Volunteering

HVA depends on the help of hundreds of volunteers to work on the many land and water protection projects in the 2000-square-mile Housatonic Valley. We are also fortunate to work with high-school and college interns on many environmental and community service programs.

In Connecticut ...

You can volunteer to help out in the field, in our office or at our many special events throughout the year. Call Membership/Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Singer at 800-TEAM-HVA or e-mail: volunteer@hvatoday.org. We'll find a great job for you!

In New York State ...

Volunteers are needed to weed and water the rain garden in Millerton and to do macro-invertebrate sampling in July and August. To get on the list, call Mike Jastremski at HVA's Connecticut office, 860-672-6678.

In the Berkshires ...

Monitor/Assess/Adopt Riverside Gems

MAP STORM DRAIN OUTFALLS (Pittsfield)! HVA in association with BEAT will be mapping storm drain outfalls on the East and West Branches of the Housatonic River and collecting water samples. Need to be comfortable walking over rough terrain and wading through streams.

COLLECT STREAM CROSSING DATA (various towns) Volunteers are welcome to assist BEAT and HVA staff with completing the collection of data. Need to be comfortable walking over rough terrain and wading through streams.

OLD MILL TRAIL ADOPTERS/MAINTANERS NEEDED (Hinsdale)!  Do you walk the Old Mill Trail? Become an adopter! Simply go for your walk and send us a quick report about the trail conditions alerting us to any concerns (blow downs, trash piles and motorized vehicle use). The vegetative buffer at the trailhead needs a watchful eye, too. HVA also welcomes volunteers at work parties or after storms to conduct maintenance on this trail to keep it clear of blow downs and the vegetation brushed back.

RIVER ACCESS SITES: Adopt a river access!  Help keep your favorite river access in great shape. From May to October, visit your adopted access 2 – 4 times each month, check on the condition, pick up around the site, refill any brochure boxes. (Accesses are located in Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, and Sheffield.)

WATER QUALITY MONITORING: Sites along the mainstem of the Housatonic River will be assessed this fall by collecting samples of the benthic macroinvertebrates present. Volunteers need to enjoy splashing about in river beds and be comfortable walking on slippery rocks. Call 413-394-9796 to get on the alert list for training later this summer or email Alison or Dennis (see below). All the tributaries assessed last fall exhibit very high water quality. The tributaries are Mohawk, Hop, Goose Pond, Wahconah Falls, Schenob, Konkapot and Churchill brooks.

Volunteers collect benthic macro invertebrates (river bugs) from the streams. These bugs help determine the health of the watershed. HVA provides training and equipment. You need to provide enthusiasm and the desire to stand in the water with a net.

STREAM TEAMS: Volunteers are also needed for Stream Team River assessments. Great Barrington, Sheffield & the East Branch were completed last year and this year we will be doing them in Lee, Stockbridge, Lenox, West Branch, Green River and Williams River. If you are interested in being a part of a Stream Team Housatonic River Assessment project, please call 413-394-9796 or email Alison or Dennis (see below). Your team will be trained and then will survey certain stretches of the Housatonic River and selected tributaries to observe and collect data on the condition and use of the river. This information will be compiled into a Stream Team Report.  

JOIN A RIVER CLEANUP (various towns)!  At least two river cleanups are planned each year to remove miscellaneous trash including tires, bottles, cans and more from the river. If getting in the river is not your idea of fun, we also need help planning and promoting the cleanups, too.

ADOPT A RAIN GARDEN (Pittsfield)! HVA assists the City of Pittsfield maintain its rain gardens on North Street from April through November, volunteers are welcomed to provide weekly maintenance: trash removal, light weeding, sweeping up around the rain gardens, removing leaves, deadheading.

Educational, Office and Outreach Assistance

HELP US EDUCATE (various towns)! HVA delivers Watershed Awareness programs to schools, libraries and at public events. Volunteers are welcome to assist HVA’s educator with these programs.

HELP US WITH A MYRIAD OF OFFICE TASKS!  Cleaning, data management, research, public events.

To volunteer in the Berkshires, call 413-394-9796 or email ...

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