Op-Ed: A New Canaan Treasure

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. 

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.

Podcast: Faith Kerchoff of the New Canaan Beautification League

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Faith Kerchoff, the New Canaan Beautification League’s co-chair of civic beautification, about the organization’s plans for the spring, ongoing work around town and membership, which has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The League is donor-supported organization. Here’s an interview from two years ago with Kerchoff on the Lee Memorial Garden. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Happy Birthday: Three New Canaan-Based Nonprofit Organizations Turn 80

Three well-known local nonprofit organizations this year will mark 80 years in operation. The New Canaan Chapter of the League of Women Voters, New Canaan Mounted Troop and the New Canaan Beautification League are united by their focus on community engagement and service. The League of Women Voters is the local chapter of a national organization that helps register citizens to vote, and provides voter education about candidates and issues, according to LOWV Chapter President Miki Porta. 

“We’re really all about civic engagement,” she said. “A lot of us are just history and civics and government geeks who really believe that the more of us who volunteer and get involved, the better life is.” Porta said that running the candidates’ debate prior to Election Day is the LOWV event that makes the biggest difference in the lives of New Canaan residents. 

“Because the League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization…I think that the candidates themselves and also the people coming to the debate feel that it’s going to be fair, it’s going to be substantive, and it’s going to be balanced,” she said.

‘A Win-Win for Everyone Involved’: With Generosity and Care, a Plant-Loving Legacy Endures in New Canaan

Dr. Nicholas and Ashley Rutigliano moved to New Canaan last summer from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A Brooklyn native whose wife hailed from Stamford, Rutigliano said the couple had been pregnant—their daughter Emilia is now nine months old—and began “thinking of where to set our roots.”

They found an apt home on Millport Avenue. The Cape Cod-style house at number 156 had been owned since 1973 by Bruce Pauley, a fourth-generation New Canaanite and owner of the still-active Pauley Tree & Lawn Care Inc. who had stepped down the prior summer as town tree warden. Pauley and his wife Elaine—together with ‘Deputy Tree Warden’ Bheema, his ever-present and handsome young German shepherd dog—set their eyes on retiring to 33 acres in Vermont, and the Rutiglianos closed on the Millport Avenue house last June. The owner of SANO Physical Therapy & Wellness, providing services to patients in their own homes, Nicholas Rutigliano had come to know the Pauleys through purchasing their home and understood on moving in that they’d “taken care of and nurtured” their property to a high degree.