Newtown Forest Association will begin work shortly to enhance Nettleton Preserve, one of Newtown’s most well-known properties, located on Castle Hill Road and overlooking historic Main Street. The bulk of the 26-acre preserve was acquired from the estate of Arthur T. Nettleton, former NFA president, in 1973. Historical references show that the property was meadow as late as 1970. On or around that time, an orchard, comprising over 22 flowering fruit trees, was planted along Castle Hill Road. Over the ensuing 35 years the largest part of the meadow has reverted back to forest.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has approved a gas station/convenience store’s proposal to install an automated car wash at its property to increase the range of services that it offers customers. Following a public hearing held earlier this month, the P&Z approved modifying a special permit held by Sundaram LLC for 64 Church Hill Road, thus allowing the firm to install the car wash at Newtown Mobil. The car wash proposal also requires approval from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. It has already received approved from the Police Commission and Water & Sewer Authority.
A parcel of land near Halfway River is among 2,250 acres statewide now adding to Connecticut’s open space. A 36.9-acre Chestnut Hill Open Space preserve has received a $110,000 grant award of roughly $7.8 million in state funds. Deputy Director of Planning and Land Use Rob Sibley is “thrilled,” he said Tuesday, the same day the grant was announced by Governor Dannel M. Malloy. The grant is a matching grant to reimburse Newtown, which in past years has made investments in its open space. “This is exactly why we work so hard at all town levels to have funding in place to purchase open space,” Mr Sibley said. “We can think toward preservation and the state rewards municipalities that plan well.” On Tuesday, Gov Malloy announced that nearly $7.8 million in state grants will assist 25 communities in purchasing 2,237 acres to be preserved as open space. In addition, $96,250 was awarded to establish community gardens in New Haven and Norwalk.
Sharing a short story with the Fairfield Hills Authority Monday, Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold offered a glimpse of what “makes me feel good” about her job: A woman stopped her recently while on the Fairfield Hills grounds, saying she had to leave her child’s bike behind as they walked through a meadow, which the bike couldn’t cross. The woman had said to Ms Mangold, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a trail going all the way around the campus?” She then told the authority: “It was one of those times that I had the right answer.” An additional stretch of trail “is coming,” she said, which will connect an area of meadow with the existing trails.
Kevin’s Community Center, the free or low-cost community health clinic serving Newtown and the surrounding region, is expanding its hours and scope of operations with underwriting now in place from a federal recovery grant. First Selectman Pat Llodra wasted no time in recent weeks following the delivery of $7.1 million in federal Department of Justice grants, delivering allocations to Kevin’s Community Center and other recipients of grant funds.
Among the many messages pouring in to the people of Marysville, Washington, where a tragic October 24 school shooting has resulted in three deaths, is a heartfelt note to its mayor from Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. Mrs Llodra’s message, sent through the office of Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, expresses acknowledgement of the gravity of the nation’s latest multi-casualty school incident, while conveying on behalf of the entire Newtown community, its collective supportive thoughts, prayers and sentiments.
The Paproski family of Castle Hill Farm on Sugar Lane is hosting a “Show Your Glow” fundraiser, Thursday evening, October 30, from 6 to 9 pm, to benefit The Avielle Foundation, supporting community and brain health.Every year, the Paproskis mow a unique design into nearly eight acres of corn bordering Route 302 and Sugar Lane. The maze this year — three large fireflies and one smaller one — is the creation of 2005 Newtown High School graduate Stephanie Paproski, the daughter of Diana and Steve Paproski, who operate the farm and corn maze. The design honors Avielle Richman, one of the children killed on 12/14. The firefly is the mascot of The Avielle Foundation, which was founded by Avielle's parents, Jeremy Richman and Jen Hensel.
“Riffle-dwelling benthic macroinvertebrate sampling project” is a mouthful. Put more simply, a private coldwater fisheries conservation group recently sponsored a field project during which volunteers armed with collection gear retrieved various examples of animals from local streams and rivers in seeking to gauge those waterbodies’ cleanliness, and thus suitability as trout habitat. The type and number macroinvertebrates present serves as a general indicator of the waterbodies’ ecological health.