Westport Main Street merchants to roll out welcome mat

WESTPORT The business community of Westport is planning on opening its doors in an attempt to show what it has to offer. Westports main street open house will take place Saturday, May 17 from noon until 4 p.m. Most of the businesses and organizations located in the central part of the village will participate. Anthony Wheeler, proprietor of The Inn on the Library Lawn, is coordinating the event. He said residents of Westport and surrounding communities will be invited to visit the various businesses and organizations that day to learn more about what the community has to offer. Refreshments will be provided, and door prizes given away. Businesses that plan to participate include The Inn on the Library Lawn, The Bessboro Shop, The Pink Pig (with a new village center location), The Westport Trading Company, Victorian Lady, Chazy Westport Telephone, William McHone, Heritage House, Bradamant, The Westport Library and Weichert Realtors. Each of these businesses have the opportunity to put their best foot forward and welcome local residents and display what they have to offer, said Wheeler. Wheeler said the local businesses hope to better inform residents of Westport about their town, and what the town has to offer. Making these connections will benefit everyone, both residents and businesses, by giving Westport a better sense of its identity and uniqueness. More residents will be able to take advantage of the various products, services and resources in the town, and the businesses and participating organizations will benefit by increased patronage, owners said. I hope we succeed in raising the awareness level of what is special here, instill some excitement, and give everyone involved an optimistic outlook on the future of Westport, one that matches our own, said Wheeler. Earlier in the day, The Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy will host a clean-up and walk. People will meet at 9:15 a.m. on the library lawn for the clean up. Volunteers will clean up areas in the hamlet and along Stevenson Road, a popular walking and biking route. At 11:30 a.m., a hike will be offered through Lee Park, a nature park in the heart of the hamlet. The town street department just did a great job of cleaning along the streets so we will build on their work to clean areas they may have missed, like along the beach, by Hoisington Brook, farther from the roads, and Stevenson Road, a popular walking and biking route, said Chris Maron, The Nature Conservancy's Champlain Valley program director. Maron will lead the hike and point out the wildflowers, trees, and ferns on the trail along Hoisington Brook. The hike will end about noon so that people can participate in the open house. The trail is about 1/2 mile round trip with a few areas that had steps put in to aid people walking. Maron said the Westport hamlet is important in a historical and cultural context. The larger town of Westport includes high quality, intact forests in the Champlain foothills that include a forest type that is richer in rare and uncommon plants that any other biological community in the Adirondack Park. It has the largest undeveloped Lake Champlain shoreline at Split Rock Wild Forest, the wildlife corridors that connect Lake Champlain to the the Adirondacks, and a portion of the Boquet River, one of the highest quality streams on this side of Lake Champlain. It also has productive farmland, which is an important natural and economic resource. The Boquet River Association (BRASS) will also hold its Trashy Art Day, during which volunteers from throughout the community collect riparian trash from the banks of the Boquet, then build sculptures from what is scavenged. The event will be centered in the Westport community this year. For further information, contact 963-4710.

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