News & Events


Apr 2017

May 11 – MYG/Environmental Forum: Riparian and Backyard Plantings to Help Pollinators

in News & Events

The Rockfall Foundation is pleased to partner with the Connecticut River Museum to present an environmental forum as our Meet Your Greens: Middletown Green Drinks event for the month of May. Join us on Thursday, May 11 for Riparian and Backyard Plantings to Help Pollinators, a discussion focusing on plants and pollinators along the Connecticut River. Presenters include Judy Preston of the Connecticut Sea Grant and Gail Reynolds, Master Gardener Coordinator for the UCONN Extension School.  This program is free to the public, advance registration is encouraged.  The event begins at 5:30 pm with a Meet Your Greens receptions on the dock immediately following.

Call the Museum at 860-767-8269 for more information or to register.

Thursday, May 11, 5:30 pm

Connecticut River Museum
67 Main Street
Essex, CT 06426

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Apr 2017

May 24 – Sustainable Seafood Soiree

in News & Events

Wednesday, May 24
5:30 pm
Saybrook Point Inn, Old Saybrook
Purchase tickets: $75 pp 
($35 is tax-deductible)
Sponsorship Opportunities

Join us in supporting environmental education and raising awareness of local, sustainable food sources!

This unique event will take place at the beautiful and “Green Lodging Certified” Saybrook Point Inn. Hearty hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be served on the patio overlooking the majestic marina, surrounded by fresh salt air and breathtaking views. A key component is the opportunity to raise awareness of local, responsible shellfish farming by featuring a fresh oyster raw bar supplied by our partners with the Noank Aquaculture Cooperative. Members of the Cooperative are local shellfish farmers who focus on growing some of the finest oysters in the Northeast. As the oysters from our region are the most coveted in the world, the Cooperative is fortunate to have many fine oyster brands, including Mystic Oysters and Thimble Island Oysters.

Hors d’oeuvres selection:
Edamame and white truffle dumpling
Mini beef wellington
Blackened sea scallop w/ lemon aioli on sweet potato crisp
Lobster salad endive

Proceeds will support environmental education programs of the Rockfall Foundation, including our “Greening Kids” grant program. Environmental literacy is an essential part of education and ensures that young people have a better understanding of how to care for the world around them. Nurturing future environmental stewards is a priority area for the Rockfall Foundation.

Generously supported by:



Food for thought:

Read about bycatch, the incidental capture and mortality of non-target marine animals during fishing
Download the Pocket Good Fish Guide


Apr 2017

June 3 – CT Trails Day Hike with Christine Witkowski

in News & Events

Celebrate CT Trails Day at Wadsworth Falls State Park!

Saturday, June 3, 2017
9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Join the Rockfall Foundation for a fun, family hike at Wadsworth Falls State Park  to celebrate Connecticut Trails Day!

Led by geologist Christine Witkowski, we’ll hike through the woods to the Little Falls and on to Wadsworth Falls. Along the approximately 2.5 mile hike, there will be stops to discuss the geology and ecology. We’ll examine beautiful exposures of sedimentary and igneous rocks that formed 200 million years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea began to break apart and create the landscape we know today.

Meet at the Wadsworth Falls State Park main parking lot, 721 Wadsworth Street in Middletown (Rt 157). The hike is rated medium and appropriate for families. Healthy snacks will be provided, but please bring your own water. No dogs or strollers are allowed.

This event is free, however, preregistration is recommended by contacting The Rockfall Foundation at 860.347.0340 or via email.

Steady rain cancels the hike. Call 860.347.0340 or 860.227.4176 (day of hike only) for cancellation updates.

For further information on events taking place on Connecticut Trails Weekend visit the Connecticut Forest & Park Association website.

Wadsworth Falls State Park was created through the generosity ofrock falls Clarence S. Wadsworth. According to his  wishes the 267 acre parcel of land was donated to the State of Connecticut shortly after his death in 1942. The land known as the “Rockfall Tract of the Great Falls Region” contains two rock falls for which the Rockfall Foundation is named.



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Feb 2017

2017 Grant Awards Announced

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The Rockfall Foundation Announces Twelve Grants for Environmental Projects

MIDDLETOWN, CT – The Board of Directors and Grants Committee of the Rockfall Foundation are pleased to announce that twelve environmental programs throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley received grants in the latest funding cycle. More than $28,000 was awarded to support environmental education and conservation efforts that will have a combined benefit for nearly 2,000 students and many more adults and families in the region.

“These grants, awarded through a competitive process, support the wonderful work being done in the area of environmental education and conservation throughout our region,” said Marilyn Ozols, President of the Foundation. “We are grateful that the generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to support so many worthwhile programs.”

Environmental education is a priority area for the Foundation and programs that serve and engage children and youth represent the several of those receiving grants. Public schools and non-profit organizations will provide hands-on environmental education programs in Middletown, Durham, Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Additionally, several conservation projects and public events will present residents throughout the Lower Connecticut River Valley with information on urban farming, removal of invasives, and tree identification, as well as provide volunteer opportunities.

Grantees include:

Indian Hill Cemetery Association – “A Celebration of the Trees of Indian Hill Cemetery” will encourage visitors to utilize Indian Hill Cemetery as a place where they can learn about trees, be inspired by trees, enjoy the view and walk quietly. Tree identification activities, school programs, and the addition of signs will support this effort. $1,000

Van Buren Moody Elementary School – “Moody School Courtyard Nature Enrichment Programs” will train teachers to use the school’s courtyard gardens for education enrichment, thereby increasing the amount of time students spend outside learning about the environment. The program will also involve students and families in maintaining and managing the gardens to create a sense of ownership and connection to the courtyards and the natural world. $1,030

Regional School District 13 Elementary Schools – “Taking the Next Generation Science Standards Outside” will encourage elementary students to engage in the Science and Engineering Practices emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards, while exploring the nature trails near their schools and noting problems that could be investigated and addressed. $1,100

Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District – “Urban Farm-Based Education Programs at Forest City Farms: A Farm Days Pilot Project” will promote an ongoing urban agriculture initiative in Middletown focused on improving urban farming conservation practices, building community interest and engagement in farming, developing farming/gardening knowledge and skills, and helping address food insecurity. Hands-on activities will take place at Forest City Farms. $1,500

Middlesex Land Trust and Everyone Outside – “Middlesex Land Trust Preserves: Great Places to Spend Time Outside” will revive and foster an interest in nature by connecting children and families with their local environment through field trips and public trail walks, helping them gain an understanding and appreciation of nature in order to become future stewards of the environment. $1,500

Snow Elementary School – “Outdoor Explorations at Snow Elementary School” will provide students and teachers with hands-on science and nature programs, including teacher training, mentoring and curriculum development leading to greater interest in science and stewardship of the natural world. $1,900

Lyme Land Conservation Trust – “The Diana and Parker Lord Nature and Science Center” to support the planning and development of educationally-focused content that is directed to all ages and will engage school-age children, and to support a unique and interactive interpretive trail within the Banningwood Preserve. $2,000

Valley Shore YMCA – “Farm to Table Specialty Camp,” an innovative new program that will teach children the important life skills of gardening, harvesting produce for themselves and others, and environmental sustainability. $2,225

Macdonough Elementary School – “Macdonough School Takes the Classroom Outside” will provide hands-on science education for K through 5th grade students, including an understanding of the natural world and the local ecosystem, to enhance students’ connection with nature. $2,570

Connecticut River Watershed Council – “European Water Chestnut Strategy for the Connecticut River Watershed” will directly educate more than 250 individuals on how to identify, manage and report European Water Chestnuts; educate thousands of residents about the plant and its threat to our waterways; and involve volunteers in hand removal of documented infestations. $3,500

Connecticut Forest and Park – “Highlawn Forest Invasive Removal and Education Program,” part of a strategic Forest Management Plan, to use the property as a recreation and education asset through careful timbering and an invasive removal process. The program will be a model for environmental planning and will offer a unique opportunity for hands-on environmental education for landowners and municipalities. $4,000

SoundWaters – “Coastal Explorers: A Bridge for Sustainability for Watershed Exploration for Middle School Students” will provide students from Middlesex County with hands-on science education focused on their local estuarine habitats and watershed to encourage a deeper understanding of the natural world via a combination of study and stewardship activities. $6,000

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is named for the large waterfall in Wadsworth Falls State Park. In addition to its grants, the Foundation sponsors educational programs and owns and maintains the deKoven House Community Center. The Rockfall Foundation awards grants annually through a competitive process that is open to non-profit organizations and municipalities located in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. For additional information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit  or call 860-347-0340.


Jan 2017

Green Resolutions for the New Year

in News & Events

Happy New Year! Many of us have made resolutions for the year ahead and some may include how to create a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few simple, eco-friendly resolution suggestions:


  • Break up with bottled water – purchase a reusable water bottle (one that’s BPA free!) and fill ‘er up.
  • Buy less. Consider reusing items, borrowing, or buying second-hand.
  • Enjoy a waste-free lunch – reusable lunch supplies, like stainless steel flatware, cloth snack bags, and a cloth napkin will keep you out of the trash bin.
  • Be mindful: Unplug things when you aren’t using them. Turn the lights off. Watch your water use.
  • Use reusable bags and containers for grocery shopping, packing lunches, and storing leftovers.
  • Commit to enjoy the outdoors more! Take time for nature discovery and simply enjoying what Mother Nature has to offer.
  • Commit to cleaning your home with eco-friendly products made with no harmful chemicals.
  • Go meatless once a week!
  • Avoid individually wrapped items and single-serve containers.

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