New Barn for Donkeys at Nature Center Delayed


The New Canaan Nature Center’s construction of a barn for donated donkeys has been delayed due to pending approval from various town bodies, officials said, but is expected to break ground in the fall.

Two of the four donkeys that will be joining the Nature Center mini-farm. Credit: Eva Pace

Because the land is owned by the town, more approvals are needed before construction can begin, according to New Canaan Nature Center Executive Director Bill Flynn.

“It’s a town-owned property so it’s a lot more complicated than just getting the normal planning and zoning permits,” Flynn told “It requires another level of approval.”

The Board of Selectmen in May unanimously approved an initial request to begin planning construction. However, the Nature Center must gain approval from municipal bodies including Inland Wetlands, Health and Planning & Zoning, he said.

“It’s just a matter of time and moving through the necessary bodies,” Flynn said.

Flynn said he is very confident that they will gain support from the town and be able to build the barn “very soon.”

With all of the funding for the construction guaranteed via donations, the Nature Center’s main concern is making sure that the donated donkeys are not left without shelter.

“The donkeys are still at the house and the owner has a timeline coming up where they do have to move,” Flynn said. “So we’re trying to get it done as soon as possible to get them a home in time.”

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