Field Trips and Workshops
Connecting Communities and Ecosystems in Restoration Practice
October 11-13, 2018 • Southern CT State University, New Haven, CT
We are pleased to offer field trips on Thursday, October 11th, and Saturday, October 13, in addition to a Saturday workshop on dam removal. The field trips are open to the public and most are free of charge to attend. Registration is required for planning purposes.
Thursday October 11th, 2018
Quinnipiac River Restoration and Canoe Trail, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Canoe Trail Guide: Pete Picone (Quinnipiac River Watershed Association and CT Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).

This field trip highlights a community canoe trail and includes separate field stops (via car) to recent river restoration projects. The canoe portion of this trip follows the Quinnipiac River Canoe Trail, highlighting the urban refuge provided by the river. Other stops associated with the trip (pre- and/or post-paddle) may include nearby sites of recent dam removals on the Quinnipiac River, such as the Carpenter Dam Removal and the newly created Meriden Green, an award-winning restoration project and new downtown city park, located on a tributary to the Quinnipiac.

The cost of this field trip includes a box lunch, and a seat in a canoe that will be provided. You may choose to sign up for the $5 version of this trip if you bring your own canoe or kayak and bring your own lunch. The canoe portion of the trip is hosted by the Quinnipiac River Watershed Alliance, and all participants will be required to sign a liability waiver before joining that portion of the trip.

This field trip is anticipated to run from 10am until 3pm. The trip will run if there is light rain. Heavy rain, high winds, or predicted lightning will cancel. Low flows will cancel the canoe portion of the trip.


Saturday October 13th, 2018
Living Shoreline and Coastal Resiliency, Stratford CT, 8:30 am to 11 am, additional stop from 11 am to 1 pm

Field Trip Leaders: Jennifer Mattei (Sacred Heart University), and Jim Turek (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

This field trip will highlight the successful living shoreline and coastal resiliency project piloted by the Living Shorelines program at Sacred Heart University. This project, in Stratford Point, CT, includes the installation of reef balls and tidal marsh restoration. The site of this trip is ~30 minutes west of New Haven. Participants will meet at the site.

Additional option: A walk to the proposed salt marsh restoration area at the McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Great Meadows Unit. Discussion of concepts and project challenges of the proposed salt marsh restoration of ~12 acres.

This field trip is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Workshop: Implementing Dam Removal to Restore Rivers, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm

Workshop Leaders: Laura Wildman (Princeton Hydro), Gwen Macdonald (Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound), Amy Singler (American Rivers / The Nature Conservancy)

This is a workshop for individuals currently or potentially involved in a dam removal project (including engineers, biologists, hydrologists, environmental scientists, planners, project proponents, managers, and others). We will introduce participants to key project drivers and explore how community concerns are integrated into dam removal planning. We will focus on how to start, plan, and complete a dam removal project, addressing how dam removal projects are currently being initiated, funded, managed, designed, permitted, and implemented. The speakers have diverse work and educational backgrounds and are all experienced in dam removal. We hope that participants become familiar with some of the challenges, differences, and similarities of dam removal projects. The workshop will be taught using case studies and will include:

  • Project management and planning
  • Project funding
  • Engineering design for dam removal and associated site restoration
  • Regulatory processes
  • Construction
  • Lessons learned

This workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Participants are encouraged to join the West River Restoration field trip to continue the lessons being discussed in this workshop.

New Haven Urban Oasis and Schoolyard Habitat, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Did you know that New Haven is one of a handful urban wildlife refuges designated by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service across the country? Discover urban oases for people & wildlife, and learn more about this effort to restore habitat in an urban environment. Explore urban oases at Beaver Ponds Park, Southern Connecticut State University, and King Robinson School, as well as a brand-new city park created by neighbors and partners on Cherry Ann Street. Walk through the Southern Connecticut State University campus, and then by the Hamden Transfer Station, B’Nai Jacob Cemetery, and the site of a new police firing range, and on  learning about sustainability efforts and environmental justice concerns at these locations. Then join in a tour of an educational wetland and schoolyard habitat at Common Ground, and venture down to a new urban oasis created by high school students along Wintergreen Brook.  Along the way, meet the young people, partners and neighbors who are creating and stewarding these urban oases.Total walking distance approximately 3 miles, on trails, roads, and sidewalks; wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Heavy rain cancels. Questions? Contact Joel Tolman at 203.809.4164 or

This field trip is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

West River Restoration: Pond Lily Dam Removal and Restoration of Tidal Flow, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This field trip highlights two river restoration projects on the West River in downtown New Haven: the removal of the Pond Lily Dam and the alteration of tide gates at the West River to restore a tidal marsh. Both of these locations provide essential refugia within a dense urban matrix. The site of the former Pond Lily Dam is behind a strip mall, and yet is on an important nature preserve and the removal of this dam supports the return of fish such as river herring. The West River tidal marsh restoration is within the West River Memorial Park, a park designed by Frederick Olmsted, and now an important urban oasis for wildlife.

This field trip is free and open to the public. Registration is required.