Log In

Reset Password

Top Of The Mountain



Text Size

Spring cleaning is a phenomenon most of us enjoy as soon as it’s warm enough to open windows and breathe in the fresh air that comes with the changing of the season. For many, spring cleaning is an indoor and outdoor experience. In many towns, however — including Newtown — many of our elderly neighbors don’t have the strength to do all of that work, or the funds to hire help. Locally, there is a way to help our older friends and neighbors. For the 23rd year, Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) is organizing Independent Living Day. Volunteers of all ages are invited to help with tasks ranging from mulch spreading, planting, raking, and clearing debris from walkways and patios to organizing closets and cabinets, washing windows, cleaning refrigerators, and discarding expired food and newspapers. Readers who can spend up to 2½ hours of the morning of Saturday, April 22, are asked to contact Madison McColl at NYFS, as soon as possible, at mmccoll@newtownyouthandfamilyservices.org or 203-270-4335.

How many birds can you see and hear at Connecticut Audubon Society sanctuaries? The answer? A lot! At least 340 species and counting. That shows how the Audubon sanctuaries are great places for birds — and for people who love birds. In honor of the group’s 125th anniversary this year, readers are invited to take part in its 125-Bird Challenge. Track the birds you’ve seen, take photos at the different preserves, and share your story. It’s free to sign up. The Connecticut Audubon Society will even include your name and your bird count total on its website, as well as photos and stories from the field. To sign up, e-mail 125birds@ctaudubon.org.

Gregg Dancho is letting readers know that (a), April 8 is National Zoo Lovers Day, and (b) Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will be open on Sunday. The zoo is generally open seven days a week, and Gregg is reminding readers that many people have made it an Easter tradition to visit the zoo that day. In fact, those with photos from previous Easter Sunday visits are invited to share them via info@beardsleyzoo.org. Zoo staff will be looking for some of the best images to share on social media. Also from Gregg: the Bridgeport destination works to welcome people of all abilities. One way that goal is achieved is through the offer of sensory backpacks at the front gate, along with a designated quiet place for those with autism and other sensory issues. Another way the zoo welcomes all visitors is by having property maps in Braille available for those with low or no vision. If you’re not already familiar with the zoo’s location and visiting information, call 203-394-6565 or visit beardsleyzoo.org.

Speaking of this special season, the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Ladies Auxiliary will present their annual Easter Weekend Flower Sale this Friday and Saturday. Members of the auxiliary will be at Sandy Hook VFR’s main station, on Riverside Road, 10 am to 6 pm rain or shine April 7 and 8, although Saturday may end early if the flowers and plants all sell out. That’s happened in the past. Hanging baskets and potted flowers are usually offered, and those who offer a donation for FAITH Food Pantry will also be entered into a raffle for an Easter basket. Proceeds benefit the auxiliary, which supports the fire company and local nonprofits through fundraising efforts like this.

April is National Volunteer Month. According to National Day Calendar, “April recognizes all those who give their time and energy during National Volunteer Month. If you are looking to volunteer locally, visit Newtown Nonprofit Council’s volunteer hub called “Get Connected, Newtown!” at newtownnc.galaxydigital.com.

At different points in our lives most of us have come to realize that life is precious. People all around the world — including right here in Newtown — have been faced with needing a lifesaving transplant. Newtown resident Dan Krauss had a decade-long struggle with heart disease before undergoing heart transplant surgery in April 2017. Since then he has been inspired to use his experience to advocate for people to sign up for becoming a donor. April is National Donate Life Month and features activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. Find out how you can help by visiting donatelife.net.

Have you heard the buzz? Backyard Beekeeping classes have returned to Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, and we are so happy to hear this! (Seriously, how could we not be excited about bees and their care?!) The 2023 series begins Saturday, April 15, and can be taken as individual classes ($50 each) or as the full series ($350), which continues to October 7 through eight different classes. Sessions are scheduled to coincide with what is normally happening for bees at various times of the season, keeping each gathering relevant. The first session will show students how to install a colony and strengthen colonies in the spring. Registration is required and available through cvhfoundation.org/events. Additional information, including details on all classes, is also available at the page online.

If beekeeping isn’t your thing (hey, this cat doesn’t judge…), the sanctuary will also be hosting Wildlife Tracking & Trailing next Saturday (Sunday if needed due to weather). Stephen Kraska, certified tracking instructor at Eco Acres School of Nature & Outdoors, will lead the group, stepping off from the pavilion at the sanctuary at 5 pm. Stephen’s program will be “a solid introduction” into the world of tracking, according to organizers, as well as a “great hands-on tracking time for explorers.” The program is for ages 12 and up, cost is $15, and registration is required (same website as above).

Ahead of each of these events, the sanctuary is hoping for a good turnout for this year’s FrogWatch USA program, April 12 at Dickinson Park. See the full press release about the local offering of the annual national community service project elsewhere in this week’s print edition and online under Cultural Events.

Dorrie Carolan reached out last week to let us know that next week’s Parent Connection program was being postponed. “Drinking, Smoking, Vaping: Trends in Teen Use and What Parents Can Do,” initially scheduled for April 11, has been moved out one week, to April 18. See the press release in this week’s print edition, and our print and online calendar listings, for additional information.

Speaking of dates and April 11, congratulations to Stephanie and Steffan Burns. I understand they have a special wedding anniversary that day. A little (silver…) birdie may have mentioned something to me.

Mark your calendar, and wait for details: I understand a full sit-down Spaghetti Supper is being planned for May 20 at Newtown United Methodist Church.

You can also mark your calendar — and reserve tickets — now for this month’s Free Movie Weekend at Edmond Town Hall. The theater at 45 Main Street has announced the April 21-23 screenings of The Lorax will all be free, thanks to the continuing support of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury. Visit our online calendar now (newtownbee.com/calendar) or watch for the print edition calendar in the April 14 and 21 issues of this paper for screening times and ticket links.

Our thanks this week to John Pharnes, who called in response to last week’s Way We Were photo. The March 31 column featured a Newtown Little League team photo, but we didn’t have anything further about those in the photo. John thought the photo was taken at the former Italian Community Center, which was on the eastern side of Berkshire Road/Route 34 long before Skidmore Lane and Lone Oak Meadows roads were built. The center hosted the town’s Little League Field among its offerings for years, and John recalled there were four full fields there. We thank John for taking the time to call us with that lead. Readers with additional memories concerning Way We Were photos, or who may have photos to share in the weekly column, are invited to contact Managing Editor Shannon Hicks at 203-426-3141 or shannon@thebee.com.

With warmer days arriving and more activities taking place, I hope you will still remember to come back next week and … read me again.

Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply