Tag Archives: Leonard Schine Preserve

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.