Sherwood Island Shines Today

You could say that Sherwood Island made lemons lemonade out of lemonade lemons.

A better analogy would be: The state park’s admirers and friends made foie gras out of goose poop.

Less than 2 weeks ago, “06880” published alert reader Ellen Bowen’s complaint that the 9/11 Living Memorial there — Connecticut’s tribute to state residents lost on that tragic day 15 years ago — was an unkempt disgrace.

Very quickly, several things happened.

Tony Palmer — owner of T. Palmer Landscaping and Anthony’s Nursery and Garden Center, both in Westport — donated a 3-man crew. Working gratis for 2 days, they weeded, pruned rose bushes, cleaned and helped the overworked, under-budgeted park staff get the memorial in tip-top shape.

Tony returned this week, with a mission. He made sure that everything was perfect for today’s 5:30 p.m. ceremony.

Other volunteers turned out yesterday, to weed, clear and prune a large garden bed that visitors pass on their way to the memorial.

The garden bed on the way to the Sherwood Island 9/11 memorial.

The garden bed on the way to the Sherwood Island 9/11 memorial.

Bowen’s story also brought attention to Friends of Sherwood Island. The non-profit does important, seldom-noticed work everywhere in the park. Its annual fundraiser — ShoreFest — is set for 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Local businesses and individuals rushed to offer goods and services for the silent auction.

In addition, a major donation — for ongoing plantings — was made to the Friends’ tree committee.

It’s easy for Westporters to overlook Sherwood Island. Residents may not realize Connecticut’s oldest state park is also home to our 9/11 memorial — and a robust organization that serves the entire 220-acre property.

Thanks to Ellen Bowen’s alert, more Westporters now do.

And many are doing whatever they can to help make Sherwood Island sparkle.

16 responses to “Sherwood Island Shines Today

  1. This is no surprise. Tony Palmer. Home grown and a good man.

  2. Wow, those are good folks! I saw on FB that Berkshire Hathaway realtors also helped out. – Chris Woods

  3. Kudos to everyone that stepped up.

  4. Hats off to everyone who helped turn this situation around. Very impressive work and a heart warming outcome.

  5. Anthony Palmer

    Your welcome and thank you for kind words from all,thx DE

  6. Mary (Cookman) Schmerker Staples 1958

    This is an example of the Westport I know and love.

  7. And the Board & Committee of The Friends Sherwood Island also deserve
    “Kudos” for all the diligent hours of work they do !!!

  8. I am awed by the amazing outpouring of support, both financial and in the form of volunteers, from so many people including the Friends of Sherwood Island and especially to Tony Palmer for sending a crew to do the “heavy lifting”. The 161 Connecticut residents who lost their lives that day and their families would be proud and humbled. I may have written the words, but it was all of you who took action. Let’s move forward now to insure that the Memorial stays the respectful place it should be. Thank you to all.

  9. You should have said, “Sherwood Island made lemonade out of lemons”. Other than that, it was a good story. Enjoy the weekend.Ronnie 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  10. HURRAH for EVERYBODY involved!

  11. Cindy Zuckerbrod

    Kudos to Ellen Bowen for raising awareness of this problem!

  12. Sherwood Islands 9/11 Memorial will be open tomorrow with free parking. Please stop by to see the wonderful job Tony Palmer, The FOSI and many volunteers did to refresh the area. Honor 911