Westport: A True “Town Green”

Did you hear about Westport’s great osprey uproar?

Every March for years, the magnificent birds return to their nest from a winter in South America. But this is not just any nest; it’s perched on a platform high above a busy Post Road parking lot. Westporters love watching each pair construct a new nest, fetch food, lay eggs, then teach their chicks to fly.

This year, a parking lot renovation project threatened the ospreys. All weekend long, residents rallied together to make sure the nest was undisturbed. They made phone calls, offered to help build a new platform, and made the birds into instant celebrities.

It’s hardly the first time the town rallied around a great cause. In fact, Westporters pride themselves on making their voices heard. Over 50 years ago, a utility company wanted to buy Cockenoe Island -- to turn the beloved camping and fishing spot a mile off Compo Beach into a nuclear power plant!

Well! It took a while -- and $200,000 -- but Westport now owns Cockenoe Island. Wildlife flourishes, and every summer it is still a favorite destination for boaters.

Cockenoe Island was big. But in many smaller ways, Westport makes its eco-commitment known too. For example, 100 gardeners have plots at the Community Gardens. They grow an astounding variety of produce there. They also enjoy true “community.” They share tips, bounty and friendship. They come from all over town, and span all ages. Their thumbs are green -- and so are their hearts.

Westport is also home to a thriving Farmers’ Market. Begun more than a decade ago by Paul Newman -- yes, that Paul Newman -- it’s grown into much more than a place to shop for the best fresh, healthy and local seasonal food. (Including everything from fruits and vegetables to honey and homemade pies.)

Every Thursday from May to November, the Farmers’ Market rocks outdoors on Imperial Avenue. Musicians play. Chefs show off their favorite recipes. Everyone smiles.

When it gets too cold, the Farmers’ Market heads indoors, to Gilbertie’s Herbs and Garden Center. It’s a year-round institution -- and just one more way that Westport supports the environment.

The Westport Garden Club, Greens Farms Garden Club and several smaller, similar clubs are another. Planting and caring for an ever-changing array of flowers, shrubs and trees, they make Westport look beautiful.

No story on Westport’s commitment to the environment would be complete without Wakeman Town Farm. It’s many things to many people: a working farm (complete with llamas). A summer and vacation camp for kids. A place where teenagers volunteer, and learn to care for animals and the land. An educational center, with program for every age on topics from beekeeping to cooking.

It’s the perfect spot for meetings and parties too. WTF -- as it’s lovingly known -- is as integral to the town as its ospreys.

KMS Partners is a proud sponsor of Wakeman Town Farm. We support its many activities and fundraisers -- and not just with checks. We look forward to seeing you there!

And -- thanks to the foresight of Westporters five decades ago -- there’s not a nuclear power plant in sight.

(For more insights into Westport -- green and otherwise -- contact KMS Partners: 203.295.4375