By FRAN SISKA
WRWA event organizer
WESTFIELD – It was a wonderful day on the Westfield River on Saturday, June 20. Seventy-four paddlers took part in the Westfield River Watershed Association’s annual Canoe/Kayak Cruise. The seven-mile trip from the launch site downstream from the new green bridge in Westfield to Robinson State Park in Agawam took between two and two and a half hours, depending on how much one meandered. Spotted along the way were: a pair of bald eagles, a merganser with 11 little ducklings behind her and a great blue heron.
Less than a week before the event, WRWA event organizers were keeping a close eye on water levels and weather reports. Volunteers paddled the river the week prior to the cruise, as well as the day before the event, to check any problem areas and look for debris. Earlier in the week, two days of rain had made water levels and flow too dangerous for safe paddling, but the weather cooperated in the days following and the river returned to a level and flow rate just about perfect for the “cruise”. To see a graph of river flow at Westfield, visit
Participants came from all over western Massachusetts and a handful from Connecticut. There was a wide spread of ages and experience levels, but all reported a great time on the river. At the end of the cruise, they all gathered at the take-out point at Robinson State Park in Agawam for cold drinks and snacks and most promised to do it again next summer.
WRWA wants to thank the volunteers who scouted the river conditions, led groups down the river and others who helped throughout the day of the event. Thanks also to the City of Westfield for mowing the launch area prior to the paddle. We thank our Robinson State Park friends for facilitating parking for those who left their vehicles at the end point and took the WRWA event shuttle back to the launch location in Westfield. Additional thanks go to the Westfield Boys & Girls Club for providing the bus to shuttle paddlers. Also, we couldn’t spread the word about the event without the much-appreciated support of our local media outlets.
WRWA is grateful to see so many people appreciating the incredible natural resource we all have in the Westfield River. To learn more about WRWA and its events and to join WRWA, visit www.westfieldriver.org.
By FRAN SISKA