Photo: Courtesy / The Garden Club Of Old Greenwich /
The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, which is now in its 96th year, has been busy at work throughout 2020.
The club spent the spring and summer working on projects, including planting brightly colored flower beds along both sides of Sound Beach Avenue and putting in flower pots and containers along Sound Beach Avenue and Arcadia Road down to the Post Office and along the fire house.
This team effort involved all 65 active club members who have “made beautifying the village a priority,” the Garden Club said in a statement. The work also includes weekly trips for watering, weeding and deadheading plants in the village gardens and at Greenwich Point.
Garden Club members also contributed their own plants from their gardens to help with the beautification efforts.
“They worked to beautify the ports of entry into Old Greenwich by planting beautiful flower pots at the train station and by completely refurbishing the Gateway Garden at the corner of the Post Road and Sound Beach Avenue,” the club said. “Members also weeded, watered and maintained the butterfly garden at Greenwich Point, an important Monarch butterfly waystation.”
Efforts went beyond just beautification. Club members sewed and distributed hundreds of face masks for front-line workers during coronavirus pandemic. The club has also worked closely with Girl Scouts to plan and maintain a “secret garden” at Old Greenwich School.
Coming up, the club will sell bulbs for resident to plant and enjoy. To place an order, visit www.gardenclubofoldgreenwich.org.
A public meeting has been scheduled to discuss replacing the Wesskum Wood Road bridge that goes over Binney Park Brook.
According to the Department of Public Works, the preliminary design of the bridge has been completed. It slated for construction under the local bridge program run by the state Department of Transportation. Residents can ask questions at the meeting, which will include a presentation on the construction project.
The bridge has been rated in poor condition, the DPW said, with a replacement needed as soon as possible or it may have to be closed. It was constructed in 1950.
The DPW noted the “aesthetically pleasing stone masonry arch fascia” of the existing bridge and said the new bridge will “match the existing look and flow with the park setting.”
“The intent is to reuse the existing stone as much as possible with any additional stone approved prior to setting,” the DPW said in a statement. “The elevation of the bridge will not change.”
The cost of the project is budgeted at $1.5 million. A grant from the state’s bridge program will cover half the cost, and the town will pay the other half. The town is expected to seek funding for the project in the 2021-22 municipal budget.
During construction, traffic will be detoured on Sound Beach Avenue and Arch Street. Local driveway access will be allowed.
The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 30 via Zoom. A link to the Zoom meeting is posted at www.greenwichct.gov under the Public Works section.
The Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich will need more space in its trophy case after receiving both first and second place national honors for the community service work completed by its Torch Club.
The club’s Junior Cardinals Torch Club allows members ages 11 to 13 to plan their own community service projects. And out of more than 100 entries, Greenwich’s club was named the first-place recipient in the area of Service to Club and Community by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for 2019-20.
That first prize finish came along with a second-place honor as well for the Greenwich Torch Club in the 2019-20 National Project Award.
This is the third year that the Greenwich club received awards for its work. As a result, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America awarded the Greenwich club with $2,500 for the first place finish and $1,500 for the second place.
“Our club members prioritize contributing to our community in meaningful ways,” club CEO Cristina Vittoria said. “We are thrilled that their dedication and commitment to service projects like these have been recognized at the national level.”
The first-place award came for the “Lights, Camera, Fashion” event that took place in February. The fashion show and dance was put together by the Greenwich Torch Club to benefit Abilis Inc., a nonprofit that works with people of all ages with developmental disabilities.
The Torch Club teamed with the Boys & Girls Club’s Keystone Club, which is for youth ages 14 to 18, to run the event.
“Our Torch Club members chose this project with Abilis and Keystone because it was one way for our members to celebrate and emphasize diversity,” said Camryn Ferrara, Torch Club adviser. “Our torch club members contacted local retail stores seeking clothing donations for the fashion show, which provided enough outfits to accommodate 21 models. … We also had other agencies within the community supply food to all those in attendance.”
The second place award went to the Junior Cardinals Torch Club for its “Salute To Our Troops” project. The kids put together three events, a “battle of the heroes,” a family game night and a bake sale. With the proceeds, they sent special items to members of the U.S. armed forces during the holiday season.
“These events brought together the Greenwich community as well as our Boys & Girls Club members and their families,” said Ashley Culver, Torch Club adviser. “Our project raised money to create holiday care packages that we sent to club alumni who currently serve in the military and troops within their unit who are serving our country.”
Torch Club is designed as a character and leadership program, but club officials say it is so much more. “Torch Club is a ‘club within the club,’ helping to meet the character-development needs of younger adolescents at a critical stage in their life,” the club said.
As the season turns to fall, that means it’s time for the birds to begin flying south for winter. And the Greenwich Audubon Center is the place for bird-watching as the fall raptor migration season gets underway.
“This is an amazing time of year to enjoy the outdoors, as thousands of hawks flying overhead become a common sight in Connecticut,” Greenwich Audubon Center said in a statement. “Audubon Connecticut’s bird experts are already watching the skies, and have so far sighted bald eagles, broad-winged hawks, and American kestrels among their observations.”
Thousands of raptors headed to their winter homes take a route that goes right over Greenwich. For online viewing, Connecticut Audubon has set up a “Hawk Watch” landing page online at ct.audubon.org/hawkwatch with a photo display of common raptors in the state at https://nationalaudubon.box.com/s/lr2r4ss0xkem5m2tsdk2sqg9ebzelhax.
The Quaker Ridge Hawk Watch at Greenwich Audubon Center is the only handicapped accessible bird-watching site in the region and has an expert hawk counter on hand weekdays until early October for the peak of migration. Visitors must wear masks and practice social distancing. Greenwich Audubon is located at 613 Riversville Road.
From Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, there will be a week of online programming for Hawk Watch hosted by Greenwich Audubon in partnership with hawk experts around the globe. For more details, visit Greenwich.audubon.org.