As we complete our second term as Co-Presidents, we would like to welcome new neighbors and send a warm greeting to current residents. Our year as Co-Vice Presidents and two years as Co-Presidents have been filled with challenges and opportunities as we try to follow the mission of the West Norwalk Association.
Founded in 1947, when this was primarily a farming area, the mission was to foster and preserve the rural nature of the neighborhood. Although still primarily a residential area, some of our roads with heavy traffic, the successful Community College, and three houses of worship have changed our landscape. Dolce, a former Seminary, has become a successful business. The Dolce walking trails are open to all West Norwalk residents.
Our Board members are all volunteers who give their time and money because of their desire for a strong West Norwalk Association. The Board is made up of people of all ages, professions, small business owners, and retirees. Won’t you consider joining us?
Although a nonpolitical organization, we provide information to our residents about crucial issues through meetings, email blasts, letters to the Editor, and our website. Our role is to listen to both sides on an issue, then provide both points of view so that our residents make their own informed decision. We send a representative to Oak Hills meetings, CNNA and appropriate Zoning Commission meetings to learn about issues facing our community. On occasion, we do surveys to assess the residents’ point of view and we publish the results in The Hour and/or on our website, www.westnorwalk.org.
However, the Association does get involved with a number of civic projects. Here are some of the activities where the WNA spends time and money.
Spring: Cleanups: Our signature spring cleanup involves neighborhood volunteers, teenagers fulfilling community service requirements, and this past year volunteers from the Congregational Church/Nursery School on Richards Avenue. All volunteers were provided with new garden gloves, tongs, and garbage bags, coffee, and donuts. We picked up trash from the Norwalk Land Trust, The Meeting House Chapel, Fox Run School, and many streets. On a beautiful day in May, we collected over 60 bags of trash.
Spring/Summer: Adopt-a-Spots, Scholarships, First Family Fun Day:
We are responsible for maintaining three adopt-a-spots in West Norwalk. We also planted a Kousa Dogwood tree at the corner of Richards and Scribner and a rare Copper Beach tree at Fox Run.
Through the City of Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee, Gay was instrumental in removing diseased or fallen trees and planting 25 new Maple and Oak trees along the boundaries of Fox Run School. In June, we had the honor of presenting two scholarships to Brien McMahon graduates who live in West Norwalk, Sarah Van der Els and Steven Galyas.
We made a donation to Principal Jim Martinez at Fox Run School. We use the library at Fox Run for our Board meetings, participate in Reading Reading Day, and have done some tutoring and mentoring of students.
Fall: Annual Meeting: On Thursday, October 16, the WNA will host our Annual Meeting from 7-9 PM in the cafeteria of Fox Run School.
Winter: The Holiday Party: On Friday, December 12, the WNA will host the party from 6-9 pm at Dolce.
All West Norwalk residents and their families are invited to attend and celebrate the holiday season with their neighbors. As in past years, we will offer a selection of appetizers and desserts as well as a cash bar. As of last year, we have had to require a charge of $10.00 per person so that we can continue at this venue. Children 10 and under will be admitted free.
The Association received many requests for information, complaints about signs, blight ordinances, and comments about the driving range and the mosque proposal. We try to get answers in a timely manner and reply to questions personally.
Some other accomplishments over the last 2-3 years
1. Made changes to the website and wrote many articles to keep neighbors up to date; used email blasts to promote activities;
2. Updated the Bylaws;
3. Hosted the Mayor’s Night Out;
4. Contacted people on both sides of controversial issues and posted their comments/letters/articles on our website, and letters in The Hour;
5. Established a robust Facebook page;
6. Added Food Drives to the Annual Meeting and Holiday Party;
7. Sent many personal thank you letters to residents;
8. Welcomed groups who wanted to share their concerns or argue some sort of action be made by the Association;
9. Made and delivered more than 40 Welcome Baskets.
As we write our final letter as Co-Presidents for this Newsletter, we believe that the organization has accomplished a great deal. We were impacted by local crises which took much of our time and energy and we had to deal with the sudden resignation of two presidents. However, we will leave future presidents with written directions to help them. We leave the Association with many great memories and heartfelt thanks for those who supported and appreciated our efforts.
Linda Forcellina and Gay Mac Leod