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Community Foundation of Middlesex County Grants Funding for Upcoming River Raptors Festival to Be Held in Haddam

Editor’s Note: This event has been postponed to April 2021 due to COVID-19. 

Submitted by Susan Daniels.

Middletown, CT – The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) is pleased to announce its support of the first annual Connecticut River Raptors Festival scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam. A $13,488 grant was awarded to RiverQuest, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, that will partner with local scientists, nonprofit river organizations, land trusts, nature centers, and outfitters to provide a free and fun educational event – all in celebration of the natural beauty of the lower Connecticut River and the wildlife that thrives there. The festival focus will be on the once-endangered majestic bald eagle and osprey that now flourish in the river valley with a family-friendly program that includes speakers, exhibits, and live demonstrations. Grant funds were provided from the Mary Janvrin and Natalie Janvrin Wiggins Fund for Birds, Other Animals and Nature at CFMC.

“We are fortunate to have one of the most beautiful waterways and natural habitats in the world, right here in our own backyard,” stated Mark Yuknat, President of RiverQuest,Inc. “Our goal is to make more people aware of its ecology and wildlife while creating a greater appreciation for the environmental issues that impact it.” The festival will feature activities for all ages in partnership with area organizations, including A Place Called Hope, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, the Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat, the Menunkatuck Audubon Society, Meigs Point Nature Center at Hammonasset State Park, Raptors Are The Solution (RATS), the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, and the US Geological Survey among others.

CFMC’s environmental grant making has supported a wide variety of programs including bringing urban youth into the woods for the first time, empowering women to connect with nature and one another, and helping community coalitions organize to preserve their environment. The Community Foundation believes the relationship between people and nature is key to ensuring strong stewardship of our natural spaces and wildlife today – and in our future. CFMC’s grant making highlights education and empowerment for all individuals of all abilities and backgrounds as important elements of its approach to environmental work.


The Janvrin Fund was established in 2017 through a bequest from the trust of the late Mary Janvrin. Ms. Janvrin and her sister, Natalie Janvrin Wiggins, lived quiet lives in the lower Connecticut River Valley and shared a life-long love of all nature, particularly birds, as well as the arts and history. “We are excited to support the Rivers Raptors Festival and the collaboration of educators, environmentalists, and affiliated organizations that are dedicated to celebrating the natural beauty that is abundant throughout Middlesex County,” explained CFMC President and CEO Cynthia H. Clegg. “The festival is a great example of community partnership at its best and a fitting way to honor the Janvrin sisters’ memory.”

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to  improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Its two-fold mission is: (1) to work with individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments and other charitable giving funds; and (2) to support local nonprofit organizations through effective grant making and multiple programs to address community needs. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has invested more than $7.5 million through grants in support of the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, the environment, and for health and human services. For more information go to or call CFMC at 860-347-0025.


  1. This festival should attract people from throughout Connecticut and beyond to visit Haddam and the lower CT River. It is an educational and tourism opportunity that really needs to be promoted with more articles and photos.

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