Faces of New Canaan: Micaela Porta


More than one New Canaanite urged us to talk to Micaela Porta, co-founder of Pesticide-Free New Canaan, for a possible article here on our local news site. The nonprofit organization’s website is itself a wonderfully concise resource for environment- and wellness-minded residents (as is this new, informative newsletter from the New Canaan Conservation Commission, a group of which Porta is a member). In researching Pesticide-Free New Canaan I came across this Q&A, which does a very nice job of reviewing the nonprofit organization’s history and mission, with useful and succinctly stated tips and checklists for residents who want to pursue organic garden and lawn care (asking, for example, “What are the top three things I can do to protect my loved ones and myself from harmful chemicals in their gardens and lawns?” and “Do you have any recommendations for budget-friendly, safer, pesticide-free strategies?”)


Just as we met Thursday morning and sat down at that window table in Dunkin Donuts on Elm Street, New Canaan’s Beth Jones popped over to say a quick hello, and when I told her I was meeting Miki (as Porta is known) for an installment of “Resident Expert” on NewCanaanite.com, the immediate response was: “Thank goodness we have such an expert resident. She’s a treasure.”

During our conversation—transcribed in full below—I got a strong sense of what Jones meant. (Ultimately, I’m putting this in “Faces of New Canaan” instead of “Resident Expert,” but it could’ve been either one.)

We did discuss Pesticide-Free New Canaan, which Porta founded with town resident Heather Lauver: its history, status, place in New Canaan, science, support, partners.