Weston Ladies seek green for the Green with weekend concert – CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Weston’s Ladies of the Green, from left, Nancy Perry, Joanne Prouty, Annie Fuji’i, Shirley Knowlton, Carolyn Mullett, Melina Menzie and Barbara Lloyd. Not pictured: Janita Griggs and Helen Burdick. Photo by Shawn Cunningham

Nearly 34 years before the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote, the Vermont legislature gave nine Weston women the power to establish, own and maintain a park in the center of their town.

And on Sunday, Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the successors of those women will hold a fundraising concert and picnic to help improve Farrar Park.

Often referred to as the “village green,” Farrar Park is not owned by the town of Weston, but rather by the nine-member, self-perpetuating board of women for the past 131 years. Known as the “Ladies of the Green,” the board of the Farrar Park Association manage the upkeep and improvement of   what was once a swampy area in the center of town referred to as a “frog pond.”

Historic view of the park.

According to the women, the land was offered by to the town by the Farrar family, but the town turned it down. At that point nine “civic-minded” women talked the state legislature into establishing them as a corporation and in 1973, the IRS granted them tax-exempt status, meaning contributions to support their efforts would be deductible.

Over the years, generations of the women built the iron fence around the park, maintained the band stand and seen to the mowing and general upkeep. But today, they have a more aggressive program.

The Blue Flames – Vicky Linville, Jim Linville, Barbara Wells and Bob Wells – will entertain the crowd on the Green on Sunday.

Residents of Weston vote $5,000 at town meeting each year and that covers the lawn mowing. Proceeds from a small endowment and fundraising have to cover the rest. Recently, for the first time in several years, the group applied for a grant and were successful. With a $3,500  “Canopy Grant” (plus the same amount in matching funds) the Ladies plan to continue doing work on the roots of the four ancient maples they call “noble trees.”

“Each tree has its own plan,” said board member Annie Fuji’i. In addition, pruning, fertilizing, soil aeration and organic weed control will result in a thicker, healthier lawn for park users to enjoy. The benches and iron fence have been repaired and the foundation of the band stand is slated to be repaired in the spring.

Nobu Fuji’i’s Farrar Park Triptych will go to the highest bidder to benefit the work on the Green.

To achieve this, the Ladies are inviting everyone to come out for the picnic, featuring the local Blue Flames steel drum band and bid on a Nobu Fuji’i triptych depicting Farrar Park in the fall.

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