The Park River Watershed stretches from the Metacomet Ridge to the Connecticut River. Waterways in West Hartford, Hartford, and Bloomfield as well as waterways in part of New Britain, Farmington, Newington, and Wethersfield are within the watershed. The entire watershed (77 square miles) pours into the Connecticut River through tunnels buried beneath Bushnell Park. Over 50% of the Park River Watershed has been developed, including over 90% of the available land area in the City of Hartford. The Park River and its tributaries have places of exceptional beauty, yet others that are neglected and polluted. Dumping of industrial chemicals still occurs. Storm water run-off from parking lots, streets, yard drains, and rooftops is a big problem, polluting the river and overflowing sewer systems throughout the watershed.
Why are our local waterways endangered?
Storm water runs off the roofs of buildings and paved surfaces, spilling oils, anti-freeze, and trash into the waterways. Lawn and yard chemicals wash into rivers and streams. Erosion is caused by building or paving too close to the waterways. Old or ill-conceived sewer systems spill waste into the waters.
What can I do to prevent further damage to our waterways?
1. Always manage your personal properties in ways that minimize impact on the waterways :
- Create rain gardens to catch roof run-off
- Use porous pavers or pervious pavement instead of concrete or tarmac
- Avoid using pesticides
- Plant native species in your yard
2. Contact public officials and urge them to support measures that protect
the Park River Watershed.
3. Buy green cleaning products and organic foods.
Park Watershed Revitalization Initiative
North Branch Park River Watershed Management Plan