Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Jim Davis


Greenley Road and Ponus Ridge. Credit: Michael Dinan

For New Canaan’s Laura Ault, Jim Davis is “the very definition of a good neighbor.”

Davis and his wife, Sally, “have lived in New Canaan for years, and Jim gets up very early on weekend mornings to pick up trash on our road from end to end, wearing a reflective safety vest,” Ault told NewCanaanite.com by way of nominating her neighbor for the Quiet Heroes of New Canaan series

Located in northwestern New Canaan, Greenley Road zig-zags east-west between West Road and Ponus Ridge. Zoned for two acres, it has 32 residences on it, according to municipal tax records, as well as 18 acres of open space, including undeveloped parcels protected by the New Canaan Land Trust. 

According to the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society’s street name database, the road “takes its present name from mid-nineteenth century residents who spelled their surname ‘Greenly.’ The road appears on maps and in deeds as Greenly Avenue or Greenly Road until the 1920’s when the third ‘e’ somehow was acquired. The old Greenley farm was long known as ‘Indian Cave Farm,’ because artifacts found in a cave on the property seemed to indicate that the cave once had been used as a shelter by Indians.”

Ault said in her nomination letter: “I really hope he won’t mind the public recognition—I don’t think he cleans up our street to be known for it. He just seems to have a sincere sense of propriety and responsibility, and he’s definitely the nicest guy on Greenley Road, if not the world.”

[Editor’s Note: This is a new installment of our periodic “Quiet Heroes” series. We’re accepting nominations for it, see guidelines here.]

9 thoughts on “Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Jim Davis

  1. Jim Davis is the best of a Quiet Hero. Greenley Road has many curves and seems to attract a lot of trash. I love that he cares and notices when something is amiss. He helps keep Greenley Road beautiful.
    Judy Neville

  2. I just did my daily login to newcanaanite.com and you can imagine my surprise when I saw the name Jim Davis in bright red letters. My first thought was that I’ve been “caught” doing something that I shouldn’t be doing – like eating a box of homemade cookies from Walter Stewart’s.

    Happily, I then saw Laura Ault’s name and decided everything was ok. Indeed Laura’s kind words are way too generous. My trash pick-up is a minor contribution to our special town and pales in comparison to the important work done by friends and neighbors who volunteer their time in impressive organizations like Town Government, the Board of Education, the Fire Department, EMS, GetAbout, Multiple Myeloma, Waveny LifeCare, Strays & Others and many, many others.

    Thank you for thinking of me, Laura.

  3. I don’t know Jim but he does indeed sound like a good neighbor. People using Greenley – maybe stop leaving trash there and give the man a day off?

  4. It would be great if we had more Jim’s in New Canaan that took care of their environment. I walk my day every day and pick up drink cans and bottles, paper bags, etc etc. I also pick up after my dog which seems an anathema to many who enjoy there pets but not their neighbours

  5. Congratulations Jim for being nominated and recognized as one of the “Quiet Heroes of New Canaan”. This honor is long overdue and well deserved. I should know as I have witnessed his fine work. My wife and I lived on Greenley Road for 10 years from 2010 to 2020, three houses from the Davis residence. Early on, we heard stories about this man who picked up trash on our new street and it was true. Jim takes his role very seriously including wearing a reflective vest, proper gloves and using an official nifty trash picker grabber. Rain or shine Jim works his route. Jim is extremely hard working, caring, kind, humble and dedicated to his part of making New Canaan better. He and his wife Sally are what make New Canaan special.

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