Becky Cushing-Gop, Director of Mass Audubon West, recently joined legislators, state officials, and environmental, cultural, and Indigenous leaders for a paddle down the Connecticut River on a gorgeous fall morning.
The goal of the event, organized by State Senator Jo Comerford and nonprofit All Out Adventures, was public awareness about the Connecticut River’s importance to the environment, farms, economy, culture, as well as its significance to Indigenous communities.
It was an opportunity to gather a broad range of stakeholders dedicated to the river’s well-being and a celebration of the partnerships that protect it. Becky highlighted two current projects Mass Audubon is working on with local and state partners to protect the nature of the Connecticut River Valley:
- In West Springfield, just two miles from the Connecticut River, we’re in the process of permanently protecting the 1,500-acre Bear Hole Reservoir in partnership with the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the City of West Springfield.
- In Northampton, at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, we’re restoring 13 acres of floodplain forest, which will increase the amount of this uncommon habitat in the state as well as provide climate resilience values.
After the trip Sen. Comerford, whose district includes communities located along the river and within its watershed, gave a shout-out on social media to Mass Audubon for its steadfast role in protecting and promoting the natural and environmental values of the Connecticut River Valley.