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.
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.