gather there the first Saturday of each month at 9:00 a.m. from June through September.
On Saturday, June 19, I will have a toss up between the Annual Canoe Cruise – a quiet-water paddle from downtown Westfield to Robinson State Park in Agawam – and another Wild & Scenic Saturday event along the dynamic East Branch Trail where I’ll enjoy the geology of the scenic Chesterfield Gorge and roll up my sleeves once again to make improvements along this six-plus mile trail corridor.
Visit the Division of Ecological Restoration’s Rivers and Wetlands Month Calendar to find outdoor events and activities happening near you.
Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers! posted on Jul 30
I always thought wasps were the bad guys growing up. But smokey-winged beetle bandit wasps (Cerceris fumipennis) are actually the good guys – used to kill off an invasive species. This specific type of wasp (that does not sting) catches Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a …Continue Reading Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!
A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28
Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate
Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23
Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster