The 7th Annual West River Water Festival splashed down at West River Memorial Park on Saturday, July 8th, 2017 at West River Memorial Park at the corner of Ella T. Grasso Boulevard and Rt. 34.


The 2017 Festival's activities focused on teaching about the nature around the watershed and the things that residents can do to help care for it. Free canoe and kayak rides, coloring page activities, bird watching, fishing activities, and more were offered. Free hot dogs and packaged snacks were also served throughout the event.


Activities included:

· Free guided family canoe rides during the festival

· Incredible bird life viewed from both land and water, and explained by knowledgeable guides—herons, egrets, ospreys, cedar wax wings, woodpeckers and many other types of sea and land birds

· Activities for smaller children including arts and crafts, coloring books, water games, and more

· Games, science experiments, and educational activities about the watershed ecosystem and aquatic animals


We hope to see you all at the 2018 Festival next July! 



The West River Water Festival began in 2011 as the culmination of a youth watershed education project led by Doreen Abubakar, a social entrepreneur and science educator. Doreen teamed up with NHS Rehab Department’s Kathy Fay to create a summer celebration of the river and watershed, and since then the annual event has continued to grow. “By involving young people from New Haven neighborhoods with their watershed, we hope to inspire them to pursue further education, and perhaps scientific or conservation careers,” says Doreen, who envisions the Festival as one day stretching the entire length of the West River Memorial Park.  


The Festival engages residents in communities along the West River and within its watershed, which encompasses many of the neighborhoods served by NHS of New Haven, from Newhallville to the Hill, encouraging neighborhood residents and public and private partners to take some time together in the summer to run through a sprinkler, learn about fish and birds, and paddle a canoe.