Third annual fundraiser helps care for Darien’s open space
DARIEN — Out of the 14,000 acres that make up Darien, the Darien Land Trust is responsible for maintaining over 200 acres of free space. This means completing treework, trail work, landscaping, as well as cleaning up trash and maintaining any structures on the properties. In short, it’s no small undertaking.
“We have 214 acres and are putting funds into our acquisition fund to see the purchase of more properties,” said Darien Land Trust Executive Director Shirley Nichols. “It's always a battle to keep funding. We’ve got these 214 acres to look after forever.”
That’s why the Darien Land trust is holding their third annual fundraiser. On Aug. 26, the Land Trust is hosting a farm-to-table dinner for 250 guests at Waterbury Field, complete with a locally sourced menu and live music. The event also doubles as a celebration of the work the Land Trust has done over the past year.
“It’s a fundraiser and awareness of the Darien Land Trust and a thank you to our members as well,” Nichols said. “The first year it was a celebration because we bought over 200 acres and this year we look after 214 acres. It's to let people know about the land trust.”
In the past year, the Darien Land Trust has acquired three new properties: a Hoyt Street property already attached to an open woods preserve, a piece of land on Gorham Pond and part of Mather Meadows. They have no fundraising goal in mind for the upcoming year, but are continuing to celebrate the purchase of open space and maintain the funds to keep up the land.
““I think open spaces provide environmentally rich habitats for wildlife, birds butterflies and pollinators,” Nichols said. “They provide the community with scenic vistas, they provide educational experiences. We do a lot of work with children on our properties and [there’s also] just the quiet enjoyment of nature in a hurried world.”
Community members have shown an interest in helping out as well. Darien resident Kevin Bannerton will be playing the event with his band, Busker. The other band members are spread out across the East Coast, but will be traveling from Boston and New Jersey to play the event. The band usually plays at events for good causes, but this will be the first they’ll play one in Darien.
“I think it’s great to be able to do something in Darien,” Bannerton said. “Because there’s a geographic spread, there’s not many opportunities to perform locally and to be able to something locally for a good cause is a great combination.”
This is Bannerton’s first time getting involved with the Darien Land Trust after a family friend told him the fundraiser was looking for a band. Bannerton, who plays guitar and drums for the group, said they’ll be playing a mix of covers and original songs at the event.
“We’ll play a wide range of songs in a style similar to our originals,” he said, describing the band’s sound as being akin to The Goo Goo Dolls or Gavin DeGraw.”
For more information on Busker, visit www.buskermusic.com
The Darien Land Trust fundraiser will be held on Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at Waterbury Field at 410 Hollow Tree Ridge Road. Meals will be done by Tim LaBant Catering.
For more information on the Darien Land Trust and their fundraiser, visit http://www.darienlandtrust.org/ or contact Shirley Nichols, Executive Director at 203-655-4148