What is a watershed ?   Here on earth, watersheds are everywhere. Watersheds are a basin defined by a rim of geological features. Surface and ground water flows from the rim as a hydrologic system that converges into a distinct stream or waterbody. Watersheds include smaller sub-basins that are nested one within another.The Park River regional watershed stretches east from the Metacomet Ridge to the Connecticut River. Waterways in West Hartford, and parts of Newington, New Britain, Farmington and Wethersfield are all tributaries of the South Branch watershed. Bloomfield waterways converge into the North Branch watershed. The North and South Branches of the Park River flow through six Hartford neighborhoods before disappearing into buried conduits. The two branches converge underground to form the Park River, which carries drainage from the entire watershed (77.2 sq. miles) beneath Hartford into the Connecticut River.

watershed research includes:
North Branch Park River Field Assessments
Fuss & O’Neill with New England Environmental

Toxic Trace Metals in the Park River Watershed
Dr. Jon Gourley, Trinity College

Connecticut Environmental Review Team Reports:
#547/548 Park River North & South Branches, March 2000
#533 Annie Fisher Elementary School Nature Trail, April 1998
#513 Hooker Elementary School Nature Trail, February 1996

For Water Quality Monitoring (and more) for Secondary Schools, see Project SEARCH.   According to bioassessment criteria gathered by Project SEARCH, water quality of the North Branch of the Park River has consistently ranked as severely to moderately impaired.  Students and teachers can make a difference in water quality locally, regionally and globally by helping to raise awareness about non-point source pollution.

To learn more about watersheds visit US EPA watersheds