Tag Archives: Leonard Schine Preserve

Roundup: Bike Giveaway, Adoptable Dogs, Outdoor Art …

In conjunction with its next production — “4000 Miles” — the Westport Country Playhouse will give away a Cannondale Adventure 1 Bike (valued at $960).

It’s a donation from Cycleology Bike & Ski of Westport. The store also donated an RBX classic SS cycling jersey and Cycleology water bottle ($97).

The tie-in? “4000 Miles” (August 23 through September 4) is about a young cyclist. His cross-country trip from the West Coast ends at the Greenwich Village apartment of his feisty 91-year-old grandmother. Their generational divide creates conflict over age, family, love, sex and politics — until they discover an emotional connection that gives each a purpose.

To be eligible to win, submit your name, phone number and email either by purchasing a ticket online, by phone (203-227-4177), or in person for “4000 Miles,” or by filling out an entry form here.

Tickets are not necessary to win. All tickets purchased to “4000 Miles” at any time, including subscription packages, are automatically entered into the giveaway, as long as name, phone number and email were given at the time of purchase. One entry per person; must be age 18 or older.

Westport Country Playhouse bike giveaway.

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As reported earlier this week on “06880,” Lily’s Weston Market now features a Returnable Bin. It’s a hassle-free way to return items bought online

Staff will be on hand today, giving out t-shirts and answering questions about the subscription service.

Lily’s Weston Market’s Returnable Bin.

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Julie Loparo is the proud, pet-friendly president of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates.

Every morning at 8, volunteers and Westport Animal Control officers walk, socialize, feed and medicate the “guests” at Westport Animal Control.

Yesterday morning, after completing their chores early, they decided to treat themselves to the newly opened Old Mill Grocery.

They brought along Brutus and Gaga — 2 dogs available for adoption. Both needed extensive vet care, but thanks to WASA are now healthy.

The dogs enjoyed Old Mill Grocery’s Earth Animal display.

“We at WASA, both canine and human, thank all those involved for saving this gem in Westport,” Julie says.

“We will add it to our other favorite place — The Porch @ Christie’s — for enjoying time with friends. Especially when they are 4-legged and furry.”

Animal control officer Peter Reid, WASA president Julie Loparo, Brutus and Gaga.

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The 2nd annual Outdoor Art Gallery is set for September 10, at the Leonard Schine Natural Playground on Weston Road.

But Aspetuck Land Trust — sponsors of the “art in the woods” event — need art to show.

Any form of art or writing is welcome — so long as it responds to the theme: “What about the birds?”

“Let’s celebrate these small, intelligent creatures that are vital contributors in the preservation of our earth,” the ALT says.

Artists of any type should submit a .jpg of their work (and any other information) to woodlandartexpo@gmail.com. The deadline is September 1.

And don’t worry: All submissions are accepted!

A possible submission for the September Outdoor Art Gallery. (Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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John Richers writes: “On a recent vacation, my wife Valerie Leff and I visited the Nobel Peace Prize Museum in Oslo.

“It featured an exhibit about both courageous journalism and the global plight of refugees. Among only 3 books displayed, one (below) was on photojournalism — by a very familiar name.

“We felt proud of our Westport connection to this courageous photographer!”

Author Lynsey Addario is a 1991 Staples High School graduate — and Pulitzer Prize winner.

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To plan ahead:

Next week’s Remarkable Theater drive-in features are “Paddington 2” and “Goodbye, Columbus.”

The canine film — a 2017 live-action animated comedy — screens on Monday (August 8, 8 p.m.).

The rom-com/drama about a recent college graduate and working-class Army veteran who has an affair with a nouveau riche woman is set for Wednesday (August 10, 8:15 p.m.).

Gates open one hour before both days, for tailgating and socializing. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Sure, it’s easy to ignore Spooky Town — the Halloween store that has opened already across from Stop & Shop. Even the most ultra-organized mother does not think about her kid’s costume in early August.

And the Christmas music already wafting in the Bridge Square Dunkin’ Donuts — that’s a joke, right?

But check out this flyer that landed in yesterday’s mail:

“happy Labor Day!!” — Planet Pizza is serious.

Start planning that picnic already. Only 30 days left to order!

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The gulls were here first. And ever since the brick pavilion was built at Compo Beach, they’ve made it their home.

It’s a classic “Westport … Naturally” scene. And it will be, for decades to come.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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And finally … in honor of the Westport Country Playhouse’s bike giveaway (story above), let’s start working our way up to that 4,000-mile ride.

Ta-da! We did it! We even went 78 miles over!

 

(“06880” is supported entirely by readers. Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: COVID, Outpost Pizza, New Cop, More


Here’s one way to look at Westport’s COVID numbers: Since March, we’ve had 516 cases (483 confirmed and 33 probable).

Here’s another: With a population of 26,213, 1.97% — nearly 2% — of the entire town has been infected. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


Outpost Pizza — an outpost of the Stamford spot — opens Monday. It’s in the mini-shopping plaza with Coffee An’, across from the new Hudson Malone restaurant (most recently, 323). The space was formerly a dry cleaner.

Need a job, as well as a pie? Outpost is looking for cooks, prep workers, cashiers and drivers. Call 203-323-7678. (Hat tip: Jerri Graham)

(Photo/Jerri Graham)


The Westport Police Department has sworn in a new officer: Dominique Carr.

The Hartford native earned a BS in justice and law administration at Western Connecticut State University, where he also played football. He comes to Westport from the Windsor Police Department.

Welcome to Westport, Officer Carr!

Officer Dominique Carr


If you missed “Pride and Prejudice” — Staples Players’ 2nd radio play of the fall — you’ve get another chance this Sunday (November 15, 6 p.m.).

It will be re-streamed by the high school radio station, WWPT. Click here for the link. NOTE: It’s available on the website only — not on the radio dial itself.

Seniors Sophie Rossman and David Corro rehearse “Pride and Prejudice.” (Photo/Kerry Long)


Speaking of teenagers and the arts: High school students throughout Fairfield County are invited to apply for the just-announced Westport Country Playhouse Youth Council.

Meeting 6 times a year (virtually, to start), members will learn about the workings of a professional theater. They’ll also contribute creative solutions for how the Playhouse can broaden its appeal to a more diverse community.

Youth Council members will also participate in a speaker series, attend Board of Trustees meetings, create an event, and have behind-the-scenes access to the Playhouse.

The application deadline is November 20. Click here for more information.


The Leonard Schine Preserve got a spruce-up last weekend. And we can thank a bunch of SLOBs.

The group — okay, they’re actually Staples High School’s Service League of Boys — worked with Meg Armstrong and Barry Guiduli at the Natural Playground, a hidden children’s gem off Weston Road.

(From left): Nick Seitz, Ben Berkley, Bruno Guiduli, Gabe Maiolo at the Leonard Schine Preserve.


I don’t spend a lot of time at Sherwood Island. (I know. My bad.)

But Chris Swan does. The other day, he sent photos of what seemed to me like a strange sight.

But, Chris says, horses (and riders) are a regular occurrence at Connecticut’s first state park.

(Photos/Chris Swan)


And finally … today is a day to honor our veterans. As Billy Ray Cyrus sings, some gave all. And all gave some.

Photo Challenge #185

Just when you think there’s no more open space in Westport — along comes last week’s Photo Challenge.

Chip Stephens’ shot showed an old-school tree fort, in the woods. (Click here to see.) Guesses included Winslow Park, Earthplace and Camp Mahackeno. 

Good ideas, all. But the scene was actually the Children’s Natural Playground at the Leonard Schine Preserve, off Weston Road near Bridgewater’s complex.

Kristin Schneeman, Stan Skowronski and Jonathan McClure knew the answer. But overall, there were not many guesses.  I guess too many people were outside, enjoying one of the most beautiful days of the year.

Perhaps they were at the Leonard Schine Preserve. It’s one of Westport’s hidden gems — literally and figuratively. Click here for details. But if you go, bring repellent — then check for deer ticks.

They don’t call it the “Natural Playground” for nothing.

Here’s this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d find it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Photo Challenge #129

It’s a medium-size playground for little kids, with a big name.

Last week’s photo challenge showed wooden climbing structures, in a wooded clearing. (Click here for the image.)

Ten alert readers knew this hidden gem is on Weston Road, just north of Ford Road (next to Bridgewater Associates’ headquarters).

Called the Leonard Schine Preserve and Children’s Natural Playground, it’s part of the Aspetuck Land Trust’s vast, wonderful holdings. To find out more, click here(But sssshhhh! It’s our little secret!)

Congratulations to Joan Tricarico, Evan Stein, Fran White, Julie Fatherley, Stan Skowronski, Bob Fatherley, Rachel Polin, Grady Flinn (just 9 years old!), Alexandra Wiberg and David Brant.

This week’s photo challenge has 2 parts:

  • What is this, and
  • Where in Westport can you find it?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Celebrate A New Children’s Nature Trail

Fifty years ago, the newly formed Aspetuck Land Trust preserved its first open space.

Ralph Glendinning donated 20 acres off Weston Road, adjacent to the wooded area where he was building an office for his marketing firm.

Originally called Twin Bridges Preserve, it was renamed the Leonard Schine Preserve in honor of the local lawyer who helped Barlow Cutler-Wotton form the ALT. Schine told her that the organization should always be “for, not against.”

Aspetuck Land TrustSince 1966 the Land Trust has preserved 146 open spaces and 40 miles of hiking trails, covering more than 1,700 acres in Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Wilton, Redding and Bridgeport.

At its half-century mark, the Leonard Schine Preserve is getting renewed attention.

This year, the ALT built a new nature trail for children there. The aim is to engage kids’ hearts, minds and imaginations outdoors.

A grand opening is set for this Saturday, June 11 (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Christine’s Critters presents her rehabilitated wild animals, including Chester the Red-Tailed Hawk. Ira McIntosh (the Catskill Mountain Music Man) will sing and tell stories.

The new trail is part of a 10,000 square-foot natural playground. Set in a meadow, there’s room for fort building, digging, tea parties, tower climbing, trail walking, stick stacking, nature collages and more. There’s even an elven village where children can play with pine cone dolls, honing their imaginations and fine motor skills.

The Natural Playground was voted one of the Top 50 Playgrounds in the U.S. by Early Childhood Education Zone.

Part of the Children's Playground at the Leonard Schine Preserve.

Part of the Natural Playground at the Leonard Schine Preserve.

The play areas were built with natural materials — primarily red cedar, found natively in the Leonard Schine Preserve — and sticks, logs, saplings, pine cones and acorns collected by volunteers from the Land Trust and nearby businesses.

You may not have heard of the Leonard Schine Preserve — located a few yards off a major road — or even the  Aspetuck Land Trust.

But it’s a hidden Westport gem. Just like the organization that — for 50 years — has developed, maintained and gently improved it, for all who discover and enjoy it.

(To learn more about the Leonard Schine Preserve, click here.)

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #72

Last week’s tranquil-looking photo challenge was”sort of” easy.

A number of readers “kind of” placed it in the general area of Ford Road/the Glendinning office building (now Bridgewater headquarters). Props to Tom Reed, Eileen Lavigne Flug, Jill Turner Odice, Nancy Hunter Wilson, Richard Stein, Wendy Cusick, Jeff Giannone and Tom Wall.

No one actually said that Peter Tulupman’s shot was of the Leonard Schine Preserve. It’s a wonderful spot — apparently hidden from many. Learn more: http://www.aspetucklandtrust.org/17116.

This week’s photo challenge is our 1st-ever 2-fer. It’s important to see both the big picture —

Oh my 06880 1 - May 15, 2016

— and the plaque:

Oh my 06880 2 - May 15, 2016

This week’s photo challenge comes courtesy of Bob Weingarten. He’s best known for photographing old homes for the Westport Historical Society — but he couldn’t resist these shots.

If you know where you’d see this scene, click “Comments” below.