Community news: Darien woman celebrates running her best Boston Marathon, and more

Darien woman celebrates best finish at Boston Marathon

Darien resident Heather Knight Pech, 60, won her age group division at the Boston Marathon on April 18, by running the 26.2-mile course in a time of 3 hours, 3 minutes and 47 seconds.

That time was also a “personal best” for running the famed course from Hopkinton to Boston, Knight Pech said. She said she beat her previous best Boston time by 6.5 minutes.

It was the fourth time that Knight Pech has won her age group at the race.

Knight Pech also broke the course record for a woman age 60 and older by a few seconds, doing so after she was out for over a year with an injury.

The previous record was set by Joan Benoit Samuelson, who ran Boston in 3 hours and 4 minutes in 2019 at the age of 61. That came 40 years after Samuelson had won the race in 1979 in a time of 2:35:15. She was also the first women’s marathon champion in the Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Knight Pech runs a local business, Knight Training. She said she also supports the adult and youth running community in Darien and throughout Fairfield County.

RespectWorks to present info on camping, mentoring

The Darien Domestic Abuse Council’s youth outreach program, RespectWorks, will present information about Camp Hope, a camp sponsored by The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport that is open to children throughout the state.

The presentation will be on May 12 at the Darien Library, 1441 Post Road.

From 7:30 until 8:45 p.m., attendees can meet the campers, counselors, the director of the camp and the clinician for the camp, as well as learn about what makes the camp a place of healing for kids ages 7 to 17.

Thriving Youth Task Force to discuss student survey

The Thriving Youth Task Force will present the results from a recent student survey of 7th and 12th grade students in Darien. The survey revealed significant mental health differences based on identified gender.

The Zoom presentation on Wednesday at 7 p.m. will feature local experts and social workers Olivia Bucci, Renee Reopell and Andrew Tepper.

The discussion will summarize the results from the survey and the panelists will share insights and strategies for parents seeking to support their child’s mental health. The program will include interactive break-out sessions by student gender identity to further answer parents’ questions.

Registration is required at www.communityfunddarien.org/tytf-programs-and-events.

Pathway to add more trees, remove invasives

In celebration of Arbor Day and Earth Day, which both occur in April, the Darien Pollinator Pathway initiative plans to plant more trees and remove invasive plants and weeds at Cherry Lawn Park.

The group will hold volunteer work days from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 30, and Saturday, May 21.

The initiative has received a second grant from One Tree Planted to support the spring work. The group previously received a grant in the fall season of 2021 from the nonprofit, which is committed to reforestation by planting trees around the world.

The park is located in the woodlands next to the Darien Nature Center at 120 Brookside Road.

Residents are invited to join the members of the pathway on either or both of the days.

The Darien Pollinator Pathway group says it believes that planting trees is an important step toward making the town more resilient, while also adding to its beauty. The group previously planted about 30 trees and shrubs on the grounds of Darien Town Hall at 2 Renshaw Road. The plantings are doing well thanks to volunteers who helped with watering them until they were established.

DCA to host annual plant sale

The Darien Community Association will hold its annual plant sale from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 6, offering an array of plants that will be displayed in its formal gardens at its headquarters at 274 Middlesex Road.

There will be over 2,000 affordable and hardy perennial flowering plants and annual plants for sale. Plants for a variety of settings will also be available, including plants that are sun-loving, shade-loving, original and deer-resistant. Over a dozen varieties of native plants will be for sale, along with a selection of preplanted outdoor containers and terrariums.

The event is organized and managed by the DCA’s Greenhouse Group. Throughout each year, its members propagate plants from seeds, cuttings and plugs for the sale. DCA members will be available to answer questions about plant choices.

There is no entry fee. Proceeds from the sales will support the nonprofit organization.

For more information, visit dariendca.org or call 203-655-9050, Ext. 10.

Hindley to host Spring Happening

The Hindley Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization will present a “Hindley Happening 2022” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7.

There will be food, fun, rides, prizes and games at the event, which will be held rain or shine. The school is located at 10 Nearwater Lane.

To accommodate children who are sensitive to noise and activity, the PTO will open the rides at 9 a.m. for families of children with special needs.

For more information, contact Hindley Elementary School Principal Leslie Davis at 203-655-1323, or Darien Nature Center program staff Lindsay DeVito at 203-451-3415.