Baron’s South Quietly Makes News

It hasn’t gotten much publicity.

Then again — except for when plans are announced for a project like elderly housing — most Westporters tend to overlook Baron’s South.

But advocates for keeping the 23-acre hilly and heavily wooded property just a few steps from downtown Westport in its natural state got a big boost last week.

Since her appointment last summer, Parks and Recreation director Jen Fava has been quietly analyzing and assessing land her department oversees.

Now, Parks and Rec hopes to upgrade the trails crisscrossing Baron’s South. They’re accessible from Imperial Avenue and South Compo Road, from dawn to dusk — though few Westporters know they’re there, let alone open.

A path in Baron's South. (Photo/Judy James)

A path in Baron’s South. (Photo/Judy James)

The Parks and Rec Commission unanimously approved $75,000, to pay for upgrades suggested by Fava. However, she noted, the cost could be as low as $25,000. Most of the work will involve trees.

A private group — Friends of Baron’s South — has played a key role in cleaning up the property.

It’s a true town gem. And — very quietly, and unobtrusively — it’s about to get even more attractive.

14 responses to “Baron’s South Quietly Makes News

  1. Tom Broadbent

    Hi Dan,
    This is, as always on 06880 interesting news. is it permitted to bring my dog on the property and if so where is it permitted to Park?

  2. Len Peterson

    But dogs are not permitted.

  3. Grayson Braun

    Can someone provide details on the request for 75,000 worth of taxpayer dollars? The property is already trailed and has been very nicely cleaned up by the Friends of Baron’s South (FOBS) I don’t understand this request when Westport can’t fully fund it’s own pension obligation. This simply makes no sense when there are community groups like FOBS as well as other organizations (ALT comes to mind) that could help to maintain the existing trail system.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Grayson. Under the leadership of First Selectman Jim Marpe, the pension obligation is now 85% funded. One of, if not the best, towns in CT.

      The article said the maximum spent would be $75K. It might be much less.

      Please-it would be great to see Barons South upgraded and the trails in great shape. It can only add to our wonderful town!!

      Nice job Parks and Rec!!!!

  4. don l bergmann

    Baron’s South and other Westport park lands are now being addressed by our new Parks & Rec. Dir. Jen Fava, with the support of the Parks & Rec. Commission and others in Town. I am delighted and am quite confident the costs will be appropriate for the likely modest, yet tasteful improvements. The walking entrance to Baron’s South from the Post Rd., is not mentioned in Dan’s story or comments, but will also become more welcoming. Many are not aware of that entrance between the gas stations. A decision will also have to be made as to any change to the “no dog” rule, on leash might be considered, but is not worth a battle over.

    Don Bergmann

  5. Joyce Barnhart

    The Baron’s properties, north and south, are Westport’s own Central Park. Among other special things happening so close to the Post Road are nesting pileated woodpeckers, those big “Woody Woodpecker” birds whose habitats are shrinking and disappearing. You can recognize their nesting sites by the distinctive rectangular holes they create in trees. These lands are very special places. If we are ever foolish enough to let them go, we can never regain them.

  6. Loretta Santella Hallock.

    Nice work Parks and Recreation! Let’s keep it dog free since we already have a dog park.I love dogs but not everyone does.

  7. janice rrice

    Dan- I felt that elderly housing would have been a better use of the Barons. One of Westport’s finest citizens had to relocate to Darien for elderly housing. A move that he was unhappy about

    • Bart Shuldman

      Wow. How horrible. Had to move to Darien. What a sacrifice.


    • Jamie Walsh

      Please…..there are so many more significant things to be unhappy about and it is only a 15 minute car ride away!

      • Bart Shuldman

        Jamie. Your comment was more appropriate that mine. Nice.

        What does worry me and should be of concern by this person who had to move will be the effect on a senior by the financial crisis in CT. What programs will be cut? The Governor just cut $140 million from hospitals. Deficits are steadily growing and the future projections are worse.

  8. janice rrice

    Yes, Darien was a sacrifice.when you had built your entire life around Wesrport. l5 minutes can be very long when you are 86 !!!!!!!