The Mill River Wetland Committee, Inc. is an award winning nonprofit organization founded in 1966 to strengthen environmental science education through the study of river basin systems. This school year, we celebrate 50 years of our dedication to educating the students and adults of Fairfield about the watershed in which they live.
MRWC began to provide a voice for the natural floodplain that would be significantly affected by development of a section of land adjacent to the Mill River. Jocelyn Shaw held off a front-loader poised for land clearing to gain the attention of the town. When requested to provide specific research about the impact to the flora and fauna of the area, Joy enlisted the assistance of other environmentally concerned citizens to help document what could be lost and how we might protect it instead. Out of that research evolved the first River-Lab Program at Mill Hill school, a study in the productivity and life in the watershed.
River-Lab has grown to include a full curriculum for grades 3 through 6 that provides a unique, hands on approach to environmental science education. All elements of the program have been adopted as part of the science curriculum for the Fairfield public and parochial schools. River-Lab provides classroom materials and activities for students, extensive training for study-trip guides, and professional development for teachers. At each grade level, classroom training is enhanced by study-trips to the Mill River and town estuaries. Each year, more than 400 volunteers guide approximately 3,300 children through more than 130 study-trips.
MRWC continues to look for opportunities to educate, engage and advocate for our local and national watersheds and all the life they provide. As we celebrate the past 50 years, we are looking at how we can impact the next 50. Won’t you help be a part of that future?