OUTDOORS July 7, 2012 Bob Gregorski
Cool Waters Mosaic
The unveiling-celebration of Waterbury Community Mosiac: City Canvass Project was held June 26, 2012 at 90 South Main Street Waterbury, CT. Prior to the unveiling, Mayor Neil O’Leary, DECD Deputy Commissioner Kip Bergstrom, artists Joanne and Bruce Hunter made comments; DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty spoke about the role of the Naugatuck River in shaping Waterbury’s past and future and I concluded with a brief history of the Naugatuck River restoration.
I was contacted several weeks prior to the mosaic being started and received the image of the artists' work. I was gratified. I knew it was an art project to enhance the revitalization of down town Waterbury, but in my conservationist’ eyes-I saw a tribute to all those who have been instrumental in revitalizing the Naugatuck River and its tributaries. The colorful brace of brookies swimming in the cool, clear water depicted in this mural are the only trout native to the Naugatuck River System. They only thrive in cool, clean water.
Here’s the essence of what I said. Twenty-eight years ago, the Naugatuck Valley Chapter Trout Unlimited envisioned the Naugatuck River as HIDDEN TREASURE and began working closely with the DEP to restore the river. The Northwestern Chapter has been working on it for 20 years and Naugatuck River Watershed Association for 18 years. Collectively, these conservation organizations sponsored more than 120 restoration projects, which were completed by several thousand volunteer conservationists from all walks of life.
In recent years other organizations joined in the restoration, enhancement and promotion of the river through: greenways, parks, river races, festivals, wildlife videos and a web site dedicated to the Naugatuck River System. Eagles, osprey and brook trout are symbols of a healthy river. Brook Trout are one of the 42 species of fish living in its waters along with hundreds of mammals, amphibians and reptiles. The river is alive again. There is more restoration work to be done and greenways & parks to build.
“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure” - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Note: The attached is an image of the original artwork COOL WATERS by Joanne and Bruce Hunter. About 1200 people completed the 30’ by 30’ work of art.
Chapter members who attended the unveiling: Glenn LaFreniere, Steve Farnham, Ed Dearborn, Dom Falcone and Marty Petersen.