Youth hockey players clean up Gorham's Pond in Darien

DARIEN — After neighbors complained that a popular skating spot in Darien was left littered with trash and sports equipment, a group of young hockey players decided they wanted to give back to the area they enjoyed so much.

“We felt as organization in the community, we have so many DYHA (Darien Youth Hockey Association) and Ice Cats families who enjoy skating on the pond, we felt it was a wonderful opportunity to show the community how much our members care, and also how much we love hockey,” said Gina Fusco, a volunteer with the hockey group.

Fusco said one of the organization’s board members suggested the idea of bringing the kids out to help keep Gorham’s Pond clean. The board reached out the association and Ice Cats travel team members, and they came together to help.

The pond, at the corner of Ring’s End Road and Goodwives River Road, is a popular location for pond skating and ice hockey during the winters. Many marveled recently over what was described as “Norman Rockwell” type scenes of old fashioned New England fun at the pond.

However, some neighbors of the pond who are often tasked with its upkeep and preservation found the post-playtime perspective less than picturesque.

Several said there was trash left behind, as well as hockey equipment left melting on the ice that ends up in the bottom of the pond each year. They shared a photo of a hockey net that could not be reached due to melting ice.

Friends of Gorham’s Pond President Lucia Zachowski said it “is wonderful that the youth hockey team cleaned up and helped Gorham’s Pond.”

“Let’s hope going forward this has raised all skaters’ awareness that we must be aware of this beautiful environment and not leave anything behind,” Zachowski said.

Fusco said the kids worked hard and the cleanup “went great.”

Founded in 1973, the Darien Youth Hockey Association primarily serves the residents of Darien, New Canaan and Norwalk, but is open to other towns if they clear the waiting list. It offers house and travel teams, and the Ice Cats, a girls travel team that combined with a New Canaan program.