Save 183 Ridgefield Rd. Gets $28,000 Donation from Wilton Woman’s Club

The Wilton Woman’s Club donates significant funds raised through the club’s annual Fashion Show and Luncheon to one local organization each year. Now in the event’s 12th year, the Wilton Woman’s Club raised $28,000 for the Wilton Land Conservation Trust toward the trust’s effort to “Save 183 Ridgefield Road.”

“Once again, we are grateful to our members and the community for another successful Fundraiser Fashion Show. Our Committee Chairs went above and beyond to ensure that the event was the wonderful springtime luncheon that we look forward to each year. We are pleased to have raised these funds for such a worthy beneficiary and are excited about the plans for this property which will be an asset to the entire Wilton community,” said Jennifer Toll, chair of the fundraiser.

The 14-acre property at 183 Ridgefield Rd. has been the center of a tug-of-war that has come to symbolize the proverbial fork in the road on Wilton’s path forward–continue to preserve open space or strengthen the town’s business tax base with additional development.

In its announcement about the donation, the Woman’s Club describes the land as “…a beautiful property that sits about one mile north of Wilton Center along one of the only three designated Scenic Roads in Fairfield County. Purchasing the property means preserving a place of breath-taking beauty and protecting the rural character of Wilton. All Wilton residents will be able to enjoy trails for walking, hiking, cross country skiing, biking, as well as picnic areas, birding, and other outdoor activities.”

The Land Trust is partnering with other organizations in its plans to utilize the large parcel of open, undisturbed meadow land. The programs being developed by the Trust for 183 Ridgefield Rd. include:

  • Through the Wilton Historical Society, children will plant and harvest flax to learn how original Wilton settlers made cloth for clothing.
  • Woodcock Nature Center will aid in meadow-habitat activities for children that are alternatives to their current wetland habitat.
  • The American Chestnut Society will plant trees and cross-breed them to develop disease-resistant chestnut trees, once dominant in this area and wiped out by blight.

Donna Merrill, executive director of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust had these words of appreciation: “This is an exciting end to the hard work and generosity of the Wilton Woman’s Club. The Land Trust is honored to receive your financial support toward the purchase of 183 Ridgefield Road. Our mission is embedded in our pledge to benefit all citizens of Wilton. This could not be better served than with the gift of the beautiful meadow at 183 Ridgefield Road. Thank you for getting us one step closer to achieving this ambition [sic] goal.”

Wilton Woman’s Club philanthropy co-chairs, Liz Salguero and Kathy Poirier, called Save 183 the club’s “clear choice based on its value to Wilton.”

“This pristine open space will be accessible to the entire community and will provide an educational venue for our children. The Wilton Woman’s Club is proud of its philanthropic history of supporting public spaces like Merwin Meadows and the Norwalk River Valley Trail that celebrate our town’s natural beauty and make it distinctly Wilton,” they said.

For more information on the Wilton Woman’s Club, visit the club’s website.