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The Westfield River Symposium (1995- )

keynote address, 2009Since 1995 WRWA has sponsored an annual symposium held at Westfield State College, originally in the Wilson Auditoriums, in March or April. The symposia offer local residents the opportunity to hear talks on a variety of watershed issues and to view poster displays from state and federal agencies and from other groups of more local interest. Many of the symposia have also offered afternoon field trips to visit nearby sites relevant to WRWA's mission. Recent trips have included visits to the West Parrish Filters in Westfield, the fishway/eelway in West Springfield, the Littleville and Knightville flood control dams, the Westfield Water Treatment plant, and a variety of hikes. The program for each of the symposia may be accessed by the links at the right.

exhibits, 2009The 1995-97 symposia each drew about 80 participants and were held in April, with the second symposium being timed to coincide with the Westfield River canoe races. Registration fees of $15 (1995, 1997) or $20 (1998) were charged for most of the early symposia, but since 1999 the events have been free. Attendance swelled to more than 100 participants in 1998 and 1999, and has regularly reached 100-150 since 2002. There were more than 200 ateendees in 2005, when the event included a keynote address by Congressman John Olver and the premiere of WRWA's new video "Five Feet and Rising: The Flood of '55". In 2006 the symposium was moved to Scanlon Banquet Hall, still on the Westfield State campus, which offers a more expansive space for the exhibitors. Attendance reached roughly 200 in both 2007 and 2009, and a raffle was added to the program in 2009.

Here are the titles of the WRWA Symposia, with links to the full programs:
  • Outdoor Fun in Your Watershed (2015)
  • The Health of Our Watershed:
         Forests, Wildlife, Water (2014)
  • Our Urban Watershed (2013)
  • Protecting Our Watershed:
          Challenges and Opportunities (2012)
  • The Foodshed in Our Watershed (2011)
  • Green Energy in Our Watershed (2010)
  • Have Fun in Your Watershed! (2009)
  • What's Up in Your Watershed? (2008)
  • Water, Woods, and Warming (2007)
  • What's So Special About Our Watershed? (2006)
  • River + Land + People:
          Balancing the Equation (2005)
  • Habitat (2004)
  • A Look at the Future:
          Water Resources and Open Space (2003)
  • Your Watershed: Past, Present, and Future (2002)
  • Your Watershed: Explore It! Enjoy It! (2001)
  • Citizen Stewardship in the 21st Century (2000)
  • Water Quality (1999)
  • The Westfield River: Coming Full Circle (1998)
  • Wild & Scenic (1997)
  • Recreation (1996)
  • The Westfield River (1995)