For a while now, a series of intriguing photos and posters has greeted visitors to the 2nd floor of Town Hall.
On Thursday afternoon, the exhibit — called “A River Runs Through It” — was officially dedicated. It’s now a permanent installation.
Curator Rindy Higgins gave an informative talk, filled with questions. She asked:
- Do you live in a watershed?
- One of the main cargoes carried on our Saugatuck River was an essential agricultural product that our ancestors used – and that most of us still use every day for cooking. What’s often the first thing in your skillet after the oil?
- As we age, some of us change our shape. Our old river has had a long life, and it too has changed shape. How and where has it changed?
- Do you know that we also have a garden under the river?
- So what can we do to keep the Saugatuck River clean? We’ve all seen garbage washing down into a storm drain. We fertilize our lawns. How do our activities on our own properties affect the river?
The answers — including information about oysters (the answer to that garden question) — can be found in the exhibit.
She also asked whether anyone knew that the US Navy named an oiler in honor of the Saugatuck River.
“Despite the irony of an oiler,” Higgins said, “we want to keep our river clean — now and for future generations.”
In honor of its proud heritage — and the goal of preserving river quality — she gave a Navy cap, emblazoned “USS Saugatuck,” to “the commanding officer of the town of Westport”: 1st Selectman Jim Marpe.