The Healthy Valley Committee of the Valley Health and Human Services invites Valley residents to take a motorcoach trip on Saturday, October 15, from Derby to Torrington to learn about the history of the Naugatuck River valley. Lunch and a beverage will be provided. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required by September 9th. The cost is $10 per person. To register or obtain directions, call Elaine LaBella of the Housatonic Valley Association at 1-800-832-6482 or e-mail 

  The Healthy Valley Committee and other partners are seeking designation as a National Heritage Area for the Naugatuck River valley.  Participants will learn about how the designation would benefit the 14 Naugatuck River towns.

   The bus will depart from the Kellogg Environmental Center at 500 Hawthorne Avenue in Derby, 06418, promptly at 8:30 a.m. and return at 3 p.m.

   The tour will include visits to Derby, Naugatuck, Waterbury, Harwinton, Thomaston, Watertown, and if time permits, Ansonia and Seymour. Local historian Marion O’Keefe will be tour guide. Stops will include a visit to the Eli Terry Water Wheel and the Lock Museum in Terryville. In Torrington, the tour will stop for lunch at the Torrington Historical Society’s Carriage House, followed by a tour of Torrington.

   The 14 towns in the proposed Heritage Area are Shelton, Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, Waterbury, Watertown, Thomaston, Plymouth, Litchfield, Harwinton and Torrington. The lower Valley is more urbanized and the upper river valley, more rural, but the towns are linked by a history of shipping and trade, industry and invention, arts, culture, natural resources, agriculture and the Naugatuck River.

   The National Heritage Area program is a project of the United States National Park Service. Connecticut already has two National Heritage Areas — the Upper Housatonic River National Heritage Area and the Quinnebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Area. Naugatuck Valley towns, from Shelton to Torrington, could possibly receive up to $1 million a year for 10 years from the federal government if they are designated a National Heritage Area.

   Funding for this event is provided by the Katharine Matthies Foundation and the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut.  

   The Valley Health and Human Services Council is a cooperative venture linking approximately 50 non-profit health & human service providers throughout the valley. Its mission is to identify, plan, implement, and coordinate a comprehensive system of human service delivery and to advocate for community-wide and culturally diverse planning approaches in the larger valley community. Decision makers from each of the active members meet monthly at Valley United Way in Shelton.

   The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is a member of the Healthy Valley Committee. HVA is a tri-state nonprofit citizen’s environmental group founded in 1941 which works to conserve the natural character and environmental health of its communities by protecting and restoring the land and waters of the 2,000-square-mile Housatonic watershed from its source in the Pittsfield, Massachusetts area to Long Island Sound.