Wilton is looking for volunteers to help with Townwide Cleanup Day

The Wilton Conservation Commission is seeking volunteers to join its 2023 Citywide Clean Up Day.

It will be held from 9am to noon Saturday, April 1st, at the Town Green as volunteers of all ages join together to pick up trash along Wilton Highway and the banks of the River Norwalk.

“Townwide Cleanup Day is a great weekend of service opportunity for individuals, families and groups, who work together to improve our city. I hope you will join us.” First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said in a statement.

Work gloves, trash bags and trash cans will be provided by the Wilton Conservation Commission and will be available in the gazebo from 9am

Wilton Hardware and Wilton Kiwanis donated items for the Citywide Cleanup Day raffle. To be eligible to enter the raffle, volunteers must collect a full bag of trash and take it to the Town Green for disposal.

Winners will be drawn at noon April 1st, and you must be present to win.

Pinocchio Pizza will give each volunteer a coupon for a free slice of cheese pizza. Events are held rain or shine.

For more information or to register, contact Wilton’s Department of Environmental Affairs at 203-563-0180.

Wilton is looking for feedback on the budget

Prior to discussing its budget, the Finance Council asked residents to complete a survey to provide feedback on the city’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

The plan includes a proposed increase in the budget for the Education Council by 4.5 percent and a proposed increase in the budget for the Selection Council by 2.15 percent; the plan would result in a proposed 5.5 percent to 6 percent increase in milling rates.

The survey is available by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/r/26J6BSR or can be downloaded at www.wiltonct.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif4046/f/uploads/wilton_town_mill_rate_survey_vpublic.pdf.

Responses must be received before March 31.

Downloaded surveys can be dropped off at the drop box at City Hall in the vestibule at the back of the building; at the Senior Center at the Comstock Community Center; or near the circulation desk in the Wilton Library.

Paper copies of the survey will be available at the drop box location.

To learn more about the proposed budget and provide feedback, visit www.wiltonct.org/home/news/board-finance-encourages-residents-complete-fy-2024-budget-survey

Minks to Sinks generated $117K in donations

Minks to Sinks members presented Family & Children’s Agency with a check for the $117,000 the organization raised from selling tags for the Norwalk-based nonprofit in 2022.

“Minks to Sinks has been one of FCA’s largest fundraising initiatives and we are so grateful to the organization and their dedicated volunteers for their hard work and support,” said Robert F. Cashel, president & CEO of Family & Children’s Agency.

Minks to Sinks is a Wilton women-run group with a history of over 80 years. Every year, thousands of items are donated or sent to the biennial epic tag sale held under a large marquee near the Wilton High School tennis courts. All proceeds go to FCA, a non-profit human services organization serving children, families, adults and seniors in Fairfield County.

“Providing this check to FCA is the highlight of the year for us at Minks to Sinks,” said Kim Healy, co-chair of the organization, at the group’s recent annual meeting. “Giving back to society and knowing that funds are used to do great humanitarian work is one of the main benefits of being part of this rewarding organization.”

The next Minks to Sinks sale will be held on May 6, May 7 and May 8. For more information, visit www.minkstosinks.org.

Green events will focus on item reuse

Wilton Go Green and Trackside Teen Center will partner up for Reuse Wilton, an event featuring reusing expert Alex Eaves.

This family-friendly event will offer activities and ideas on how small ways reusing everyday items can make a meaningful impact on society and the planet

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Trackside Teen Center, 15 Station Road.

Reuse Wilton will offer practical, fun and simple ways for the whole family to be involved in reducing their carbon footprint in their homes and communities.

Getting into the habit of using less reduces the demand for natural resources and reduces the accumulation of waste and the emission of toxic pollutants in landfills. Getting the most out of the product minimizes waste, which in turn saves energy, money and the planet.

Living the lifestyle of reusing has been a passion for Massachusetts resident Alex Eaves since 2008. He is the owner of the recycled clothing brand STAY VOCAL and the director of the documentary “REUSE! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet”.

Eaves’ 98-square-foot tiny home will be on site and open for tours. It was converted from a 17-foot mobile truck to a home using nearly all repurposed, reused, and trashed materials.

The film “The Box Truck Film” will also be screened, showing how creative and sometimes hilarious the tiny house concept can become a reality.

To register, visit www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTc0OTI4.

Suggested donations are $5 per person or $20 per family.

Friends of Norwalk River Valley elects a new leader

At a board meeting in February, Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail voted unanimously to elect Kate Throckmorton as interim president of the organization until 2023.

Outgoing president, Charlie Taney, is taking on the role of first vice president, according to a statement from Andrea Gartner, executive director of the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

A non-profit organization, NRVT’s mission is to build and maintain a 30-mile-wide, ten-foot multipurpose trail from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding, ending at Rogers Park in Danbury.

Throckmorton agreed to temporarily step down from his role as team leader of the Wilton NRVT.

A native of Wilton, he has been on the NRVT board since 2020. With this change in leadership, Taney will be seeking a replacement for the board president as the organization seeks more volunteers.

“This is an extraordinary time to be involved with NRVT as its footprint will grow rapidly over the next few years. If you are someone who knows our trail, loves our trail, and you are interested in being a part of a legacy project, contact me. There is a place for you on our board,” said Taney.

Since 2012, NRVT partnered with the cities of Norwalk and Danbury and the cities of Wilton, Redding, and Ridgefield have applied for grants from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in the Recreation Trails program and the Local Transportation Capital Improvement Program to build more of a footprint.

With state funding and donor contributions, nearly 12 miles of NRVT have been completed in Norwalk, Wilton, and Redding.

“I am very excited to step into a new leadership role for NRVT and continue NRVT’s mission. This track is a tremendous asset to the region, providing a safe multi-purpose path that will ultimately provide connectivity throughout the Norwalk River Valley for everyone to enjoy outdoors,” Throckmorton said.

In the past three years, there has been progress in designing and building the planned 30 miles of trail.

The Norwalk, Wilton, and Redding sections officially opened in early 2022. In October 2022, Connecticut Department of Transportation funding letters were received for the Ridgefield Ramble and the continued Wilton Loop North project. When the Ridgefield and Wilton sections are completed, the total length of the completed NRVT will be a halfway 15 miles.

Recently, Friends of the NRVT partnered with the Western Council of Governments in applying for a multi-million dollar planning grant as part of a federal initiative under RAISE, or Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity. This program is administered through the US Department of Transportation.

“With funds such as RAISE available, it was clear that the Norwalk River Valley Trail was an idea whose time had come. The idea that this line could be completed in 10 years is not that far-fetched,” said Taney.

Friends of the NRVT Board meet monthly at Comstock Community Center, Room 30, 180 School Road, Wilton. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 15, at 17.30. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information, visit www.nrvt-trail.com. Interested volunteers should contact Charlie Taney directly at [email protected]

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