Wilton trail honors Nick Parisot
Not far from where he used to ride his ATV and where a cairn stands in a field in his memory, is the opening to the Nick Parisot Memorial Trail on Tito Lane. Almost two dozen people gathered there Thursday, April 25, for an Arbor Day celebration that included the planting of a sugar maple tree and the naming of Nick’s mother, Kate Throckmorton, as Wilton’s 2019 tree steward.
After First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice read an Arbor Day proclamation, Throckmorton and Tree Committee member Jackie Algon put the finishing touches on the planting of a sugar maple. The naming of a tree steward and planting of a tree are in accordance with maintaining Wilton’s status as a Tree City USA town.
“The Tree Committee asked Kate to be our tree steward for 2019 for all her years of service,” Algon said. Throckmorton has been with the Tree Committee since before it was actually formed, serving on an ad hoc committee with Nick Lee, now Wilton’s deputy tree warden, in 2007 and 2008. She then served as chair of the committee from 2012 until she termed out.
Asked about the planting of the sugar maple, Throckmorton said, “There was some discussion of what kind of tree to plant, and we decided on a maple … Because of climate change, maples are not doing well. This is away from the road and an open spot where it can be easily seen. It’s a grand tree.”
She added with a smile that in discussions about it with her husband, Rick Parisot, “we really like maple syrup.”
As tree steward, which is an honorary title, Throckmorton said she believes her role to be to maintain the community’s awareness about the status of Wilton’s trees, which is generally good. “We are seeing serious effects of the emerald ash borer, but other than that, the trees are in pretty good shape.”
The trail is named for Nick Parisot, who was killed 11 years ago when he rode into the woods and struck a rope tied across a trail. He died of injuries to his neck. He was 13.
Nick’s death was ruled a homicide and was not resolved until a neighbor, who was 10 at the time, admitted responsibility in a civil court proceeding in 2015.
The trailhead is a clearing across from Millstone Farm, along Tito Lane, between the intersections with Millstone Farm on the south end and Whipstick Road on the north end. It is on property owned by the Wilton Conservation Land Trust and will link together several pieces of open space. Final easements and approvals are expected to be in place by summer, when hikers should be able to walk from there to the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
A kiosk will be put in place within the next few weeks.