News Notes: More than hay, A breath of Fresh Air

More than hay

Fans of Connecticut’s agricultural heritage can tour the state with a new brochure — The Connecticut Barns Trail — published by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation. Two Wilton barns are included: the 19th Century Abbott Barn owned by the Wilton Historical Society and two English barns (c. 1800 and c. 1820) at Weir Farm National Historic Site.

The brochure contains maps for seven self-guided tours by region as well as descriptions of the 50 barns highlighted. In addition, amenities along the trails such as cider mills, dining, fresh farm goods, garden centers, hayrides, house museums, ice cream, pick-your-own opportunities, wineries and more are noted.

Beyond the barns listed in this full-color brochure, the website lists 8,000 barns in the state covering all 169 towns, villages and cities. There is also a free iPhone app that complements the brochure map, guiding travelers along the most scenic routes with roadside views of barns and farms between the map’s numbered sites. Travelers can see their location along with barns nearby and get a direct route to any barn site. The app also works with an iPad. To download it, search CT BARNS.

A breath of Fresh Air

There is still time for Wilton families to invite inner city children for a summer break through the Fresh Air Fund. The nonprofit organization is seeking to connect 30 children with families in the Wilton area.

Coordinator Lisa Harder is hoping more families sign up to invite a city child into their regular summer: adding another paper plate to the picnic table, inviting one more young person to splash into the pool, offering a happy city child the chance to chase fireflies on a summer night.

In her years with the Fresh Air Fund, Ms. Harder has learned many of the children don’t have men on whom they can rely in their world. She is convinced connecting these young people with families who do have engaged fathers will enhance their lives.

“These children don’t need Disneyland,” she said. “The simple things are best. A loving family. That grilled hot dog. And those terrific fireflies.”

Children arrive on buses in nearby towns like Katonah or Fairfield for their seven- to 14-day visits. The visits are seven to fourteen days.

A local committee has several activities for connecting Fresh Air families. A pool party, a camping trip and a career day makes it easier for empty nesters and working parents to host.

For information, call Ms. Harder at 203 438 7238 or email