Westport Town Farm Opens Volunteer Community Garden

Produce to be Donated to Local Service Agencies

Contact Information

Jennifer Holske
South Coast Conservation Director
The Trustees of Reservations
days: 508.636.7038
jholske@ttor.org

Steve Connors
Westport Town Farm Community Garden Manager
The Trustees of Reservations
days: 508.636.5780
sconnors@ttor.org

 

Westport, Massachusetts – The Trustees of Reservations will host a new community farming project at the Westport Town Farm, located at 830 Drift Road. This endeavor furthers The Trustees’ and the Town of Westport’s mission to bring this town-owned property back to active agriculture while honoring its history as the town’s “poor farm.” This community garden will utilize volunteers to grow fruit and vegetables and the produce will be donated to people in-need in Westport and beyond.

This project is modeled after similar programs from across the nation, where otherwise fallow farmland serves as a site for productive gardens. Those gardens are maintained by volunteers, and the food is used for hunger remediation. “The Trustees of Reservations are delighted to be expanding efforts at the Westport Town Farm. This community-based model will actively engage citizens on the Town Farm and allow us to contribute to the community as well as Westport’s agriculture heritage,” stated Jennifer Holske, South Coast Conservation Director for The Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees have secured funding for the initial year of this project and hope that the community will support its continuation over the long-term.

The community gardens will be managed by Steve Connors, the founder and former director of the Rhode Island Community Farm (RICF). The RICF is a network of gardens across the state of Rhode Island that provides thousands of pounds of nutritious vegetables and fruit annually to the Rhode Island Food Banks. The food grown at the Westport Town Farm will be donated to local social service agencies to be distributed in the Westport area.

Whether you appreciate the property for its spectacular views of the Westport River, the historic farm buildings and their significant role in the town’s cultural history, or its re-emerging role as a community farm, a visit to the Westport Town Farm reveals it as one of our region’s most special places. Acquired by the town of Westport in 1824 for use as an almshouse or “poor farm,” the farm provided sustenance for the needy for over a century. In addition to its scenic character and ecological significance, what is unusual about the farm is its longevity. It appears to be one of the only remaining poor farms in the Commonwealth that is still owned by a municipality and utilized for agricultural purposes. Recognizing these important characteristics, The Trustees are working with the Town to secure a long-term lease that would allow The Trustees to restore the historic structures, further its agricultural activities and continue making the Town Farm more available to the citizens of Westport. The Trustees have partnered with the Westport Land Conservation Trust to secure private gifts to fund the restoration and the long-term management of the property.

Volunteers are welcome at the Town Farm Community Garden. Activities will include planting, weeding, staking tomato and bean plants, and harvesting a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, and squash. No minimum time commitment is necessary. The Town Farm is a beautiful place; gardening is good exercise, and a great way to connect to your community. To learn more, please call Steve Connors at 508.636.5780 or email at sconnors@ttor.org. If you are unable to volunteer but interested in contributing to this project please contact Jennifer Holske at 508.636.7038.

About The Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees are 100,000 people like you, from every corner of Massachusetts, who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and believe in celebrating and protecting them for future generations. Trustees’ volunteers, members, donors, staff, and governing board all ?hold in trust,? and care for special places called “reservations,” hence the name, The Trustees of Reservations.

In addition to owning and caring for 100 reservations?nearly 25,000 acres in more than 70 communities, all of which are open to the public – The Trustees hold conservation restrictions on more than 16,000 acres of privately owned land and have worked with communities and other conservation partners to assist in the protection of an additional 16,000 acres. The Trustees’ affiliate, Boston Natural Areas Network, owns 39 community gardens and advocates for urban wilds and greenways in the city of Boston.

A member-, donor- and endowment-supported organization, The Trustees provide hundreds of year-round programs and events that inspire people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and appreciate and care for natural, scenic and cultural landscapes and landmarks across the Commonwealth. As one of Massachusetts’ largest nonprofits, The Trustees employ 165 full-time, 46 regular part-time, and 350–400 seasonal staff with expertise in resource protection, land management, historic preservation, ecology, public policy, and outdoor education. For more information on The Trustees and/or how to become a member, please visit www.thetrustees.org.