Watershed Park

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Watershed Park - History of The Millers River Watershed Council

The Millers River Watershed Council was formed at a time when the color and smell of the Millers River,  once considered by many anglers to be the “best trout stream in the state,” varied on a daily basis. In the early 1960s, farmers started fencing their stock away from once clear drinking spots along the river. In the late 1960s, at a meeting between a farmer and a University of Mass Dairy Extension agent at the confluence of the Millers and the Connecticut River, they decided to persuade two residents from each of the 17 watershed towns to meet and formulate an action plan to discover the cause and work towards a pollution solution. Uncertain of the sources of the problem, the group formed search parties to explore the watershed and, if and when sources were found, to lobby local state officials to help them clean up the river. In this way, the Millers River Watershed Council had its beginning and by 1970 the group was incorporated as a nonprofit.

Early members Bob Gray, Henry Waidlich, and George Baker, were initially riled up with the US Corps of Engineer's proposal to dig a trench into the river bed to install a pipe from Whitney Pond, Winchendon to Orange for an additional feed to the Quabbin which would avoid the pollution from the paper plants and other industry. The struggle for clean water continues as the Councils takes a lead role in opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline across the region.Passage of the federal Clean Water Act in 1972 helped the Council’s efforts to pressure municipalities and industries to construct and properly operate wastewater treatment plants. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, non-point source pollution had begun to receive increased attention, and the Council was successful in actively opposing “economic development” proposals involving the processing of toxic waste in Orange and the expansion of landfills in watershed communities.

In this video, filmed at the Cass Meadow South location, Watershed Council Director Ivan Ussach describes the watershed and recent work of the Council

Original Watershed Council Members included:

Robert L. Gray

Athol

Ernest M. Gould, Jr.

Petersham

James Miller

Athol

Leslie E. Dunbar

Phillipston

Domenic Rindone

Athol

Pete Tandy

Richmond N.H.

Richard Whelpley

Athol

Lt. Col. George Baker

S. Royalston

Roger Erickson

Baldwinville

Duane Leonard

Templeton

John R. Damon

Fitzwilliam, N.H.

George J. Pughes, Jr.

Templeton

Ambrose W. Marsan Jr.

Gardner

Mason Phelps

Wendell

Warren Sinclair

Gardner

Thomas L. Sogard

Wendell Depot

Henry Waidlich

Millers Falls

Charles C. Joslin

Winchendon

Herbert H. Streeter

Northfield

Edson C. MacMullen

Winchendon

Arthur J. Loveley

Orange

Harold LaDeau

Winchendon

Kenneth Smith

Orange

 

 

Real-time streamflow map

The "Real-time streamflow" map tracks short-term changes (over several hours) in rivers and streams. Although the general appearance of the map changes very little from one hour to the next, individual sites may change rapidly in response to major rain events or to reservoir releases.

The map depicts streamflow conditions as computed at USGS streamgages. The colors represent real-time streamflow compared to percentiles of historical daily streamflow for the day of the year.

This map represents conditions relative to those that have historically occurred at this time of year. Only streamgages having at least 30 years of record are used.

States containing no dots indicate locations where flow data for the current day are temporarily unavailable. During winter months, some states (or parts of states) may have fewer dots than at other times of the year due to ice effects.

The data used to produce this map are provisional and have not been reviewed or edited. They may be subject to significant change.

Watershed Park neighbor, Earle Baldwin, provides a perspective on our park and the watershed.