Park River North Branch Watershed Management Plan

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The North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan project work was completed July 31st 2010. The final plan is posted on the website of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection: Ct DEP Watershed Management Plans

Project documents have been also posted on the project website North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan. This plan is a living document - and so an ad hoc network continues to gather community input, science and cultural information in order to develop effective urban watershed management strategies.

The North Branch Park River watershed is a moderate-sized watershed slightly less than 30 square miles in area. The majority of the watershed, over sixty-eight percent, is within the Town of Bloomfield, Connecticut. Fourteen percent of the watershed, including The Hartford Golf Club Brook, overlaps into northern West Hartford. While only eleven percent of the North Branch Park River watershed overlap into Hartford, all upstream tributaries flow through the city's northwestern neighborhoods towards the Connecticut River. A small percentage of the watershed land area (less than three percent) extends into Windsor, Avon and Simsbury.

Bloomfield tributaries, including Filley Brook, Tumbledown Brook, Beaman’s Brook, and Wash Brook converge with The Hartford Golf Club Brook, to flow through the University of Hartford campus. The Park River's North Branch or "Hog River" is the visible boundary between Blue Hills, Asylum Hill and the West End within Hartford city limits. Persons interested in planning and development issues that impact the North Branch watershed are encouraged to review the project documents posted online, North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan and contact the project team.

The planning process addressed the unique challenges of managing urban waterways as a valuable natural resource within the context of private and public building development, preservation and property uses. The watershed management plan characterized the watershed conditions, identify, investigate, and address current and emerging issues facing the watershed, so as to recommend potential changes that can improve water quality. The primary objectives of the project were to develop a watershed management plan that:

• Characterizes existing river, riparian corridor and watershed conditions; • Identifies and assesses watershed problems and issues; • Fosters regional land and water solutions and protecting the urban riverway and surrounding forest lands; • Integrates water quality, stream flow, aquatic and riparian habitat, and land use and preservation needs; • Identifies land or land rights acquisition to further protect and allow responsible public access to the river, • Examines traditional and non-traditional innovative approaches to pollution control and prevention; and • Provides guidance for local land use decision- makers to address stormwater and non-point sources of pollution with a focus on sustainable development practices.

When complete, the watershed management plan will serve as a comprehensive, scientifically-sound, and practical planning document for the protection and restoration of water resources and habitat in the North Branch Park River watershed. Measurable water quality improvements are an anticipated outcome of the North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan process.

The North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan project was a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). SEP funding originates during settlement of environmental enforcement actions undertaken by DEP to amend the adverse public health and/or environmental impacts of violations.

With the completion of the North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan we are working with our Park Water Arts network to raise awareness. Park Water Arts coordinates art actions and events that draw attention to the history, present conditions and future design of the Park River Watershed. For more information about our spring 2011 events see, Park Water Arts or find Park Water Arts on Facebook. An interactive map of the watershed is being developed with scientists and designers to serve as a public reference and guide for eco-artists.

CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE

Mary Rickel Pelletier, LEED AP
Hartford, Connecticut
tel# (860) 881-5089
maryvrp@parkwatershed.org
Director of Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative
a project of the Farmington River Watershed Association