State Puts Allen’s Meadow Community Gardens on Notice

Wilton has been told by CT DOT the Town must find a new location for the Community Gardens currently at Allen's Meadow. (photo: GMW)

Since 1975, Wilton’s Community Gardens, located on the northwest side of Allen’s Meadow (429 Danbury Rd.), have been available to residents through a Parks and Recreation Department program. But that’s about to change.

The state leases Allen’s Meadow land it owns to Wilton. The town utilizes the bulk of the meadow for fields used by youth sports and Wilton High School sports teams.

GMW Illustration/Town of Wilton GIS Maps

At Tuesday night’s July 19 Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice advised the other members about some new developments affecting the gardens.

“We recently received notice from CT DOT [Department of Transportation] that gardening is not allowed under the state’s lease with the Town,” Vanderslice wrote to the selectmen in advance of the meeting.

“This prohibition is not unique to Wilton,” Vanderslice added.

“Fortunately, [the state has] agreed to work with us to give us some time to cure this,” she told the selectmen. “We are looking at alternative locations.”

According to Vanderslice, the state indicated a concern about the use of pesticides by people renting garden plots. Town officials have informed current gardeners that they are no longer able to use pesticides while Wilton searches for a suitable garden location.

Access to a water source is one factor limiting the potential new locations. Vanderslice also noted that the potential for room for growth would also be a consideration.

In the meantime, the Town is refunding the gardeners’ $45 fee due to the “disruption.”

Vanderslice sees one silver lining.

“Allen’s has been a good home to the gardens, but we expect ultimately a less congested property without the sports-related traffic and activity is ultimately a better and more attractive site for the community gardens,” she said.

Editor’s note: The story was updated to clarify that the state of Connecticut owns a portion of Allen’s Meadodw, not the entire meadow.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is a shame! The gardens have been there for almost 50 years and I would think many are now organic gardeners using no pesticides.
    Will the state also take over the nature trails around the wetland and ponds? What do they intend to do with the land?
    More info should be forthcoming.
    Karen Daignault

  2. This is a total joke! The state should focus on things that matter. Taxes, Budgets and getting traffic and transportation issues solved. We are all active and educated gardeners and to disrupt this after many of us have spent thousands of hours and equally as many dollars, they are deciding that now is the time to focus on community gardens. Well done CT. Another reason to move away.

  3. The issue isn’t pesticides- it’s digging. Listening to the BoS’s meeting from last night, Lynn mentions that the State is very adverse to digging on any state owned land in case something turns up and they don’t have the $ to clean it up. Maybe we shldnt be eating our harvest if the state is that concerned about what a spade might uncover. I wonder if they’re aware of the archeologist team that regularly digs there? 47yrs later and the State is having an issue with this now? Can’t help but feel suspect. I hope there’s no digging involved with expanding the ball fields at Allen’s as I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what’ll happen with the community gardens space.

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