When the term national park comes up, most people might think of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or Yellowstone. Weir Farm is probably not at the top of the list, but it is a national park and it will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service next year.
To get ready for the big event — which falls on Aug. 25, 2016 — the National Park Service is inviting everyone to Find Your Park. There are 99 ways and Weir Farm is a great place to try:
No. 2 — Write poetry;
No. 9 — Walk through the doorway of a historic home;
No. 23 — Try something new;
No. 31 — Make art in a park;
No. 53 — Improve your health with a park Rx.
Visitors may share their park experiences with others by posting on social media with the hashtag #FindYourPark.
Visitors are also encouraged to share their park experiences through Hit Record, No. 51 on the list. Through video, sound recordings, photography, writing or other creative means, visitors may share personal park stories, fictional park stories, nature and wildlife, non-traditional national parks, and more. Details are available at http://www.hitrecord.org/records/1778228.
“Birthdays are a time to celebrate and we want you to know that your local national park is the place to join in on the fun,” said Weir Farm National Historic Site Superintendent Linda Cook. “Weir Farm National Historic Site offers something so completely unique, so totally inspiring, and I invite you to start your #FindYourPark journey right here in Connecticut.”
Established in 1990, Weir Farm is a latecomer to the family of 408 national parks throughout the country. It is the only one, however, devoted to American painting, having been the home of American Impressionist Julian Alden Weir. Visitors may see his home, studio and historic gardens, as well as a studio used by artist Mahroni Young and, later, Sperry Andrews. They may also walk the grounds that inspired many artists and follow a woodland trail to Weir Pond.
Last year, there were more than 34,000 visitors to the park and many took advantage of the opportunity to sketch or paint with supplies borrowed from the park.
Beyond Weir Farm there are other opportunities to take advantage of national treasures including a number of National Scenic Trails — the Appalachian Trail, New England Trail, Washington-Rochambeau Trail — and the National Heritage Corridor, Quinebaug and Shetucket river valleys in Putnam.
To see what is happening in Connecticut, go to nps.gov/ct.
Weir Farm is at 735 Nod Hill Road. The grounds are open every day from sunrise to sunset. The buildings are open seasonally.
Information: nps.gov/wefa or facebook.com/WeirFarmNHS.