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 Farmington River Wild & Scenic designated section, and runs the Wild & Scenic Film Festivals.

Paige Vichiola
Water Quality Manager

As the Water Quality Manager, Paige's work involves assessing the health of our watershed throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut by conducting water quality monitoring and research projects. Paige manages the chloride monitoring program and various in-situ continuous data loggers for temperature, conductivity, water level, and dissolved oxygen. She is responsible for managing data, conducting data analysis, and ensuring that quality assurance and quality control align with data quality objectives. Additionally, Paige writes research reports and the annual water quality report.

Heather Geist
Aquatic Habitat Manager

As the Aquatic Habitat Manager, Heather produces the FRWA newsletter, organizes the annual river cleanup, and provides educational programs for the public. She manages the road-stream crossing program with a goal to upgrade culverts for aquatic passage and reduce flood risks for the community. Heather is also a certified state coordinator and trainer for macroinvertebrate surveys to evaluate water quality, and she coordinates water chestnut removal efforts to combat the spread of this invasive plant in our waterways.

Ciara Kilkenny
Watershed Programs Coordinator

As Watershed Programs Coordinator, Ciara is dedicated to preserving the river's health through multiple programs at FRWA. Her responsibilities include organizing water monitoring programs that involve fieldwork, laboratory tasks, and data management. She utilizes ArcGIS Pro software to design maps to visualize data and information gathered through FRWA research. Ciara manages the development of informational and educational materials for River Smart and the FRWA social media pages, along with aiding in report writing, newsletters, and website updates.

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
  • 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
  • Carol Noble - Bristol

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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