A farewell note from our Environmental Scientist, Chris Hirsch…
You may have already heard, but my last day with NepRWA will be on December 4th. At the risk of sounding cliché, it really is bittersweet to leave a job that I’ve loved for an opportunity I’ve been working toward since I was a lowly water quality intern. I’m honored to join the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration and excited to help restore rivers throughout the Commonwealth.
When I arrived in Massachusetts, I guarantee I couldn’t find the Neponset River on a map. NepRWA’s Executive Director, Ian Cooke, took a chance on me, and for that, I am extremely grateful. Thinking back on all the volunteers, interns, fellows, collaborators, and colleagues I’ve had the pleasure to work with I can’t help but be amazed at how lucky I was to find NepRWA.
The last four and half years with NepRWA have been some of my best. I’m fortunate to have gotten to know so many of you on a personal level and to have built connections and friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. What an awesome community to be a part of and to grow in. Thank you for the support you have given me over the years.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There were challenges and disappointments as well. It’s not always easy to convince people to do something ambitious. That said, I am thankful for the opportunity to put my stamp on the watershed, and I hope that I was able to leave it a little bit better than I found it.
This may be a farewell for now, but this is not goodbye forever. I plan on continuing efforts to remove dams and restore fish passage in the Neponset from the “other side of the fence”. I will remain on the board of Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, and I plan to continue to push efforts to save the Neponset’s Native Brook Trout. The Neponset River in all its hidden beauty and boundless potential will forever hold a soft spot in my heart.
To everyone who waded a stream, collected a sample, paddled a canoe, attended a training, sat through a presentation, or had a drink at Dorchester Brewing with me, I sincerely hope your memories are as fond as mine.