Celebrate the 200th in style: Merchandise now available
Getting revved up for Darien’s 200th anniversary celebration?
If so, it’s now possible to wear clothing with the town’s 200th anniversary logo on it.
Merchandise, including white t-shirts and khaki baseball caps, is now available. Both shirts and hats cost $20 each. Cash or check is accepted. To purchase these items, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The sale of the items will all be run by students,” said Sarah Lexow Keena, the 2020 Bicentennial Committee’s youth liaison, at the town’s Nov. 13 Bicentennial Committee meeting.
She added that students will be selling the merchandise at a table at the 200th anniversary opening ceremony.
There will also be grocery bags with the town’s logo, which will be available in early December.
Last year, three Darien High School students worked together to create the design for the logo.
Friends of Selleck’s Woods in Darien might be recognizing the town’s 200th anniversary at the Friends’ annual fundraiser.
Chris Filmer, president of Friends of Selleck’s Woods; and Jami Gore, recreation program supervisor for the town of Darien, spoke about that idea at the meeting.
Friends of Selleck’s Woods is a nonprofit organization that cares for Selleck's Woods on behalf of the Darien Parks and Recreation Commission. Its goal is to protect it as a nature preserve and as a place for quiet recreation.
“We would like to theme this year’s event for the town’s 2020 anniversary,” Gore said. “There is a little bit of something for everyone there.”
Next year’s Selleck’s Woods fundraiser will take place on May 17.
Gore added that last year’s fundraiser was attended by 150 people.
“We had a great turnout,” she said. “It’s just a really fun event and a way for us to showcase our park. It’s a great way to celebrate our local community.”
History of Selleck’s Woods
Selleck’s Woods, on Parklands Drive, is 50 acres: 28 acres is owned by the town, and the rest by the Darien Land Trust.
“It’s a piece of land that was very badly abused,” said Filmer, who is known as the Darien Land Trust’s “founding father.”
“It was a wetland before they built I-95, which runs right next to it,” Filmer said.
Selleck’s Woods was once a farm. “We think it was a sheep farm,” he said. “The left-hand side is the trails. On the right-hand side is wetland, and we keep that as a complete sanctuary for animals.”
The Friends of Selleck’s Woods committee has had to clear all the damage caused by motorcycles that used to go in there and race around. Dogs used to run free and scare away all the animals, and there were a lot of beer cans and shotgun shells, according to Filmer.
“The Friend’s of Selleck’s Woods cleaned up the area. Over the years, they raised $90,000, the majority of which has gone into restoring Selleck’s Woods.
“We are preserving it as a place for quiet recreation,” Filmer said. “We are hoping people will find a source of personal renewal when they go there, and kids a sense of wonder and education and learning.”
Darien’s Bicentennial Committee has $16,500, between town grants and individual donations. There is also a committed bronze sponsor of $1,000, according to committee chairman Alan Miller.
“We have about $5,500 in expenses,” he added.
To make a contribution to the town’s Bicentennial Committee, make checks payable to the town of Darien. Put 2020 Bicentennial in the comments section, and address it to the town of Darien, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT, 06820.
Donations will be put toward all official 2020 events and projects.
There are 750 mailings being sent out to all the businesses in Darien, inviting them to the town’s anniversary celebration.
While the committee initially estimated the cost for the mailings would be about $1,000, this is now turning out to be more than that, according to Miller.
The committee therefore unanimously approved of the cost of the mailings as $1,500.
For the town’s 2020 birthday bash, the committee will be asking lifelong residents of Darien to share their stories about the town.
In addition, there will tentatively be a slideshow presentation with photographs of some of the town’s older, lifelong residents.
For more details on the 200th anniversary celebration, visit the town’s website and search “Happy Birthday Darien!”