ABNC Initiatives: Stewardship

The Center hosts and facilitates the Millers River Basin Team. This team is made up of individuals representing federal, state, and local agencies and organizations who meet monthly to discuss and plan for the protection and monitoring of the Millers River watershed. The Team keeps up to date information on issues related to watershed protection and assists in our volunteer monitoring efforts. The Center manages a wide range of volunteer monitoring programs. After annual training programs, volunteers do midstream surveys, habitat photodocumentation, stream continuity studies, and shoreline surveys. Data gathered through these monitoring protocols provide longterm data on the health of the watershed and alert authorities to possible problems or concerns. These efforts are fundid in part by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

Center staff, Club members, and volunteers continue to document the rich biodiversity of habitats within this region. Documenting odonates of the Millers River watershed and conducting species specific statewide survey are ongoing projects. The Center is currently conducting a scientific study lakes and ponds in our region that is funded by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust.

As part of a US Fish and Wildlife restoration project, Center staff managed the construction of an eel pass at the New Home Dam in Orange and will work with volunteers to monitor eel movement over the dam. In another restoration project, salmon fry, raised in Demil Kovacevic’s fifth grade classroom at Butterfield school in Orange, are released each spring into the Millers River. This project is jointly sponsored by the Athol Bird and Nature Club, the Millers River Watershed Council, Trout Unlimited, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.