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Happy Green-aversary

The Legacy of Decades Long Activism



Kids inside the bears den at Leonard Schine Preserve Natural Playground at Aspetuck Land Trust.

Photo by Aspetuck Land Trust

Fairfield County has a longstanding history of environmental activism, with a number of our homegrown organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. 

Flashback to spring 1966: Joy Shaw, a young mother, horrified at the sight of a bulldozer razing the trees along the Mill River, plants herself in front of it. The driver stops. That year Shaw founded the Mill River Wetland Committee, and began extensive research on the history and ecology of the river. This would become the foundation for the River Lab program, now part of the Fairfield school curriculum, with more than 400 volunteers leading study trips each year.

Sara Jannot, who did the program as a child, became a parent guide, and is now the fifth-grade co-director of River Lab. Judy Prill’s experience on the river inspired her to pursue an environmental career working for Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “My conviction still is that this is what elementary education should be about. We should know that we live in watershed systems, so we grow with the sensitivity of what we do to the land--knowing that in everything we do there will be a curiosity about what watershed am I in?—and then being motivated to being a good steward,” explains Shaw.

Good stewardship is also at the core of Aspetuck Land Trust’s mission. Founded 50 years ago by Barlow Cutler-Wotton, ALT has expanded to 1,800+ acres in seven towns in Easton, Fairfield, Westport, and Wilton. Executive director David Brant notes that ALT has three focuses: acquiring and saving land, conservation, and community engagement, especially young kids and families, for which they created a children’s nature trail and natural playground. With over 1,000 local members, ALT accepts volunteers at every level, from trimming blueberry bushes to trail stewards who monitor the land. 

The Nature Center at CT Audubon’s Roy & Margot Larsen Wildlife Sanctuary in Fairfield is celebrating 45 years. The center houses classrooms, live bird and animal exhibits, a greenhouse and a Nature Store. Milan Bull, director of science and conservation, began working there that year, and recalls it as a turning point in their mission not only to conserve, but also to educate. “Once the building was up we were open to doing all kind of educational programs. Schools would come every day of the week to have a walk on the sanctuary led by a trained guide,” says Bull. 

In 1986, Dick Harris bought a wooden dory and ventured out into Long Island Sound to test the waters—literally. He soon began recruiting students and other volunteers to monitor pollution in Long Island Sound in a unique form of citizen science. He met up with Pete Fraboni of the Westport Nature Center, now Earthplace. Harbor Watch became part of Earthplace in 1993, complete with lab. 

Harbor Watch director Sara Crosby notes, “Fundamentally what we do is really important: keeping our coastal waters clean for the people who live here.” Since Harris first set out in his little boat 30 years ago, Harbor Watch has trained over 1,000 students, interns, and volunteers. Luke Stewart, a New Canaan H.S. student, says. “I have learned that we must all use our expertise to protect our valuable natural resources, starting with the water we drink and the important food webs of the Long Island Sound.” 

Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration also had a humble beginning—the parking lot of Independence Hall. Organized by Ed Boman and Mike Zembruski of Public Works, it drew only a handful of exhibitors, and fewer visitors. One attendee, Larry Kaley, volunteered, became chair and was inspired to get students involved. Parents got involved; local business got involved. Flash forward 20 years to 2017 and FEDC is a force of nature, with over a thousand visitors from neighboring towns and almost 100 exhibitors at last count. Under Mary Hogue’s chairmanship, FEDC’s mantra has become “Make every day Earth Day,” with the all-volunteer group working year round to promote environmental awareness and sustainability by partnering with groups such as the Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian committee and the Clean Energy Task Force.


Think Local, Act Local
Help celebrate. Get involved. Make a world of difference

aspetucklandtrust.org   /  203-331-1906

ctaudubon.org   /  203-259-6305 

earthplace.org   /  203-557-4400 

fairfieldEarthday.wordpress.com   /  203-259-1847

river-lab.org    /  203-259-1847

Joy Shaw (left), Milan Bull (right), and Dick Harris (below) all share a common goal: educating the youth of today about environmental issues affecting us here in Connecticut. Their hope is to pass the torch to this new generation and to ensure they will go on to carry out the work they began. More money is always needed to fund educational programs that have this goal in mind. 

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July 2017

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Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
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Pequot Library
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
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Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
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Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
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Maritime Garage Gallery
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
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Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
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Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

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Telephone: 203-831-9063
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Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
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720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
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More information

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FTC StageOne
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Telephone: 120-325-91036
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Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $28-$80

Where:
Goodspeed Opera House
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View map »


Sponsor: Goodspeed Musicals
Telephone: 860-873-8668
Website »

More information

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Grace Farms, Sanctuary
365 Lukes Wood Road
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: (203) 920-1702
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An ensemble-based show with beloved music, heartfelt writing, and a story that takes a village to tell.   IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a not-for-profit summer theater program for area youth...

Cost: TICKETS: $12 or $15 at the door

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View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Pequot Library
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Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: (203) 259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: $75.oo

Where:
Stamford Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
684 Long Ridge Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: Stamford EMS
Telephone: 203-968-1118
Contact Name: Jessica Anderson
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free admission

Where:
Downtown Fairfield
Fairfield, CT  06824


Contact Name: Mark Barnhart
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Adam Chau
Website »

More information

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Cost: $29 Standard

Where:
FTC StageOne
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

An ensemble-based show with beloved music, heartfelt writing, and a story that takes a village to tell.   IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a not-for-profit summer theater program for area youth...

Cost: TICKETS: $12 or $15 at the door

Where:
THE KLEIN
910 FAIRFIELD AVE
Bridgeport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Over the last ten years Assembly of Dust has crafted a unique sound that recalls the likes of The Band, Traffic and Neil Young. They have taken that early 70's Americana swagger, put their own...

Cost: $25 Standing Room Only Members Save:$3/ticket

Where:
The Warehouse FTC
70 Sanford St
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Telephone: 120-325-91036
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County’s professional award-winning theatre company, presents MTC’s Hot Summer Nights series beginning with David Maiocco: “An...

Cost: $25-$35 for single tickets. Reservations suggested.

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Find a previously-loved treasure for yourself and a friend at "The Best Book Sale in New England." Over 140,000 books, plus CDs, DVDs, and records can be found under the tents on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: (203) 259-0346
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

Pequot Library invites you to celebrate the life and work of Jane Austen, beloved author, at "Jane Austen: Insights and Influences.” This exhibition is part of the ongoing series...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 15
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

For pre-readers through readers entering 12th grade. Reading is even more fun for children and teens this summer! This year’s summer reading theme, Build A Better World, encourages youth to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346 ext. 16
Contact Name: Front Desk
Website »

More information

The Rodgers & Hammerstein classic that changed American musicals forever dawns at Goodspeed for the very first time. Cowboy Curly and farm girl Laurey are taking their sweet time falling in...

Cost: $28-$80

Where:
Goodspeed Opera House
6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT  06423
View map »


Sponsor: Goodspeed Musicals
Telephone: 860-873-8668
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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