About FRWA

Farmington River
FRWA Offices
749 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070

FRWA is a citizen-based, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. It was founded by local residents in 1953 to address critical water quality problems. FRWA works to protect, preserve, and restore the Farmington River and its watershed.

Caring for the river that connects us all

Today, FRWA still leads in addressing Farmington River issues such as water quality, water allocation, habitat restoration, recreation, open space, and wetland and floodplain protection. We work with federal, state and local governments, businesses, and with people in the watershed’s 33 communities to protect the river and its surrounding landscape.

With the help of members, supporters and partners, we look after the river that connects us all, with a wide range of Research, Education, and Advocacy programs. We invite you to join us in this important effort!

Farmington River

Our Mission

FRWA is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring the Farmington River and its watershed through research, education, and advocacy.

Meet our team

Aimee Petras
Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Aimee is skilled in program coordination, project management, fundraising and education. She is always eager to add value to FRWA’s programming for offering tips and sometimes free tools for attendees so they can bring what they learned home including rain barrels and downspout diverter kits to reduce stormwater pollution.

Laura Hart
Conservation Director

Laura runs FRWA's Water Quality Program, manages budgets and grant writing, manages the Frey Property, and works with partners on green infrastructure projects, such as Rain Gardens through our River Smart initiative. Laura works with the Farmington River Coordinating Committee, a group who protects the upper Wild & Scenic designated section of the Farmington River, and runs the Wild & Scenic Film Festivals.

Paige Vichiola
Watershed Manager

As the Watershed Manager, Paige works diligently to assess the health of our watershed throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut through water quality monitoring of bacteria, temperature, chloride, macroinvertebrates, and culvert surveys. She manages data, performs data analysis, and writes reports on our findings.

Heather Geist
Education and Outreach Manager

As the Education and Outreach Manager, Heather is responsible for a variety of educational programs for the next generation of environmental scientists with focus on protection and preservation of the watershed. She also conducts water quality monitoring as well as outreach to other organizations, municipalities, and the general public.

Ciara Kilkenny
Program Assistant

As the Program Assistant, Ciara assists in the water quality monitoring of our watershed across all research programs, along with the analysis and management of the data. She produces outreach and informational materials, assists with report writing, and helps out with outreach/educational events.

Han Solo
Field dog

An energetic German Shorthaired Pointer who helps with water quality monitoring and moral support. Han Solo is specialized in stream assessments by taste testing the water, locating fish, swimming, and rock hopping. He waits diligently on the stream bank for samples and measurements to be completed before he gets to work.

Learn more about how you can get involved today!

Meet our board of directors

FRWA is lucky to have a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors with representatives from many watershed towns. If you would like to be considered for a Board position, a task force, or an advisory committee, please contact us.


  • Robin Baran (Avon) President
  • John Laudati (Granby) Vice President
  • Brian Freeman (Avon) Vice President
  • Chris Whelan (Avon) Treasurer
  • Beckie Sahl (Avon) Secretary


  • Ginny Apple – Barkhamsted
  • Robin Baran – Avon
  • Michael Feldman - Avon
  • Susan Barney – Bloomfield
  • David Donaldson – Farmington
  • Ann Jurkiewicz – Burlington
  • Andy Kuhlberg – Canton
  • Deborah Leonard – Simsbury
  • John E. Robinson – New Britain
  • Marlene Snecinski – Simsbury
  • Rick Warters – Simsbury
  • Chris Whelan - Avon
  • Carol Noble - Southington

Partnership Wild & Scenic Committees

The Farmington River and Salmon Brook hosts two national Wild & Scenic River designations.

Farmington River Coordinating Committee

The Farmington River Coordinating Committee supports conservation and restoration of the river as well as land protection along the 15.1 mile stretch of Upper Wild & Scenic Farmington River which include Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Hartland, and New Hartford.

Lower Farmington River and
Salmon Brook Wild & Scenic

The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild & Scenic Committee’s mission is to protect the free-flowing character of the streams and to protect and enhance the special environmental, cultural, and recreational values for which they were designated.

Want to protect our river?
Get involved today!

Contact us

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