Millers River Watershed CouncilWelcome to the Millers River Watershed Council!

MRWC has the goal of helping people discover what makes the Millers River and its tributaries a natural treasure, one you can enjoy and help protect. MRWC welcomes your input.river swish

Katherine and Sarah Web2imageBugs tell the story!  MacroInvertebrate Sampling. Aquatic Insects are great indicators of stream health. The type and quantity of a given insect can tell us how healthy a stream, river or brook is. MRWC will be initiating a new sampling program where we collect and have these informative critters identified to help us determine a stream’s health.

We seek volunteers to join this effort, training begins 9/29, and we head out on 10/4 to survey a few streams. To sign up contact us. Volunteers should be willing to spend time in the stream and sort through some bugs!

MRWC has joined with groups and individuals across the state to oppose the gas pipeline project proposed to be built across MA’s northern tier–including nine watershed towns from Montague to Ashburnham. Why? To learn more click here.

Cummings paddle stop upstrm2


Blue Trail happenings: MRWC staff prepares new Blue Trail for Upper Millers and Otter Rivers

The draft map for the Upper Millers/Otter River Blue Trail is available for review as we seek input to refine our second Blue Trail. MRWC is working with the Birch Hill Dam staff on a new access launch there and the Town of Winchendon has improved the launch on River St. The City of Gardner also is assisting with access off Airport Rd for the ORBT. Go Blue Trail!


TW3bCouncil Gears in action with 2014 Stream Monitoring Programs! We have begun: Monitoring 2 dozen sites for streams temperatures,  and 9 sites for bacteria. Next we are: establishing 2 stream flow monitoring stations, sampling 2-4 streams for macroinvertebrate populations. We are well on our way with volunteer help on these efforts. contact us to join the next phases of effort.

Bottles for Sample Collection2014 Adopt a Sample Campaign is on going! MRWC needs support to complete our 2014 bacteria sampling efforts – so consider adopting a sample for a $20 donation or whatever you can.

See details    Or   adopt a site!  We had 11 to cover.


MRWC releases 2013 Bacteria Sampling  and Stream Temperature Reports. We are pleased to share our 2013 Bac-T Report with the watershed community. We sampled 10 sites and in general the river continues to present itself as a great place to explore. Summary Report We are also pleased to release the 2013 stream temperature survey for 11 sites. Temperature Report


MRWC serving the River Community!

2013 Watershed Highlights: IMGP1893

  • MRWC conducts 3rd straight year of volunteer supported bacteria sampling on the river. Report due in March.
  • Millers River Blue Trail clean up day in May.
  • MRWC introduces Trib Watch monitoring program.
  • MRWC begins stream temperature study across the basin.
  • Stream continuity surveys begin: Whetstone “first” stream completed.
  • 2nd annual MRBT solstice paddle a BIG success.
  • Upper Millers/Otter River Blue Trail plans move forward.

2014 Efforts:

  • Launch first phase of upper Millers/Otter Blue Trail  UMO-BT
  • Release upper Millers/Otter Blue Trail map guide
  • 4th Volunteer bacteria sampling season
  • Stormwater Outreach for Franklin County in partnership with FRCOG
  • TW3bExpanded Trib Watch monitoring
    • Additional stream temperature sites
    • Macroinvertebrate sampling
    • Stream flow monitoring
    • Additional stream continuity/culvert surveys
  • Begin work to prepare new Lower Millers River Blue Trail with white water sections along with new river map/guide.

MRWC needs volunteers to help with many of the above projects, please join MRWC in caring for the Millers River and its many tributaries.

MRWC releases 2005-09 Macro-Invertebrate report. See full report on our Resources page. Aquatic insects are good indicators of water quality.

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There’s more:

Rain Garden Pocket Guide now available: published by the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition, this full-color guide is full of photos and illustrations that make building a rain garden simple, fun and affordable.

what is a rain garden?

As a Partner in MWC’s Billion Gallons a Year (BGY) Stormwater Reduction Campaign, MRWC will provide a free copy of the Guide to  watershed residents and businesses, while they last. Please contact MRWC to request a copy of the Guide. A modified pdf version of the Guide is also available for download. Contact us

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Blue Trail The adventures continued in 2014!

Millers River Blue Trail Guide available. MRWC has released the official Millers River Blue Trail guide in (2) versions, a $3 waterproof edition and a complimentary non-waterproof version. A number of local retailers are carrying the waterproof guide while the complimentary copy can be found at the Athol & Orange public libraries.