January – December 2014 - River-Lab

January – December 2014
Board of Directors
Charlene Brauns-Schindler
Vice President
Anne K. Weinrod
Donna Gallo
Jan. – Feb. 2014
Megan Hogan
March – Dec. 2014
Recording Secretary
Deborah Garskof
Members of the Board
Mary Blossfeld-Chung
Donna Gallo
Mar. – Dec. 2014
Mary Hogue
Oct. – Dec. 2014
Jeanette E. McMahon
Patricia A. Money
Mar. – Oct. 2014
Diane E. Rossiter
Lynn Shavinsky
Honorary Board Members
Sarah D. Blodgett
L. Bradley Sherman
Advisors to the Board
Lincoln W. Craighead, Engineering
Brian Fagan, Education
River-Lab Program Director
Jocelyn T. (Joy) Shaw
Director of Program Development
Anne K. Weinrod
Educational Consultant
Diane Rossiter
Office Manager
Roberta Clark
MRWC Founder
River-Lab Program
Jocelyn T. (Joy) Shaw
Review of 2014 Goals
In reviewing our 2014 goals as set forth in last year’s annual report,
I am pleased to report that progress has been made on every one
of them. Membership has increased along with donations. Several
grant funding opportunities were identified. Our working
committees have new members. We welcomed two new board
members onto the board of directors and have made progress
towards adding video instructional segments to the online guidetraining modules. It was a very productive year.
Student to Guide Ratio In Range
In 2014, 666 volunteers led over 3,500 students in small groups
through fully engaging riverside and estuarine learning activities.
The student to guide ratio for these study-trips in Grades 3-5 was
close to five students to each guide—a slight increase in students
per guide over the previous year (4 students per guide) but still an
excellent number of students per guide for an exceptional outdoor
learning experience. The Grade 6 study-trip ratio this year was just
6.4 students per guide—also a bit more students per guide than last
year (6 students per guide) –but still a good ratio.
We discuss these figures—the ratios of students to guide—because
we believe an important feature of River-Lab is having small
instructional groups—especially when students are involved with
an outdoor learning activity. The volunteer River-Lab Guides
provide a quality experience by helping students make observations
and collect data in the field. Through participation in these
activities, and in correlated River-Lab classroom activities and with
teacher instruction, students are exposed to the science behind
how our natural environment works. These students gain not only
a strong basis of respect for this system and awareness of our
human impact on it, but also learn ways to minimize that impact.
The widespread school system support for River-Lab is a strong
indication that our community values this program for its impact on
the students.
Kudos for Captains and Volunteerism
The 666 volunteer guides for 2014 represents an all-time program
high. Again, it is the Captains at each school who do an outstanding
job of attracting volunteers. They clearly explain what River-Lab is,
its value to students and guides and the time commitment involved
for a guide. Captains have found it easier to recruit volunteers as
word continues to spread about the value of the program and the
lesser time commitment than in years past. Most schools attracted
enough guides to staff their school’s study-trips at the low student-to-guide ratio on which River-Lab
administrators make every effort to maintain. At each of their schools, Captains found guides to step up
to the harder perceived jobs of Model and Lab Leaders. These Captains are key to the River-Lab
Program—with their conscientious work, the students get the best small group instruction possible.
Captains will be asked to come to the MRWC Annual Meeting this year, so that they can be recognized for
their efforts.
Curriculum Work
The Curriculum Committee, led by Anne Weinrod (Director of Curriculum) and Lynn Shavinsky (River-Lab
Advisor), with many new members, began work reviewing the River-Lab 6 Study-Trip Discovery Sites in
the spring in order to rewrite the Student Data Sheets and make them more interactive and easier to
follow. Because the Grade 6 students now have this study-trip to the estuary in the fall, at the beginning
of their middle school years, they are not as experienced in self-directed learning as they were able to be
when these study-trips were conducted in the spring. They needed simpler and clearer instructions and
data sheets. All ten discovery sites were modified with the students’ needs in mind. All materials were
changed, new gear provided, and new layouts of the sites were developed in time for the fall 2014 RL6
study-trips. Guides reported that students were able to work more independently than in years past and
stay more on task.
Our goal of adding video segments to the guide online training modules is moving forward. Advisor Lynn
Shavinsky brought in Volunteer Guide David McKinnis to help the Curriculum Committee with the
technology. David presented a new approach that allows video to be added to the online training modules
on the website. Guide and MRWSG Co-Director Subha Sunder has volunteered to start incorporating
video segments into training modules using this new technology.
New Board Members
Megan Hogan was elected to MRWC’s Board of Directors in March of 2014 and serves as our Treasurer.
Megan has been involved with the Mill River Wetland Committee since 2013 and has guided grades 5 and
6 River-Lab study-trips. She has a BA from Providence College and is self-employed as a contract paralegal
specializing in corporate and securities work. Her attention to detail and business acumen has already
served us well in the few short months since she joined the board. Megan is looking at a number of ways
in which we could pare down our expenses.
Long-time guide (since 2004) and staunch supporter of River-Lab and MRWC, Mary Hogue, became the
newest board member in October 2014. Mary is active throughout the Town of Fairfield as a past PTA
President at Burr Elementary, Fairfield Woods Middle, and Fairfield Warde High Schools as well as Fairfield
PTA Council President and Co-Chair of Fairfield’s Earth Day Committee. Mary brings innovative ideas and
boundless energy to our organization. We whole-heartedly welcome both of our new board members.
Budgetary and Administrative Decisions
We continued to find ways to reduce our already lean expenses in 2014. A major decision was to no
longer put on the Garden Expo. It was a difficult decision to drop a popular and at one time financially
successful event but attendance was declining and the expense, including a large storage expense, was
dramatically increasing. These factors along with the extensive time and effort necessary to put on a
quality show, led us to our reluctant decision. New board member Mary Hogue has helped us meet our
2014 goal of expanding our fundraising. She has identified several potential funding sources for MRWC
which we are actively pursuing. We also signed up for the Amazon Smile Program in which 0.5% of
qualified purchases are donated to a charity of the buyer’s choice. We received our first payment from
this program in the fourth quarter of 2014 for $9.12. (See our website www.river-lab.org for details.)
MRWC receives generous support from our established sources, and we have grown this base through
multiple appeals this year. These appeals raised $30,541—which included many current and returning
members and several new members. Overall, memberships and donations in 2014 were increased by
approximately $1100.
The Board of Directors also started the process of revising the By-Laws which had not been reviewed on
a regular basis. Board members Deborah Garskof and Lynn Shavinsky have worked on a draft for the full
Board to consider. Final edits are in progress to bring the By-Laws up to date.
2015 Goals
Our 2015 goals are to continue building the Board of Directors, to continue developing additional funding
sources while maintaining our base of support, to finalize revisions to the By-Laws, and to incorporate the
video training segments for online guide training.
Charlene Brauns-Schindler
Mill River Wetland Study Group News
A total of 3,521 students and 666 guides participated in River-Lab in 2014*
Mill River Laboratory Program 2014
Key: RL3, RL4, RL5, RL6 = River-Lab Program Grade Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6
RL3 ‘14
RL4 ‘14
RL5 ‘14
RL6‘ 14
# Experienced
# New
# Guides
# Students
**Includes 23
AP Environmental
Science Students
& 9 AHS Students
*Some students and some guides participated more than once in 2014:
Individual students (estimate factoring RL5 Spring and RL6 Fall) = 2,659
Individual guides (unduplicated between grade levels in 2014) =521
*** Student-to-Guide Ratio is Low***
For elementary school (grades 3, 4, and 5), the ratio is 5 students to 1 guide.
For middle school (grade 6), the ratio is 6.4 students to 1 guide.
*** Student-to-Guide Ratio is Low***
For elementary school (grades 3, 4, and 5), the ratio is 4 students to 1 guide.
For middle school (grade 6), the ratio is 6 students to 1 guide.
Mill River Wetland Study Group News
Mill River Wetland Study Group
Officers and Staff 2014
Carrie Rullo-RL5
Lynn Shavinsky-RL6
Subha Sunder-RL3 & RL4
Program Advisor
Lynn Shavinsky
Trails Chairpersons
Max Rothman
Mark R. Tygesen
Gear Managers
Heidi Gassel
Amie Steelman
Carrie Rullo-RL5
Lynn Shavinsky-RL6
Subha Sunder-RL3, RL4 & RL6
Guide & Classroom Trainers
Steve Baker
Charlene Brauns-Schindler
Karen Duffy
Julie Gottlieb
Reini M. Knorr
Sara Kwon Jannott
Cindy Leighton
David McKinnis
Michele Meehan
Nicole Nuttall
Kathryn O'Mahoney
Gretchen Patterson
Christina Rescsanski
Lynn Shavinsky
Subha Sunder
2014 was a very successful year for our Study Group. Our
experienced and well qualified Co-Directors and Advisor made
instruction, coordination, and scheduling work seamlessly. The
study-trips for grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 ran smoothly despite occasional
weather-related obstacles and unexpected changes to the school
standardized testing schedule. Most impressively, the number of
study-trip volunteer guides at each grade level has once again
reached record levels, attesting to the strength of and support for
the River-Lab program.
Only minor changes took place in personnel in 2014, allowing
smooth operations at all grade levels. Carrie Rullo was our newest
Co-Director for Grade 5 in spring 2014. Although new, Carrie is an
experienced guide and provided very capable leadership for Grade
5. Subha Sunder continued as Co-Director for Grades 3 and 4 and
Lynn Shavinsky (River-Lab Advisor) filled the role of Co-Director for
Grade 6 in fall 2014. Amie Steelman returned as the Gear Manager
and trained Heidi Gassel as the Assistant Gear Manager.
Improved Communication
One objective for the study group in 2014 was to make
communication between the Co-Directors and school captains
easier and clearer. The Co-Directors communicated with the school
Captains regularly. They utilized the Google Calendar fully by
sending email and attachments directly through it, in addition to
directing Captains to the website for all necessary materials. This
system allowed access to all materials for Captains, Model Leaders,
Lab Leaders, and Guides.
Additionally, at the end of the school year, the Co-Directors held a
Captain’s Meeting so that Captains could get the next years’
schedule, information, and paperwork well in advance.
Confirmation of Captains, explanation of their duties, and allowing
Captains to start their work for the following year before the end of
the current school year is a key to successful operation of the fall
study-trips. This schedule avoids last minute scrambling. Captains
are in place and actively working on recruitment prior to the end of
school for the next school year.
Study-Trip Reports by Grade
Grade 5
Grade 5 Study-Trips were successfully conducted despite a very late
start to spring and severe flooding that caused a number of
cancellations of study-trips and the closing of sections of the trail
Mill River Wetland Study Group News
system. In addition, a new standardized testing schedule for Fairfield Public Schools necessitated
rescheduling the first week of the RL5 study-trips. Subsequently, flooding from rain was so significant
that the marsh was inaccessible for several days. Luckily, rain dates had been built into the schedule for
every Friday. All these rain dates were used. On five occasions we did have to schedule three study-trips
in one day instead of our usual two in order to accommodate both the rain and testing conflicts and to
use lab leaders, guides, and gear efficiently. With some creative scheduling and rerouting, all study-trips
were completed by the projected completion date—the final week in May.
Most noteworthy for this year’s River-Lab 5 program, all but two schools were able to provide a volunteer
guide from their school to be their Lab Leader. In the past, the Study Group has had to provide Lab Leaders
from a limited group of volunteers that were needed to serve at a number of schools in addition to their
own. Also, the number of guides for RL5 rose from 138 in 2013 to an amazing 178! These growth
developments greatly facilitated operation of this program level.
Grade 4
River-Lab Grade 4 ran very smoothly this past fall. The weather was beautiful. We conducted four studytrips per day with 167 eager guides. Many guides were also Model Leaders. This number of Grade 4
guides was another record. In addition, we also had four new trainers. Having four additional trainers
allowed us to have smaller numbers of guides per trainer—especially useful at the first outdoor training
session when over 50 guides attended! It has become crucial to have many trainers at the first session to
be able to break the large group into smaller groups in order to provide a successful training experience
for guides.
Grade 3
Grade 3 study-trips followed directly on the heels of RL4’s completion. We were lucky to have 187 guides
to participate in Grade 3 study-trips. Again, many guides also served as Model Leaders. Study-trips were
tightly compressed into a short time frame due to early dismissals, the RL6 study-trip schedule, and the
desire to finish in early November before it became too cold. Despite a number of rain dates, study-trips
were completed by November 5.
Grade 6
The Grade 6 River-Lab study-trip underwent significant improvements this year. All ten discovery sites
were modified and new Student Data Sheets were designed in order to allow for more self-directed
student learning. Also this year, we added in-classroom study-trip student orientation for all Grade 6
students. These orientations were conducted by the River-Lab Guide Trainers. In-class sessions proved
crucial to help the students prepare to work independently at each of the RL6 study-trip discovery sites.
These additional training commitments were very demanding of the RL6 Guide Trainers and the Gear
Managers but the Guide Trainers succeeded in training 134 guides, including twenty-three Fairfield High
Schools Environmental Science students, in addition to the in-class study-trip training they provided!
The RL6 study-trips themselves were very successful. Because Grade 6 study-trips and training takes place
at low tide, the outdoor trainings and trips had to be conducted simultaneously with Grade 4 and Grade
3 study-trips. Wet cold days made for a bit of discomfort but the students enjoyed the outdoor on-site
learning time despite the conditions. Guides reported that the new student data sheets were clearer both
in terms of directions and recording, and that the flow around and between the Discovery Sites was
significantly improved. The Curriculum Committee will revisit the curriculum changes to fine tune the
Student Data Sheets and revise one site for the next school year.
Mill River Wetland Study Group Awards & Recognitions
The following were recognized this year for their guiding contributions:
Please know we’ve worked hard to ensure the accuracy of this list.
If your name has been omitted or misspelled, please call us at 203-259-1847.
25-Year Award Recipient
Charlene Brauns-Schindler
25-Year Eligibility Criteria-Guide must have guided for a minimum of 25 years* (need not be consecutive), received their Kingfisher Badge, Silver
Kingfisher Pin, Silver Kingfisher Pendant, Gold Kingfisher Pin, Gold Kingfisher Pendant and have a career total of 95 study-trips or guide must have
guided for a minimum of 25 years* (need not be consecutive) and have a career total of 120 study-trips. *Based on academic year.
Silver Kingfisher Pin Recipient
Karen Duffy
Silver Kingfisher Pin Eligibility Criteria-Guide must have guided for a minimum of 5 years* (need not be consecutive), received their Kingfisher
Badge and have a career total of 25 study-trips or guide must have guided for a minimum of 5 years* (need not be consecutive) and have a career
total of 50 study-trips. *Based on academic year.
Kingfisher Badge Recipients
Carol Barrios
Clifford Betron
James Biardi
Aimee Bolash
Janak Desai
Cheryl Eustace
Julie Gottlieb
Melinda Gremse
Tamara Guarino
Suzanne Monk
Christina Rescsanski
Max Rothman
Kingfisher Badge Eligibility Criteria-Guide must be fully trained (3,4,5,6) and have guided at least one study-trip at each of the 4 levels (3,4,5,6)
and have a career total of 10 study-trips.
Volunteer Guides 2014
Gazang Abdulla
Kristen Adams
Janine Alianiello
Ela Alkatib
Yosi Amster
Danielle Anderson
Bryan Anderson
Maureen Anderson
Maggie Andrade
Tiffany Anzellotti
Alejandra Arana
Erica Asaro
Ashley Aufiero
Nadia Babar
Reagan Baiter
Steve Baker
John Balsinger
Maria Baptista
Mandy Barber
Amy Barnouw
David Barzottini
Daniel Bass
Edward Bateson
Shelly Bauer
Scott Bauer
Caroline Becker
Jane Becker
John Bennett
Constance Bennett
Virginia Bentley
Brandon Benton
Sarah Berges
Robin Bernier
Samantha Bernstein
Lisa Bertot
Magdalena Besterfield
Clifford Betron
Andrea Beuchel
Lenka Biardi
James Biardi
Nikki Bleggi
Aamie Blow
Aimee Bolash
Marcia Geovanna
Amy Borruso
Caitlin Bosse
Neelu Bothra
Mireille Bovine
Maria Boyce
Courtney Bradley
Annie Braley
David Brant
Charlene BraunsSchindler
Emilee Brezina
Lynne Brocklesby
Eric Broder
Amy Broderick
Kathryn Brown
Jamie Brown
Maura Brum
Susan Buck
Jenn Buonincontri
Mill River Wetland Study Group Awards & Recognitions
Gaby Burdo
Amy Burns
Amy Calandriello
Heather Cameron
Robert Caramore
Irma Carbajal
Susan Carbine
Anthony Carbone
Neil Carcusa
Lisa Cariddi
Jennifer Carozza
Maria Cascio
Beth Catanesi
Amy Cawman
Amy Cesaratto
Jaymie Cetta
Christine Chaney
Anne Chapman
Michelle Chapman
Ed Christian
Veronica Ciccarone
Susan Cipollaro
Lisa Clancey
Kara Clegg
Jesse T. Clifford
Paula Cocozza
Jacqui Coghlan
Teresa Cole
Nicole Collins
Serene Compare
Emily Conklin
Mary Ellen Connelly
Tina Connelly
Tara Cook-Littman
Matthew Coppola
Melissa Cortes
Judith Costa
Tony Coughlan
Elizabeth Courtney
Clare Coyne
Susan M. Coyne
Julie Crager
Caroline Crawford
MaryAnne Cristodero
Nina Crothers
Jennifer Cullinan
Jessica Curran
Ray Currytto
Christine Cutler
Deniz Dalay
Zsuzsanna Deer
Nicola deJounge
Massimo D'Elia
Michelle DeMartino
Cindi DeNatale
Kelly DePiano
Kerri Devine
Chris DeWitt
Alessandra Diaz
Margaret Diaz
Michael DiGennaro
Jon Dilley
Danielle DiMeo
Maria DiPierro
Lisa Dixon
Doris Doig
Lynn Dolynchuk
Teresa Domnauer
Meredith Donahue
Amanda Donefer
Chaweewan Donohue
Patty Donohue
Christine Dooley
Karen Duffy
Bryce Alexander Durrell
Amy Dutter
Jenn Enborg
Clare Epstein
Cheryl Eustace
Peter Fabrian
Kim Fahey
Donna Fallacaro
Chris Falterer
Sandy Farber
Lauren Field
Kristin Filling
Susanna Finegan
Amanda Flanagan
Michelle Fleisher
Joan Fleming
Kim Flynn
Andrea Flynn
Liz Foley
Angelica Fontanez
Lainie Foran
Leslie Ford
Sarah Fosco
Maureen Fox
Patsy Fox
Deborah Fratino
Karina Frey
Cindy Fryman
Nancy Fuller
Justin Gabrenas
Peggy Gagner
Jeff Galdenzi
Laura Galusha
Nina Gardner
Alissa Gatenby
Simona Gaudio
Asha Gehani
Alison Genovese
Karen Genovese
Stephanie Gervasi
Louise Gidez
Michelle Giliberto
Dawn Gitman
Gina Givogre
Evelyn Goldman
Chris Gombos
Kim Gomes
Karien Goosen
Julie Gottlieb
Mellissa Gough
Kathleen Gouley
Beth Grace
Suzanne Graceffa
Kimberly Grant
Carrie Greenspan
Melinda Gremse
Sarah Grooms
Cathy Grosshart
Edward Grzeda
Tamara Guarino
Karen Guastelle
Elizabeth Haas
Jarred J. Hahn
Tawn Hahn
Erin Hardy
Betsy Harrington
Ann Harvey
Corina Havard
Jen Heitzman
Sara Henderson
Brian Henninger
Alexandra Herring
Mindy Hersh-Walters
Ann C. Hewitt
David Hewitt
Tara Heyel
Chris Hildebrand
Jennifer Hios
Megan Hogan
James Holfelder
Tatum Hughes
Joy Hyde
Sheila Iacono
Quinn Igram
Kelly Jacobson
Ali Jalet-Bell
Danielle James
Cristin Jameson
Loretta Jay
Melissa Johnson
Adrienne Johnston
Susan Kamin
Juli Karacsonyi
Arlene Kardos
David Karpel
Shaw Kassab
Jean Kaul
Susana Kavanagh
Phoebe Kaylor
Michele Keesser
Bernie Kelley
Lisa Kelley
Steph Kelly
Sara Kennedy
Elizabeth Keresey
Dana Kery
Samantha Kilcoyne
Erika Kiley
Melissa Kinasewitz
Kelly Kingston
Lulu Kleinbeck
Grace M. Klouman
Lizzy Knisely
Reini M. Knorr
Daniella Kohler
Susan Kohn
Mary Korchinski
Christina Koskinas
Anne Koth
Timothy Kotos
Lisa Kozlowski
Andrea Krollman
Eric Kurzenberger
Sara Kwon Jannott
Suzanne LaBella
Susan Lackey
Gail Lacugna
Meg Lahey
Eileen Landsman
Stephanie Larsen
Karen Lawson
Oscar Leal
Carlotta Leung
Andrew Levy
Kristen Lewey
Julie Lewis
Yngrid Li
Wendy Lien
Kim Lindstrom
Deborah Lipschutz
Sandy Litster
David Lochridge
Elona Logue
Gregory Lombardo
Marc Longo
Vicki Loukrezis
Jennifer Lubarsky
Gina Luczaj
Barbro Lund
Susan Magnuson
Juliet Majmudar
Beth Maldonado
Dave Malini
Tom Malone
Karen Mannello
Bob Manware
Mill River Wetland Study Group Awards & Recognitions
Allyson Marcus
Brian Markham
Sheila Marmion Breakell
Michele Martere
Laura Martinsen
Janice Massey
Stephanie Mastino
Lollie Mathews
Vinny Matregrano
Kass Mayer
Justin Mayhew
Annette McCabe
Katey McCarthy
Eileen McCormack
Shaye Anne McCormick
Linda McDonald
Mike McGoldrick
Mary McKeon
David McKinnis
Elaine McLaughlinHalliday
Michele McMahon
Jessica McManus
Monica McMullan
Bridget McNamara
Michele Meehan
Arri Melody
Jeanie Melvin
Victoria Menard
Elaine Mendes
Kathi Mettler
Sandy Mieczkowski
Trisha Mihan
Sherry Milam
Kelly Milicia
Gabrielle Miller
Kathy Mills
Micholas Minerva
Greg Minsky
Julie Moffat
Patricia A. Money
Suzanne Monk
Adele Moran
Kelly Morgan-Randolph
Carmen Moskowitz
Chris Moynahan
Chrystal Moynahan
Brendan Murphy
Berkeley Murray
Bridie Murray-Hagan
Jennifer Nakos
Kirby Nash
Liz Neugebauer
Bob Nichols
Emiko Nomoto
Nick Novia
Nicole Nuttall
Magda Nyiri
Ann Marie O'Keefe
Patrick C. O'Leary
Sean O'Leary
Kathryn O'Mahoney
Sue O'Neill
Tracey O'Neill
Josh Orosz
Robin Orriss
Patti Osborne
Maya Otalora
Christy Ottaviano-Ohe
Eileen Pacilio
Joanne PagnelloFremont
Annalisa Panagiotakis
Danielle Panagiotidis
Linda Paoletta
Amy Parker
Gretchen Patterson
Beverly Pattison
Leah Pavone
Jeff Peterson
Beth Peto
Heather Petrecca
Ann-Marie Petri
Heather Petry
Margo Phillips
Tony Phillips
Cristina Pino
Terri Pisseri
Sharon Pistilli
Jon Plesser
Tina Poff
Maureen Polley
Lisa Previti
Julie Price
Kari Pulsifer
Amy Pyle
Diana Quinn
Aubrey Raha
Jennifer Rainis
Nicole Ramirez
Ted Randolph
Jeff Ransden
Ria Rassias
Leann Ratner
Kailyn Rattigan
Jonathan Reddy
Colin Redwood
Christina Rescsanski
Kyla Ricci
Jennifer Richard
Stefanie Richthammer
Liz Riggs
Gregory Ripka
Dave Robbins
Stacey Robilotto
Ben Rodriguez
Gil Rodriguez
Anne Michelle
Deirdre Ronan
Jennifer Ronning
Shannon Roper
Tracey Rosato
Jennifer Rosenberg
Antoinette Rosengren
Erin Rossitto
Krista Rugani
Caroline Rullo
Pam Ryan
Alene Sabados
Helene Salerno
Adler Salomon
Cindy Sammarco
Jill Sardo
Madhavi Satram
Rebecca Scalera
Jennifer Scheffer
Madeline Schwinn
Eileen Seeliger
Tara Seiler
Meredith Sevin
Susan Seyfried
Chrissy Sforza
Basma Shaham
Andrea Shantz
Lynn Shavinsky
Laura Shea
Laura Shepard
Annabelle Shepherd
Lee Siegel
Elizabeth Siguenza
Kelly Silva
Susan Siverson
Snejana Slivova
Ashton Smith
Karen Smith
Robert Smith
Linda Sales Smith
Paola Solano
Hadley Spagna
Brenna Spencer
Kim-Louise Spinosa
Nadine Staeger
Stephanie Stellato
Anne Stewart
Monica Strada
Troy Strauser
Dina Sullivan
Katherine Sullivan
Kristina Sullivan
Subha Sunder
Alix Sussman
Jeannine Swaim
Brian Swan
Haramus Swan
Vicki Swanson
Sarom Ta
Eileen Tarney
Carol Taylor
Lisa Tennaro
Valerie Theissen
Heather Toll
Jennifer Tomasulo
Alyson Torello
Kelly Travers
Laura Treonze
Joanna Tripp Ortiz
Kathy True
Mat Trueblood
Kristine Tully
Tara Twining
Mark R. Tygesen
Chris Upton
Tracie Valentino
Maureen Valus
Alison Varcoe
Rita L. Vassallo
Ana Velez
David Vinas
Kristen Vinocour
Nikki Vinoski
Matt Vinoski
Tiffany Vlandis
Sue Voltz
Fatima von Her
Malini Vyas
Jeff Wade
Victoria Wagenbach
Cindy WakemanD'Andrea
Cindy Waldron
Kara Walewski
Marianne Wallace
Andrea Ward
Carmen Weber
Bob Weber
Sue Weber
Zachery Weinstein
Dave Wesoloski
Garrett Wilson
Sonia Wincott
Cathy Winter
Jeff Winter
Dawn Wolk
Heather Woodworth
Melissa Wrunch
Alexis Yates
Ann Young
Abigail Zandri
Donna Zanin
Heather Ziac
Pam Ziegler
A Year in Review
Volunteer of the Year 2014
At the 2013 Annual Meeting, Lynn Shavinsky announced that, Tyge—Mark Tygeson—was the recipient of
MRWC’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award for his steadfast dedication to the River-Lab Program. Because
Tyge was unable to attend the Annual Meeting to receive his award, it was presented to him at the Guide
Appreciation Luncheon in January of 2015.
Tyge is a familiar face to most people who volunteer for River-Lab. His name is well known; his River-Lab
study-trips infamous; and his ability to present concepts in a succinct and understandable way
unmatched. The fact that we all know him by one name—Tyge—demonstrates his easy-going and
understandable nature.
Tyge has guided a record 246.5 study-trips in nine years. For the last five years and likely before that,
Tyge has been the guide with the most number of study-trips each year. He is also our Trails Manager
controlling poison ivy and downed trees, and he comes to guide trainings to ensure that even the most
seasoned trainers have everything they need.
In addition to ensuring that the students have fun, understand the concepts, and take away lasting
memories, Tyge specializes in helping guides feel confident. He is a friendly welcoming face who can
gently direct the guides or offer encouragement to ones feeling nervous. He has been a rock of support
especially for new Model Leaders. In his very casual way, he will jump in to give examples or information
when a Model Leader—new or experienced—is suddenly at a loss of words in front of 25 eager faces.
There is no more deserving volunteer than Tyge. He enriches the experience for students, adults, and all
those involved. It is a privilege to have him be part of the River-Lab Program.
Mark Tygeson “Tyge” (center) was presented with the Volunteer of the Year 2014 award during
the Volunteer Guide Appreciation Luncheon in January 2015. Jo Olsen, Lynn Shavinsky, Joy Shaw,
Charlene Brauns-Schindler, Anne Weinrod and Megan Hogan (left to right) joined in the presentation.
A Year in Review
In Memoriam
MRWC would like to remember four individuals who passed away in 2014 who were important to MWRC
and River-Lab. All of them were champions of our group and its programs and will be missed.
Tricia Money passed away this year unexpectedly. Tricia guided many study-trips over the years, starting
in 2002 as a guide for Stratfield School. The schedulers could always count on Tricia to be a Model Leader
or Lab Leader or to do an extra study-trip when needed. She was also a Scheduler, Captain, and Director
of the Study-Group. She served on the MRWC Board of Directors twice—2007 to 2008 and then again
2014 until her passing. Her friends and family have raised money for a storage locker to be placed at the
River-Lab Area for study-trip gear that will have a memorial plaque on it.
Ellen Kadden passed away in the fall after a short illness. Ellen was very active in River-Lab and MRWC
from 1989 to 2006. She was a River-Lab Guide, Scheduler, Captain, and Co-Director. She also was
someone who the schedulers could count on to guide many study-trips every year.
Jill Tarlov passed away unexpectedly this fall after an accident. Jill was active as a guide for Stratfield
School in the early 2000s. She also served on the Curriculum Committee at that time to revise the Grade
4 study-trip.
Judith Udaloy passed away this year. She was a guide in the 1970s. At that time each guide was required
to guide for each grade level every year. She fulfilled these guiding requirements and more and could
often be seen on the trail with her friend and fellow guide Jo Gardener.
2013 Annual Meeting
The 2013 Annual Meeting was held on March 6, 2014 in the Fairfield Public Library Children’s Room in
Fairfield, Connecticut. The 2013 Annual Report was distributed to attendees. Evan Welsh, a Green
Projects Associate for Save the Sound gave a power point presentation of how the Southington Rain
Garden Program was successfully launched and completed in the summer of 2013. This rain garden
project was part of the Quinnipiac River Watershed Groundwater Restoration Project. It brought to life
the groundwater system concepts presented in MRWC’s Grade 4 River-Lab Program. Evan’s presentation
gave attendees practical advice for their own homes and yards.
Mill River Wetland Committee
Terrestrial Earth is divided into river
drainage basins. The diversity and abundance
of life forms on Earth depend upon the integrity and viability
of the natural systems in each basin. These systems are frequently
threatened by human activity.
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of Mill River Wetland Committee
Is to strengthen environmental science education and
develop general public understanding of
river basin systems.
Mill River Wetland Committee Contributors 2014
With gratitude, MRWC extends our deepest thanks to every individual, business, and organization that
made donations in Fiscal Year 2014. Large or small, every gift sent directly benefits our work to help
educate young citizens be stewards of the Earth.
Below, we recognize donations given January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. We’ve worked hard
to ensure the accuracy of this list. However, if your name or organization has been omitted or misspelled,
please call us at 203-259-1847.
Frances S. Baldwin
Mrs. Linda K. Chandler
Mr. Frank DiZoglio, Jr.
Linda Fabri
Jeff Galdenzi
Mrs. Joyce Gentilozzi
Marge Gray
Harvey Gray
Lori Hashizume
Carole Heller
Mrs. Dina Inchoco
Barbara Jenkins
Roger E. Lasky
Lynn McNulty
Ellen Moore
John & Alex Moran
Sandra Naughton
Nicole Nuttall
Nancy Scott
Mary Martha Sherts
Amie Steelman
Scott Thompson
Virginia Zic
David Gibson
Mr. & Mrs. Nelson Gonzalez
Edward Grzeda
Mr. William R. Hall, Jr.
Dr. & Mrs. James T. Hamilton
The Hoffmans
Maureen Kane
Kathleen & Bob Kane
Colleen Connor & Brian Kelahan
Dr. William Kueffner
Christine Magliocco
Jeanette McMahon
Michele Meehan
Michele & Dominick Modugno
Josephine Olsen
Curtis Osborne
Christy Ottaviano & Kevin Ohe
Cathy & Paul Rado
Patricia Sheppard
John Udaloy
Pat & Doug Urquhart
Greenfield Hill Garden Club
Tamara Guarino
Megan & Phil Hogan
Maridel H. Horsfall
Christine Huntley
Main Street Foundation
David & Elizabeth McKinnis
Kathy Mitchell
Tricia & Mike Money
Dr. & Mrs. William C. Nash
Phillip & Elizabeth Neugebauer
Michele Onofrio
Jim & Betty Ann O'Shaughnessy
Steven Rullo
Christine Sander
Elizabeth Sweeney
Jane Talamini
Ms. Yvonne Zeisler
Jim & Wendy Accomando
Laura & Joseph Amicucci
Dr. Iris Bork-Goldfield
David & Jill Brant
Roberta Clark
Joyce & Tom Flynn
Alan & Alana Fodeman
C. Stephen & Meg Francis
Mary M. Gasker
Alison Genovese
Peter & Cindy Burnim
Mrs. Vidal S. Clay
Country Club of Fairfield
Mr. Lincoln W. Craighead
Dr. John T. Kristy-Engelberg Kristy Animal Hospital LLC.
Margaret Mary Fitzgerald
Deb & Josh Garskof
Mill River Wetland Committee Contributors 2014
Margaret P. Clark
Paula Cocozza
Fairfield Garden Club
Dennis & Donna Gallo
Mary Hogue & Guy Gleysteen
Betsey & David Ives
Karen Jeffers
Reini & Michael Knorr
Karen LaVacca
Peter Mott & Janet Banks-Mott
Diane Rossiter
Ruscito & Head Families-
-Ruscito Family Foundation
Sasqua Garden Club
Barbara & Walter Siemon
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Smart
Jennifer & Blake Titrud
Mr. & Mrs. R. G. Woolworth, Jr.
Jennings School PTA, Inc.
McKinkley School PTA
Mill Hill School PTA, Inc.
The North Stratfield PTA
Osborn Hill School PTA
Riverfield School PTA
The Roger Ludlowe Middle
School PTA
Roger Minott Sherman PTA, Inc.
Stratfield PTA, Inc.
Tomlinson Middle School PTA
Virginia B. Rogers
Jocelyn T. Shaw
Marta Jo Lawrence
Daniel Rose and Ellen Pinson
Pamela W. Ritter
Town of Fairfield
Alan & Betty Feldman
Estate of Ruth Krauss
Burr Elementary School PTA
Timothy Dwight School PTA
Fairfield Council PTA
Fairfield Woods Middle School PTSA
Holland Hill School PTA
$1000 +
Charlene Brauns-Schindler &
Ed Schindler
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
The Virginia B. Rogers Charitable Fund—a Donor Advised Fund of
Renaissance Charitable Foundation
Schwab Charitable Fund
In Memory of Patricia A. Money
Given by Mrs. Julie Gottlieb
Given by Michele Meehan
In Memory of Harry L. Shaw
Given by Jocelyn T. Shaw
In Memory of Judith G. Udaloy
Given by John Udaloy
In Honor of Joy Shaw
Given by Mr. & Mrs. R. G. Woolworth, Jr.
Honorary Members
Barbara S. Fenstermacher
David H. Gibson
Roger T. Previs
MRWC Contributors of Goods and Services 2014
Ela Alkatib
Steve Baker
Berlin Productions
Robin Bernier
Clifford Betron
Mary Blossfeld-Chung
Courtney Bradley
Charlene Brauns-Schindler
Jenn Buonincontri
Nicole Bush
Vincent Camporeale
The Chrysadakis Family
Roberta Clark
Council of Industrial Boiler
Owners (CIBO)
Geovanna de Alvarez
Kerri Devine
Karen Duffy
Cheryl Eustace
Kim Flynn
Nancy Fuller
Donna M. Gallo
Deborah Garskof
Heidi Gassel
Alison Genovese
Guy Gleysteen
Evelyn Goldman
Julie Gottlieb
The Graceffa Family
Cathy Grosshart
Karen Guastelle
Ann Harvey
Corina Havard
Megan Hogan
Phil Hogan
Mary Hogue
Jean Kaul
Dana Kery
Samantha Kilcoyne
Reini M. Knorr
Sara Kwon Jannott
Suzanne LaBella
Karen Lawson
Cindy Leighton
Eileen McCormack
David McKinnis
Jeanette E. McMahon
David McMahon
Michele Meehan
Patricia A. Money
Nicole Nuttall
Magda Nyiri
Kathryn O'Mahoney
Gretchen Patterson
Terri Pisseri
Ria Rassias
Christina Rescsanski
Gil Rodriguez
Deirdre Ronan
Diane E. Rossiter
Richard Rossiter
Max Rothman
Caroline Rullo
Ed Schindler
John Shavinsky
Lynn Shavinsky
Joy Shaw
The Socol Family
Amie Steelman
Subha Sunder
Mark R. Tygesen
Maureen Valus
The Vegeant Family
Nikki Vinoski
Anne K. Weinrod
Alexis Yates
You Can Help Support
Environmental Science Education
As a member, you are a very important part of MRWC. Your donation
will directly support River-Lab, the unique hands-on environmental
science program for students in grades 3-6.
Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, River-Lab continues to
educate thousands of students, guides and teachers each year.
Thanks for your support!
Become a Member – Support River-Lab Today!
For membership information,
please call the MRWC office at 203 259 1847.
Mill River Wetland Committee, Inc. Financial Report
January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014
Membership & Donations
General Membership
Challenge Period Membership
Annual appeal
Anonymous Match
PTA donations
Subtotal Membership/Donations
Year to Date Dec. 2014
Year to Date Dec. 2013
Payroll Expenses
Employment Taxes
Payroll Service Fee
Staff Payroll
Subtotal Payroll
Fundraising Expenses
River-Lab Program Income
Study Trips
Reimburse Classroom Materials
Subtotal River-Lab Program
Fundraising Income
Garden Expo
Other Fundraising Income
Subtotal Fundraising
Dividend/Interest Income
MRWC Expenses
Office Storage
Office/Business Expenses
Subtotal MRWC Expenses
River-Lab Program Expenses
Curriculum Development
Established Programs
Guide & Teacher Materials
Study Trip Expenses
Subtotal River-Lab Program
Balances as of 12/31/14
Checking Account
Vanguard Inter-Term Treasury Funds
Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Funds
Total Investments
*The restricted investments are funds from HUD for the dam restoration
Revised: 4-2-15
Mill River Wetland Committee, Inc., Fairfield, Connecticut
© 2015 Mill River Wetland Committee, Inc.