The cost of the project is being funded by a private donation from the Tucker Fund which was established by Tucker’s parents, Karen and Peter Secrist and his sisters Samantha, Clare and Greta, in honor of Tucker who passed away in 2017. The fund received donations from friends and family across the country with most of the donations coming from the Fairfield community. The Tucker Fund will continue to fund projects that support the conservation of Fairfield’s open space, something Tucker cherished. Karen and Greta Secrist were joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by close family friends, as well as Tucker’s friends this week to unveil this important community project.
The scope of the project is to establish a native meadow that fulfills the Town of Fairfield’s aesthetic preferences and functional needs while reflecting the visual and ecological character of healthy natural community types in the region. The project will focus on the restoration of a diverse composition of native grasses and wildflowers with successive bloom times and four seasons of visual interest. Native plant communities will be installed for immediate effect and to serve as nurse colonies from which new populations can occur naturally as conditions allow.
The project aims to enhance wildlife habitat by using native plants that provide diverse and sustained forage, cover, and nesting, with particular attention to species hosting native butterflies, songbirds, and pollinators.
In addition, the project will ensure the meadow is long lasting and easily maintained by:
- Using combinations of competitive, highly site-adapted native species that inhibit weeds and can thrive with minimal care.
- Specifying disease-resistant species that do not require fertilization, pesticides, or supplemental watering beyond the initial establishment period. (Note: supplemental watering may be required during establishment if live plants are used.)
- Using species that resist herbivore damage, including when planted in combination with other species.
- Reducing turf grass, thereby minimizing routine mowing and other maintenance associated with lawn.
- Providing practical, site-specific management specifications that are easy to implement and promote self-proliferation of planted and naturally recruited species.
For more information regarding this exciting restoration project, please visit the Fairfield Conservation Department’s website at fairfieldct.org/conservation.
The photo shows, l:r, Conservation Director Brian Carey, Jen Solari, Karen Secrist, Suzette Andrews, Tracy Surrick, Bart Surrick, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, Teresa Kerrigan, Allison Jacobi, Biffy Cherniske, Conservation Commission Vice-Chair Jennifer Hauhuth and Brian Kerrigan, Tucker’s best friend.
Photo Courtesy of Jake Simonelli.