This past Saturday, June 16, a beautiful, sunny day, in one of the most verdant and lush corners of North Wilton, a group of about 30 people gathered to memorialize a young boy who loved nature, trails and Wilton. Nicholas Parisot (Nick) would have been 24 this year, but instead his family and friends commemorated the 10th anniversary of his death by dedicating what he loved most–a trail through the wooded nature of Wilton that will now bear his name.

GOOD Morning Wilton was invited to be part of the group who joined Rick Parisot and Kate Throckmorton, Nicholas’ parents, who stood in front of a map of Wilton with an overlay that sketched the proposed trail. “You were all part of the core group that helped us get through the last 10 years,” Kate said as she thanked everyone, with Rick standing close beside her. She added that she was grateful for being given time to decide exactly how they wanted to memorialize their son. “Thank you for everyone’s patience until we were ready.”

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They had assembled on Tito Ln. at what will be the starting point for constructing the trail, not far from where Nicholas grew up, and where he played in the fields of Millstone Farm and the network of trails nearby. This new trail will begin in the open space land that belongs to the Wilton Land Conservation Trust. Peter Gaboriault, president of the Land Trust explained that in the days and weeks after Nicholas was killed, donations were made in his memory, totaling around $20,000. Now, they had a plan as to how to put those donations to use.

The proposed path will wind its way toward the west where it will link to a two-mile trail around Millstone Farm; it will extend to the east, crossing the Town Forest and potentially connecting to the planned northern part of the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

“I think it’s really exciting that we can essentially have north/northeast to west connection of walking trail through most of the town,” Kate said. She spoke of Nick’s connections to the land, to Wilton through his family, which has been in town for generations, and said they were happy that this trail would contribute to that for years to come.

Even though the event marked a tragic sadness in their lives, Kate and Rick set the tone of the gathering with laughter, warmth and hospitality. Friends and family greeted one another with hugs and conversation as they enjoyed a breakfast spread that had been laid out under a tent, with fresh blueberry muffins, bagels, orange juice and coffee. One large boulder sat nearby, a rock that Nick had played on and climbed as a young boy. It had been put there as an added way to memorialize him.

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Just as the family wants, the path will serve to make connections–connecting parts of Wilton through a network of new trail; connecting people to Wilton’s beautiful open spaces and natural surroundings; and connecting Nick’s family and friends a little closer to one another, to him and to peace. Building a trail in Nick’s memory is not only creating a path for walking, but it’s a path for moving forward.

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