Op-Ed: A New Canaan Treasure


Faith Kerchoff at the train station plaza

For three years, a team from the Department of Public Works and New Canaan Beautification League volunteers have been working to transform the New Canaan train station. The NCBL had overseen landscape design for the station in 2000, but many of the plants had been overgrown or covered by invasive weeds. The town was slated to install new sidewalks and fencing, so the DPW and NCBL’s own Faith Kerchoff came together for a redesign today. 

Landscape designer Ty Tan and landscape architect Barbara Wilson, both members, contributed their professional expertise to the renovation plans. While Wilson produced the hardscape drawings, Tan chose the plantings. Tiger Mann, director of Public Works, organized our amazing DPW team led by Highway Superintendent Mose Saccary. 

Faith Kerchoff in Lee Garden

The window for planting was hindered by six consecutive rainy Saturdays. The team was able to get 600 1-gallon perennials and 34 trees in the ground despite all the weather interruptions. Kerchoff, along with many volunteers from the NCBL, worked side by side with our DPW to make it happen. 

Faith Kerchoff has been a member of the New Canaan Beautification League for 35 years, and many of its members consider her to be its guiding creative force. She views the train station and Lee Garden to be her two biggest accomplishments. Last week was a big week for her: seeing the train station project come to fruition after years in the making as well as receiving the Jim Cole Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Faith Kerchoff with Tracey Karl, receiving her NCCF award

Kerchoff’s family moved to New Canaan when she was 10. She graduated from New Canaan High School, and after college, she married John Kerchoff, and raised their children in New Canaan. She worked for the New Canaan Advertiser for years. She has been involved for decades with the New Canaan Nature Center. She wrote a cookbook, helped launch the 1991 Landmark Ornaments project, sat on the board of the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, organized book fairs, and many other school-related events. She continues to help run holiday decoration workshops. 

Kerchoff also sits as the committee chair for Lee Garden. Most Friday mornings, you will find Faith and her crew of “Traveling Trowels” at Mead Park, the mailboxes on Pine Street, large urns outside Town Hall, and the train station pulling weeds and continuing to make our town the beautiful gem it is. 

Last week the New Canaan Community Foundation Volunteer Recognition Committee held their annual awards ceremony. Kerchoff was nominated by fellow members of the New Canaan Beautification League and took home The Jim Cole Lifetime Achievement Award. To say she is a New Canaan treasure would be an understatement. When you see her band of neon green volunteers working about town, make sure to stop and say thank you. She is a prime example of what makes New Canaan such a special community. 

12 thoughts on “Op-Ed: A New Canaan Treasure

  1. Faith is indeed a treasure. She is talented, tireless and totally committed to making New Canaan beautiful. Her work at Lee Garden alone has been monumental over the years. Anyone who knows her can see that she absolutely loves what she does—and she loves New Canaan. I think perhaps that is the secret. Thank you, Faith!

  2. It took a long time for me to understand why “native plantings” are so critical. I thought they were just another snobby garden thing. Now that I get it, this kind of story is thrilling.

  3. It’s wonderful to read about all of Faith’s works of her love nature and New Canaan. We all benefit from her passions.

    • I second Bill’s comment. My only issue with the NCBL is that it makes a person a very harsh critic of traffic islands, pocket parks, planters, hanging baskets and Christmas wreaths in other towns (not to mention the Lee Garden, programming and other NCBL efforts).

  4. Congratulations Faith for all your artistic arrangement of nature throughout New Canaan. It’s just not a work of beauty but to the bees & butterflies that benefit. It helps balance the natural cycle…

  5. Faith is amazing and has endless energy. In the dead of winter, after ornaments are finished and there is absolutely no gardening that can be done, you’ll find her organizing the shelves at the Swap Shop.

  6. I second EVERYTHING that was said in the previous posts. If Faith was on the payroll, we could not afford her! Truly! Thank you, Faith, for all that you do. It shows all over town ❤️.

  7. Faith and her team at NCBL are amazing. my family has known her and her work for over 3 decades and we are truly blessed that she takes such personal interest in planting and maintaining. Thank you for everything !!

  8. Thank you, Faith! Your tireless efforts are so appreciated by all New Canaanites. Congratulations to you for well-deserved recognition awards!

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