Plenty of Activities & Programs for a Volunteer!
So how does one take care of a river and a watershed? The amount of tasks that need to be done are diverse and challenging but always educational and inspirational - knowing that benefiting and improving the environment and sustaining the high quality of life for the surrounding communities is well worth the expenditure of talents and time. Listed below are all the opportunities to make a difference in the Parker River Watershed .
Volunteers using consistent monitoring in strategic points along the river system produce statistical results revealing what are the environmental pressures on the watershed and the quality of the water.
The presence of fish especially the Alewife is an excellent indicator to reveal the health of the river system. Fish counts are maintained and relayed over a period ot time to help monitor the water quality and environmental pressures on the river.
This isn't Hawaii or some remote, sensitive habitat; this is New England. Invasive plants are causing havoc with our eco-system. Often, they crowd out native species and also destroy the very environment that is found in a typcial natural setting.
Worse, they destroy our river system, crowding out species, depriving the area of vital nutrients and making an area one-species specific and thus destroying a healthy diversity.
PRCWA maintains the Trail at the headwaters of the Little River as a means to introduce the importance of the Watershed through education and recreation.
Many bird species are endangered due to loss of habitat. By installing bird boxes in strategic locations increases the chance of nesting and rearing the young.
Constant monitoring and protecting their habitat must accompany this activity to ensure that food sources and the environment are not taken away at the very strategic time of chick rearing.
Supporting the acquisition and/or preservation easements of lands surrounding the Parker River Watershed of those lands surrounding the Common Pasture and
lands surrounding the Great Marsh.
These measures allow for the prevention of excessive impervious surfaces. The inability of the watershed to receive an influx will cause water tables to be lowered and the opposite result of rainfall unable to percolate into the soil will cause flooding which contributes to erosion and property damage.
The Parker River system is composed of many contribuitng streams. Volunteers identify, map and monitor the stream checking for flow, pollution and the ecology of its environment.
Reports are tabulated as the four seasons progress and alerts if necessary can be reported in a timely fashion. This way, each steam is monitored as it contributes to the entire watershed.
A healthy watershed supports vernal pools. These are seasonal, fish-free bodies of water that support the predator-reduced enviornment for breeding of certain speccies. Some can not survive unless they have access to a vernal pool.
Volunteers monitor the health and safety of these pools and then protect the small crreatures such as the spotted salamander when they do their migration, often over busy road beds.
The Commonwealth conducts surveys of road kill that may be found on the state's highways. They are of particulr concern over turtle deaths. The goal is to detect when and where they cross so precautions and profisions can be made.
Many of these turtle species are endangered or listed as a prority species.
Inflow monitoring along the tributaries of the watershed reveal the health of the river. If too much is withdrawn, then the habitat suffers, and the demands of humans and wildlife suffer likewise.