To the Editor:
Wilton has beautiful parks and open space; it’s surely one of the main reasons people choose to live here. Parks need to be kept clean, which doesn’t just mean removing garbage and debris — invasive species need to be kept in check. Invasive plants are incredibly aggressive, fast-growing and multiplying quickly so that native plants have no chance to establish. This interrupts the food web and natural ecosystem of wildlife, not to mention looks ugly and unkept like the side of a highway.
Wilton is lucky enough to have a municipal support for the environment with the Conservation Commission, Wilton Land Trust, and Parks and Recreation, and Dept of Environmental Affairs. I urge these stakeholders to develop a plan to manage invasives in our open spaces — perhaps not everywhere, but maybe some of the most trafficked and visible ones (Merwin Meadows and Schenck’s Island come to mind). In the past, the town has left these kinds of initiatives to motivated residents (for example, Joe Bear’s meadow project at Allen’s Meadow and the Bradley Park tree planting recently).
Certainly civilian involvement and volunteers should be a big part of an invasive management, but a plan should be led and organized by the town’s environmental specialists. Even if it’s just a couple days a year, having a ‘cut and paint’ volunteer crew would be a start. Wilton’s natural landscape is a real treasure — let’s make a plan to clean it up so we can enjoy it even more.