Unsung Hero #203

Alert — and nature-loving — “06880” reader Rita Corridon writes:

I don’t know know his name. But I see an older gentleman, who owns a little scruffy wired-haired dog at Winslow Park all the time.

During this past year I noticed that every time he was there he was “tidying” some fallen branches, or removing invasive vines from trees. I thought it was a little odd, and kept walking.

A few months ago I noticed how remarkably cleaned up the wooded areas looked — especially considering the number of storms that had hit Westport, and what a mess they make at Winslow. Then I realized it was probably all cleaned up by this one person!

A “cleanup collage” by Rita Corridon. “And this is only one path. There are many more!” she marvels.

I decided that the next time I spotted him I would say something — at least a thank you. When I finally saw him, I mentioned what an unbelievable job he was doing, and how nice the park looked.

He said he takes his dog to the park at least once a day, every day. That’s 365 days a year, so why not do a little cleanup each time?

I thanked him again, and went on with my walk.

It’s pretty impressive what one person doing a little work each day has accomplished. You should check it out yourself.

I’m pretty sure every single pile of branches neatly stacked throughout the park is his doing. Not to mention all the vines he has pulled off tress!

Dog owners at Winslow sometimes get a bad rap, even though it’s usually only a handful of irresponsible owners. I think it’s nice to shed the light on one person doing something really nice, for everyone in the community.

Absolutely, Rita. Our Unsung Hero this week is unnamed — but much admired and appreciated!

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

13 responses to “Unsung Hero #203

  1. Celeste Champagne

    I hope the gentleman in question is an “06880” reader and sees this to know how much his gesture and hard work is appreciated. Does the town appreciate this? Hope so.

  2. That would be Lowrie Gibb doing the work that Parks and Rec simply gave up on years ago.

  3. June Eichbaum

    Hello Dan! I believe the dog’s name is Rosie! She may be a toy/poodle. Very feisty! she has a great personality!

  4. Jo Shields Sherman

    Morley, I’m sure you’re right! There are many areas of Westport that have been made more beautiful because of Lowrie’s “behind the scenes” efforts and care. He is an unsung naturalist with an unerring eye. Thank you Rita for noticing and for that impressive twiggy pictorial tribute. However, I think Lowrie’s dedicated assistant, Goldie, might resent being described as scruffy!

    • Rita Corridon

      Jo, I meant “scruffy” in the cutest possible way, because she is a cutie:)!

  5. Joyce Barnhart

    Rita does not mention it, but I hope she has been inspired to pick-up around the park, too. My husband and I picked up a lot of cold dog poop left behind by others and always hoped we were setting an example.

  6. Mariaolga Ellison

    Dan. I haven’t seen or noticed this kind soul who cleans our park. I say this since I live next to it and walk there quite often. I will look for him and thank him for his great contribution to our Town.

  7. Gloria Gouveia

    This upbeat story of how just one person can make a difference reminds me of a piece I read in the NYT some months ago. A older gentlemen who walked the same route around Prospect Park every day, was surprised at the prodigious amount of litter that accumulated between park maintenance crew clean-ups.
    He started bring a trash bag on his walks each day and picked up as much litter as he could. Soon his daily effort was rewarded by a very noticeable improvement in the amount of litter he observed. He said the task made him feel needed and was the least he could do for his neighborhood and the park.
    “If everyone lit just one little candle… “

  8. Great! Winslow Park needs some serious cleanup attention, especially to the vines choking trees.

  9. Wonderful! Winslow Park needs some maintenance attention, especially to the vines that are eating bushes and trees.

    • Several years ago a friend and I tried very hard to bring the subject of the Winslow invasives (epecially the now out of control Japanese Knotweed) to the attention of Parks and Rec. We were made to feel as welcome as a Walmart at the meetings where we provided helpful information. It was bizarre.The not-so-subtle message was: “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
      Obviously, nothing was ever done.

  10. Wouldn’t it now be a wonder if a parks and rec team were assigned to pick up the piles Mr. Gibb has so thoughtfully arranged to counter that department’s neglect.

  11. Wendy Crowther

    This is indeed the generous work of Lowrie Gibb. He has been a park advocate since at least the late1990s when I first met him. He has quietly worked behind the scenes in all seasons at Winslow Park to tidy up the overgrowth that encroaches upon the pathways and chokes the trees. He is a good and humble man who does this just because he cares.

    He’s also in amazing shape, despite his advancing age, because he works so hard not only in Winslow but also because he’s a runner, swimmer and skater – all using the Westport amenities he loves so much at Longshore and Compo Beach.

    Thank you, Lowrie, for caring so much about Winslow Park and for being willing, along with your devoted, four-legged companions, to walk the talk. Parks & Rec also owes you a debt of gratitude – you have done what they should be doing in our open spaces.