How Do We Make
New Canaan Beautiful?
Let us count the ways.
Chances are, you’ve passed by our work around town and didn’t even realize it. From downtown to the backcountry, we get our hands dirty in the interest of making New Canaan a beautiful place to live. Check out some of our proudest contributions below.
Many prominent spaces in New Canaan are taken care of by our Traveling Trowel team. Places like the train station, the Gold Star Walk at Mead Park, the God’s Acre monument, Vine Cottage, the Center School Bell area and the Morse Court parking area all benefit from our members’ landscaping talents. Traveling Trowels can be called upon when the need arises to help with planting, weeding, and other gardening and beautifying activities in town. Together, we’ve taken on big tasks like designing and planting the Pine Street Post Office drop garden, planting the Mead Park patio, coming up with seasonal concepts for the Town Hall planters, and much more.
Since the summer of 2009, the New Canaan Beautification League has adorned our downtown area with colorfully flowering hanging baskets that we design, assemble, and optimize for sun and shade. This began in 2009 as a small project, and now, our baskets stretch down Elm, Main, and Forest streets, with a total “basket count” of over 225. We’re so grateful for the partnership of New Canaan’s Department of Public Works who help to hang and water this annual town treasure.
Pine Street Mailboxes
In early 2019, the plantings at the Pine Street mailboxes looked overgrown. League member and landscape designer Ty Tan worked on a new planting plan that maximized the use of native and pollinator-friendly plants to revive and beautify the area. To stabilize the area against erosion, the town’s Department of Public Works brought large rocks and boulders into the plot and helped plant the larger shrubs. Ty and the team, which included Rob Carpenter, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff and Kathy Lapolla, got to work planting the current design that buzzes with happy butterflies and bees throughout the summer months. Regular maintenance and weeding is done by dedicated League volunteers. Click here for a list of plants used on this project.
New Canaan Beautification League members and interested neighbors can “adopt” one of over 30 traffic triangles throughout New Canaan annually and ensure that their triangle stays beautiful throughout the year. Each spring, volunteers coordinate plants to enhance the triangles, from the planting of spring bulbs, the addition of annuals for summer color, and any necessary refurbishment of hardy plants and perennials. The New Canaan Beautification League pays for the landscape designs, all plant materials, their installation, and any other maintenance needed.
When the newly-renovated Town Hall opened in September 2015, officials tapped the New Canaan Beautification League to help design its grounds and containers. We donated $50,000 towards the property’s landscaping, and we continue to update and maintain it to this day. The town planted a sugar maple dedicated to Ben Olmstead, a longtime and much-loved municipal employee who lost his life in a tragic town accident. The League plants the planters at the original entrance and the two large, dish-shaped planters by the side entrance, changing plantings every season.
In partnership with the New Canaan Garden Club and the New Canaan Nature Center, the League hosts a Holiday Wreath Workshop where all of the town’s holiday decorations are made from upcycled evergreen trimmings. You’ll see our work at the train station, on Town Hall, the Inn, the Nature Center, the Library, all the town park entrances, and the police station. In recent years, Faith Kerchoff has led a spirited spinoff of this workshop, where one can help make cheerfully adorable evergreen gnomes for EMS, Waveny Care Center, and the Nature Center.
For several months of the year, The Beautification League provides floral arrangements to bring beauty and joy to the residents of Waveny Care Center. We also arrange flowers for our meetings and events and hold popular flower-arranging workshops yearly for our members. Under the leadership of our Flower Arranging co-chairs, flowers are purchased, arranged, and distributed.
Major Projects We’re Proud Of
We’ve been busy in the past decade! The New Canaan Beautification League has financed and designed these notable town projects.
- Re-landscaping of the train station, including the installation of an irrigation system
- The South Avenue Tree Project, where over 60 deciduous trees were planted from Elm Street to Bank Street along South Avenue
- Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School gardens and entrance areas were planted and re-landscaped
- Groupings of Magnolias, River Birch, and Kousa Dogwood trees were planted at Saxe Middle School
- In coordination with the town, the Allée from Elm Street to the parking area and Teen Center near the movie theater was redesigned and landscaped
- Spring bulb plantings along South Avenue
- Financing of the landscaping at Lapham Community Center
- The Gold Star Walk in Mead Park
- The Carriage Barn at Waveny Park
- Replanting of trees around Morse Court Parking Lot