Letter: Garden Club Completes Master Plan for Irwin Park

Dear Editor,

Since opening as a park in 2005, Irwin Park has been seen as a sanctuary where residents and our neighbors can walk, jog, ride bicycles, picnic and even cross-country ski. The New Canaan Garden Club, as stewards of the Park, recently completed a ten-year Master Plan for the park with Stimson Landscape Architects from Cambridge, MA. Stimson recently was awarded the 2021 Landscape Architecture Firm award from the American Society of Landscape Architects and their Master Plan will provide the road map for the future of the Park. The NCGC Irwin Park Committee presented this Master Plan to the Parks and Recreation Commission at their February meeting and received conceptual approval for two agreed upon priorities. The first project would be to create a terraced lawn seating on the existing hillside west of the Gores Pavilion as a natural location for informal gatherings, lectures or small groups of classes.

Upcycled Yard Clippings and a Can-Do Attitude: How to Make the Holidays Happen in New Canaan [VIDEO]

It would be undoubtedly easy to order our town’s holiday decorations from a big box store or, gasp, the Internet. Surely there’s an iPhone app somewhere where one can pick a look, pay through the nose for rush installation, and find oneself walking through a ready-made winter wonderland. Santa in an Uber, and all that. 

But isn’t it reassuring to know that New Canaan will never do it that way? 

In early December, for the past five decades, the New Canaan Beautification League and the New Canaan Garden Club have partnered to hold our town’s Holiday Greens Workshop at the Nature Center. Several dozen volunteers from both clubs make many of our town’s holiday decorations from scratch, upcycling pruned branches and clippings into the extra-large bespoke wreaths you’ll spot on our town’s municipal buildings throughout December. Trees and shrubs like white pine, holly, ilex, juniper, and spruce can benefit from pruning at this time of year, so generous members, private tree services, and our town’s Parks department gather and donate a bounty that befits New Canaan’s holiday spirit.

Podcast: Final Summer of the Irwin Park Goats

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Wendy Dewey of the New Canaan Garden Club. Together with Alice Wyman, Wendy is co-chair of the club’s Conservation Committee, and is one of the people responsible for the Irwin Park goats project. Introduced two summers ago to a cordoned-area at the western end of the park, the goats have been grazing on invasive plants, and their three summers of work will wrap up in September. We talk to Wendy about what prompted the Garden Club to get the goats, the job the goats have done and what’s planned for the area. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

Professor, Author and Visionary Conservationist Doug Tallamy to Speak in New Canaan

Renowned author, professor and researcher, Doug Tallamy, will speak on the topic of his recently published book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” Tallamy is best known for the national conversation he sparked more than a decade ago about the link between healthy ecosystems and human wellbeing. His first book, “Bringing Nature Home”, emphasized the irrefutably significant tie between native plant species, native insects and the rest of the food chain essential for a healthy world. Sponsored by the ten organizations that comprise the New Canaan Pollinator Pathway, Mr. Tallamy’s presentation will offer specific suggestions of how homeowners can turn their properties into conservation corridors and help make a difference for global biodiversity. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at New Canaan Country School Auditorium, 635 Frogtown Road, starting at 7:30 pm (Doors open at 7:00 pm). Tickets are $15.