Tag Archives: Friends of Westport Parks & Recreation

Friends Indeed: New Trees Grace Compo Beach

The Compo Beach palm tree was not in the plans. Its fate this winter is unknown.

But 2 other trees planted nearby last month were long expected. And they’re just the start of a new, Johnny Appleseed-like look by the shore.

Friends of Westport Parks & Recreation — formed in 2011 to help fund projects and services beyond the town budget — spearheaded a private program. As with benches, donors can plant trees honoring friends and loved ones. Funds cover planting, maintenance and replacement due to storm damage or death.

Specific species and locations — at Compo and Winslow Park — are determined by the tree warden, and Parks & Rec Department.

The 1st 2 trees honor a newly married couple who just moved here, and a family matriarch who recently died.

Irene Penny honored her grandmother — World War II veteran Evelyn I. Wright — with a lace bark elm.

The lace black elm …

Longtime Westporter George Schweitzer planted a red oak to celebrate the marriage of his friends Anne O’Grady and Skip Wells. Their new home is not far from the tree.

… and the red elm.

Besides the tree program, Friends of Parks & Recreation has raised funds for Wakeman Town Farm, and Longshore projects including the Cliff’s Place halfway house, and a storm shelter at the 9th hole.

To read more about the Friends group, click here.

Halfway Home

When groundbreaking was held Wednesday for the new Halfway House at Longshore, it marked the end of a long campaign.

And the start of a new organization that could impact much more than just golf here in Westport.

This week’s ceremonial shoveling was the result of a team effort that raised private funds and developed construction plans. The building came in on time and way under budget thanks to leaders Fred Hunter and Mark Holod; donations of time, material and money from Westporters; a major gift in Cliff Ross’ name, and a tournament organized by Skip Lane and the Haberstroh “boys” (Chuck and Steve).

Longshore golfers will soon have a halfway house worthy of the course -- and the entire park.

The umbrella organization — Friends of Westport Parks & Recreation — is a non-profit that encourages tax-exempt private donations for a public purpose. With its 1st project nearly complete, the Friends group is now looking for other projects through which private individuals or groups can improve the town’s recreational opportunities and infrastructure.

No word yet on what those projects might be — a new ramp for kayaks and canoes? A bone for the Winslow dogs? A new clubhouse at Longshore?

But with over 2 dozen parks and athletic complexes around town — each with its own constituencies and concerns — there should be no lack of ideas.

What’s yours? Click “Comments” to give our Friends some friendly input.

(In other golf news, the Longshore course opens today. Tomorrow morning, the Longshore Men’s Golf Association sponsors its annual course cleanup day. Golfers, their kids, the Staples golf team — all put in a few hours to spiff up one of Westport’s crown jewels.)

Breaking ground on Wednesday (from left): Mark Holod, Katherine Ross, Jeff Mayer, Janis Collins, Fred Hunter, John Cooper.