Editor's note: This was written to the volunteers at the Ridgefield Thrift Shop.

The members of the Ridgefield Conservation Commission thank you for your generous contribution of $8,000 for our work in the acquisition and maintenance of open space. Ridgefield has about 5,800 acres of open space with about 55 miles of trails. About half of this acreage is under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission. Because the Town of Ridgefield provides only limited support for our day-to-day operations, and no financial provision for the acquisition of new open space, your gift is greatly appreciated. Your donation will be used to support several ongoing conservation projects in town.

We have already put your donation to work in a project we are doing with the Parks and Recreation Department at Lake Windwing. Lake Windwing provides multi-use trails for walkers, dog walkers and mountain bikes and also has access to Hemlock Hills. Meadows provide important habitat for all kinds of animals, birds, and insects. In particular they have an important role in feeding pollinators (bees and butterflies) which are vital for growing crops. Lots of small animals thrive in the meadow/forest interface and provide food for the larger predators. Unfortunately, meadows are disappearing from the Connecticut landscape and this meadow became highly overgrown with Autumn Olive, an extremely invasive plant species. Thus, the commission is working on restoring the meadow at Lake Windwing by the extensive removal of the Autumn Olive.

We accomplish open space maintenance and acquisition through fundraising efforts and by private donations of land. Your support in our fundraising efforts is most appreciated. Donations like yours allow Ridgefield to continue adding to our efforts to maintain and acquire open space and trails, which is critical to protecting our environment and quality of life. We continue to work towards our goal of protecting 30 percent of the town’s land as open space in perpetuity.

James J. Coyle,

Chairman, Ridgefield Conservation Commission

Commission members:

Susan Baker

Eric Beckenstein

Dave Cronin

Jack Kace

Carroll Brewster

Alan Pilch

Kitsey Snow

Tim Bishop

Daniel C. Levine

Benjamin Oko