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Westport Column

Here’s an email I received from my friend Sue Frisbie, who volunteers at the Westport Food Pantry:

“The Westport Food Pantry volunteers would like to thank the following groups for their contributions to the pantry: Westport Central School for their huge donation of food collected through its class contest (we understand the third graders won the contest); Westport Town Hall for their donations of food and personal care products; the Boy Scouts for their large mailbox collection of food; "Erik and Maria" for their donation of homegrown potatoes for all the Thanksgiving food baskets; and the Dogwood Bakery for its bread donation for the Christmas baskets. Those of us who volunteer at the food pantry were awed by the quantity of food collected this season. We really appreciate the generosity of the Westport community. Thank you so much.”

This is exactly the kind of note I love to get for this column—recognition of something wonderful that someone or some group has done for the community. I really hope that YOU will take advantage of this space and email me your words of wonder the way Sue did.

I enjoyed the front page story in last week’s Valley News about the Mountain Lakers Snowmobile Club, who have been out taking full advantage of the recent dump of snow we got just after Christmas. Westport resident Paul Stephens, the club’s president, said that the club helps maintain over 100 miles of trails connecting Westport, Willsboro, Essex, and Lewis. The trails mostly run over private land and the club relies on agreements from local landowners.

If this sounds familiar it may be because that’s also how Champlain Area Trails (CATS) operates. Like the sledders, CATS is working to link up our local communities via a network of trails, except that their trails are for hiking. I love the idea of both kinds of trails making strong connections between our communities—even if I wonder how many members, if any, the two organizations share.

Here’s an idea from left field: maybe they could trade places for a year or two. Swap sleds for hiking boots and vice versa. Might open a few eyes among both of these excellent groups. Just sayin’!

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