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Cleanup along the Mill River April 12

Knotweed cutting along Congress Street in Fairfield is ahead of schedule after a major turnout Saturday, April 5.

That effort will allow the pickup of trash along the Mill River Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those who can volunteer should leave a comment indicating what time on this story.

“Saturday’s cutting of the standing dead Japanese Knotweed stalks was a smashing success,” Nutmeg TU President Chuck Petrucceli said. “With the help of 9 members of the chapter and 4 members of the Beardley Zoo Conservation Corps, all the knotweed stalks were cut down.  There was also some river clean up and several bags of garbage collected. We over achieved.”

Nutmeg members Dave Edgeworth, Bill Field, Phil Jacques, Gary Anderson, Chris Smith and his son Nick, Ed Grzedna, and Chuck MacMath and his son Jeromy, were joined by Thomas J. Altieri, Chavious Hall, Savannah Lewis, and Jamie Castro of the Beardley Zoo Conservation Corps.

“To the youths who joined us Saturday, Jeromy, Chavious, Savannah, and Jamie, it was a pleasure to meet you,” Petruccelli said. “It is good to see you feel strongly enough about conservation to get involved. Now and in the future we need conservationist minded people like you to continue the stewardship of what we preserve, protect and restore today.”

Mill River project on web radio

Nutmeg TU President Charles Petruccelli is scheduled to appear on Yankee Fisherman Friday, April 4, to discuss the Mill River Improvement Project and the chapter’s efforts to remove invasive knotweed from the banks along Congress Street.

The show, hosted by Nutmeg TU member John Kovach, airs live from 2 to 3 p.m. on hanradio.com, and is replayed throughout the weekend.

The second year of cutting is scheduled to be performed April 5 and 12. Click here for details, including how to volunteer.

Help make the Mill River better April 5, 12

Volunteers are again needed to help remove invasive species from the banks of the Mill River along Congress Street at the Easton-Fairfield line, near the Merritt Parkway.

Last year Nutmeg TU started a three-year invasive species removal project along the Congress St. section of the Mill River. This is the section that flows down stream from Sport Hill Rd. to where it flows under Congress St. If you drive by you’ll notice a lot of the knotweed is lower from the initial effort. It is time for the second year cutting, when volunteers cut the dead plants from the previous year’s fall spraying. The cutting is done early in the growth season so as not to cut down live plants from this year’s growth.

Volunteers are needed Saturdays, April 5 and 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you can volunteer, please post a comment indicating the day and hours you can help out.

Nutmeg TU will provide the weed cutters, face masks, water and snacks.

Meeting in January on Exide cleanup

A meeting will be held in Fairfield during early January to discuss the cleanup of the Exide Battery property, which will affect the Mill River Improvement Project.

Ron Merly told the Nutmeg TU Board of Directors Tuesday, Dec. 6, that the meeting is tentatively scheduled on or around Jan. 10, 2013. Updates will be posted at nutmegtrout.org.

Merly and Russ Ogden have met with Fairfield conservation officials, and Merly called the plans proposed by Exide “very vague.”

Cleanup plans have been discussed for years, but work has not begun. One current proposal, Merly said, would begin work during the annual Herring migration up the Mill River.

Nutmeg TU will follow the process and encourages members to attend the January meeting. Addresses for local, state and federal officials will also be posted at nutmegtrout.org so members can easily contact elected leaders and express their views on the remediation.