Photo contest features Wilton
WILTON – The Conservation Commission is sponsoring a photo contest, "Photographing Wild Wilton," with the theme of native plants. The winner will receive $1,000. The contest is open to Wilton residents. Pictures must be taken in town during July.
Judging will take place in August in the Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library, where entries will be displayed. Entries will be matted by Cropaholics and displayed in stores along Main Street.
The contest is organized by Jennifer Beck, who has undertaken an outreach program for the Conservation Commission.
"We want to get people out of their houses and onto the trails," she told selectmen on Monday.
Beck said the outreach program is needed because "no one knows what the Conservation Commission does, what their goals are. We need to educate people, get some exposure, do something fun this summer."
"Wild Wilton" is the first in a series of events still being planned.
"We had hoped to put all of the entries into a calendar with a lot of information," Beck said, but the costs are "too prohibitive for now. We don’t have enough time to raise it. Maybe next year we can get sponsors."
Beck, who was accompanied by most of the commission, said they were asking the selectmen for permission to use some of their funds for the prize. The money is there, but without a specific budget line for the expense.
Selectmen approved the expenditure, with "some reservations." While they had no problems with the idea or need for the outreach, Bill Condra and Dan Donovan questioned "the use of taxpayer money for a contest prize." Commission member Bart Hunter said they hoped "to do an educational thing once a month," such as a guided hike to Sheldrick Forest or the Frye Fields.
Hunter said he arranged with the Fitch Farm to delay mowing the hay at Carnival Hill because several pairs of nesting bobolinks had been found there.
"They aren’t endangered," he said, "but uncommon around here."