Tag Archives: Debra Kandrak

Paint The Town Yellow — Again!

Last fall, Debra Kandrak had an idea.

She wanted everyone in town to plant daffodils.

“Imagine driving through Westport and seeing thousands of daffodils around mailboxes, on the roadside, in front of stores,” she said. “It would be so pretty. And they can be in honor of loved ones, so they’re even more meaningful.”

She got commercial landlord David Waldman on board. Laurelrock and Northeast Horticulture, which maintain several traffic islands, joined in. So did the Westport Garden Club, town officials, businesses, and plenty of random Westporters.

A collage of daffodils.

As she drove around last spring — when the town was laid low by the coronavirus — Debra was heartened to see thousands of new daffodils.

The residents on Soundview Drive had planted hundreds of beautiful flowers along the beach exit road. Project Return planted them in front of their North Compo shelter. They sprouted in front of The Learning Community School on Hillspoint Road, at the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and at dozens of other spots, both public and private.

The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown.

Now, Debra announced the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Yellow” campaign. This year’s theme: Every daffodil represents a stand against bullying.

“Bullying destroys lives,” Debra says. “It chips away at someone’s self-esteem. As you plant flowers with your children, teach them empathy, not excess.

“Our country is in turmoil. Let Westport, show the world that we practice kindness, compassion and empathy. We can do this!”

Debra asks residents, committees, businesses and the town of Westport to plant daffodils “in front of your home, around the mailbox post, by street signs, at your store or office — everywhere!”

She would love to see schools get involved. (Parents can donate daffodils, she suggests).

Sherwood Island Connector, at the Post Road. (Photos courtesy of Debra Kandrak)

Last spring, when we desperately needed to be uplifted, daffodils did the trick. No one knows what this spring will bring.

Except many more daffodils.

(To contact Debra directly, email Debra.Kandrak@raveis.com)

Paint The Town Yellow!

This is peak fall foliage time. The wonder of nature is on display all over town. It’s an amazing, spectacular, all-too-brief moment that makes us realize, yeah, Westport really is someplace special.

So why is Debra Kandrak thinking of daffodils?

The yellow bulbs are an early sign of spring. But they’re planted in autumn. Debra wants Westporters to plant thousands of them soon.

A while back, she started a memory garden on her property, in honor of loved ones lost.

She has hundreds of daffodils, and adds more each year. Just when winter seems to drag drearily on,up they pop. (And even if it snows again, they survive. They’re a lot tougher than they look!)

Debra would like to see daffodils everywhere — not just on her property, Willowbrook Cemetery and random other spots.

“Daffodil Mile” at Willowbrook Cemetery.

She’s started a campaign: “Paint the Town Yellow.” If residents, business owners and town officials participate, she says, “it would be a beautiful thing.”

Both literally and figuratively.

“Imagine driving through Westport and seeing thousands of daffodils around mailboxes, on the roadside, in front of stores,” she says. “It would be so pretty. And they can be in honor of loved ones, so they’re even more meaningful.”

She reached out to landlords David Waldman and Roger Leifer. They’re on board. So are Laurelrock and Northeast Horticulture, which maintain several traffic islands.

Debra is waiting to hear back from the Westport Downtown Merchants Association, and Parks & Rec.

Haskins Preserve’s daffodils and dogwoods — a lovely combination.

Now is the perfect time to plant daffodils. So as soon as you finish raking leaves, put some bulbs in the earth.

Then grab some apple cider, light a fire, and wait till spring. It will be worth it.

PS: Debra says that daffodils are deer-proof. There’s no better reason to start planting now!