After 20 years, Ben Oko leaves the Conservation Commission

The winged wonders of the woods will still inspire and delight, but Ben Oko’s service as one of dame nature’s dedicated acolytes will not longer include long talk-filled meetings of the Ridgefield Conservation Commission. “I love to be outdoors. I love to see what’s happening. I love to commune with nature. I enjoy it,” said Ben Oko. After some two … read more

Selectmen reappoint four to Conservation Commission

After sharing thoughts on a variety of issues, four Conservation Commission members were reappointed by the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, March 20. But there was also interest in someone who wasn’t reappointed. “Ben Oko has decided not to stand for reappointment,” Conservation Commission Chairman James Coyle told the selectmen. “After 18 years, it’s going to be a strange place … read more

Deer hunt debate to receive hearing in June

Ridgefield’s deer hunt debate appears headed for a public hearing sometime in June. After a presentation on the Conservation Commission’s study of forest understory and a discussion of the hunt, the selectmen in late March agreed on a public hearing to reconsider the deer hunt conducted on town land annually since 2006. The selectmen and Conservation Commission agreed delaying the … read more

The deer, the forest, and the hunt: Conservationists disagree on study results

A dozen years of deer hunting in Ridgefield open spaces: How has that shaped the influence deer — lovely but hungry, browsing and munching on leafy greens — have had on Ridgefield’s forests?  With a reconsideration of the deer hunting question informally penciled in on the town’s agenda, the Conservation Commission undertook a study of changes in the forest understory. … read more

Conservation Commission seeks alternate

The Ridgefield Conservation Commission has an opening for an alternate member. The duties of the commission include looking after the town’s open space including trail maintenance, posting and protecting; acting in an advisory capacity to Planning and Zoning and Inland Wetlands on the impact of development on the environment; and adding lands to the Town’s inventory of open space by … read more

Lake Windwing meadow: Conservation Commission, Parks and Recreation team up for cleanup

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. 100 years ago, much of … read more

‘Road map for the future:’ Conservationists look at town plan

Open space maintained by the town, reviewing demolition permits to make sure historic homes aren’t knocked down, improving spaces for the performing arts — the first of three listening session for the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development covered a lot of ground. The Planning and Zoning Commission is currently rewriting its plan for 2020, a job it takes on … read more

Town Plan: Listening sessions rescheduled, first meeting set for Tuesday

The Planning and Zoning Commission’s listening sessions — a chance for town agencies to weigh in on what should go in and what should be left out of the commission’s 10-year rewrite of the Plan of Conservation and Development — have been rescheduled for dates in March, April and May. The listening sessions were originally set to begin with a … read more

Cornerstone Home: Garden at farm to serve disabled

Turn the earth, plant and hoe. Water! Sunshine! Watch things grow. With a vision of intellectually disabled people learning to tend a garden and share in the everyday miracle of growing food, the selectmen approved a license agreement allowing Cornerstone Home & Gardens Inc. to teach gardening on a small patch of town land at the former McKeon Farm on … read more

Editorial: Cars and condos

Should the town embrace the potential for denser development offered to builders by the state’s affordable housing law — trying to guide it to better serve town needs — or wage a determined resistance, battling on through a series of retreats as one site after another fills up with houses, condos, and apartments? The question underlies the selectmen’s discussion in … read more

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