For decades, Allen’s Clam House was a prime Westport attraction.
But the Hillspoint Road restaurant — whose claim to fame was its spectacular setting on the Sherwood Mill Pond — also obscured most views of that wide, calming expanse. When Allen’s was torn down nearly a decade ago, the pond opened up to everyone driving, biking, jogging or walking by.
Except it was framed by a utilitarian (and very un-scenic) parking lot.
For several years, Westporters have quietly planned an environmentally sound, passive park dedicated to nature preservation. The project includes restoring native wetland plants at the water’s edge; a naturalized vegetated upland buffer; a walking path and benches; a kayak/canoe launch area; educational signage, and a small parking area.
The town is contributing some money; a matching grant helps. But more funds are needed. Last Saturday night, a great community event gave the Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve an important boost.
The host — Jim Pendry — lives next to the former clam house. A large crowd enjoyed Mill Pond Mojitos and more, while browsing paintings and prints sold at a silent auction. All work was created and donated by local artists.
Guests included the donor artists; neighbors; champions of the pond, preservation and open space; town historian Allen Raymond (who lives on Compo Cove); landscape architects; First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, who appointed the “191 Hillspoint Road Committee” that’s moving the project forward; and Republican challenger Gavin Anderson, a Mill Pond resident.
The event raised $7,000. More than $20,000 is still needed — along with materials and volunteers.
But excavation and grading begins now. Planting is planned for the end of the month — fall is the perfect time for wetland plants to take root.
Time and tide — and the tidal pond — waits for no man.