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Online Learning for Your Kids

in Activities 351 views

Since many of us aren’t quite sure how our kids summers are going to play out, Here is an awesome list of ideas from a parent who homeschools:

Online resources:

YouTube Channels:

Some resources to help with kids at home:

Sharon Stone on Gardening

in Activities/Gardening 263 views

We’d like to thank Sharon Stone for taking an hour plus out of her weekend to chat gardening with us. I invited her to talk in the hope that she could give us some ideas to get a little closer to nature while the Corona Virus has us spending a bit too much time inside.

We had a delightful conversation which we share now in the hope that you too become inspired to bring down your stress levels a bit while you bring some more color, and a new level of taste to your home, whether it’s a window garden or a backyard patch, or you want to feed your whole family.

Thank You

Your local Master Gardener

To reach our local Master Gardeners with your garden questions, please send an email to lowerfairfieldmg@gmail.com.

The Stamford Museum and Nature Center

You know they say that it doesn’t feel like work when you are doing what you love. We’re tickled that Sharon calls this her “work” home. Anyway, you can find more about the The Stamford Museum and Nature Center here. Registration is open for summer camps.

Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

You can check out the plant clinic here. Until that’s available again, the trails and gardens remain open to the public. Please maintain safe distancing of at least 6 feet while enjoying the property. Please also observe leash laws and distancing so we can continue to keep the Arboretum open. You can find more at the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens website.

UConn Extension Master Gardener Program

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is an Educational Outreach Program that is part of UConn Extension. The program started in 1978 and consists of horticulture training and an outreach component that focus on the community at large. Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and share their knowledge and training with others. You can learn more at Master Gardener Program

Designs By Lee

Designs by Lee, Inc., is a family-owned business providing exceptional landscaping work to Fairfield County & Westchester County since 1958. They are devoted to giving our customers the highest quality work and plant material possible and offer a wide range of landscape services, a full-service retail garden center, and a fully-stocked 21-acre nursery.

Eden Farms

A place that has something to offer everyone in your family, whether it’s trees and shrubs for your yard, annuals and perennials for your planters or garden, cut flowers for a loved one, fresh Connecticut corn for your summer barbecue, or weekend activities for the kids, Eden Farms works towards providing the customer with the best possible experience. See more at EdenFarmsLLC.com

Exquisite Environments

Exquisite Environments is committed to providing their customers with dedicated quality service. Their highly professional and trained Arborists take pride in their work, and are constantly striving to exceed customer’s expectations.

Exquisite Environments is dedicated to improving the environment by using preventive tree care techniques. They diagnose and treat tree and shrub problems. Their employees consistently continue to develop their industry knowledge through trade shows, classes and exams. The company was built on a foundation of integrity, honesty and commitment. They look forward to serving the environment, the community and their customers. ExquisiteEnvironments.com.

Ganim’s Garden Center & Florist

A little further afield in Fairfield is this third generation family run Garden Center. You’ll find a great selection of garden plants, flowers, gardening supplies and a full service florist department. Their talented staff of gardening pros can help you with any question for the home and garden landscaping. GanimsGardenCenter.com

Other Farms mentioned:

Fairgate Farms

Fairgate Farm is a volunteer-driven urban farm nestled within the Vita Health & Wellness District on the West Side of Stamford, Connecticut. Our mission is to provide equitable access to locally grown produce and to strengthen the community through educational and harvest related initiatives. For more, visit http://fairgatefarm.com

The Hickories

Located in Ridgefield, your farmers at The Hickories are striving to:

  • produce safe and nutritious products grown with respect for soil, animals, and people.
  • model an agriculture that is innovative and replicable: one that is ecologically, economically, and socially responsible.
  • grow new farmers and provide growth opportunities for existing farmers,
  • connect our community to working land.

You are invited to join them! Support them in their work this season by contributing in any way you can to the vibrant work of refabricating a local and reliable agrarian economy. For more, visit https://thehickories.org

Ambler Farm

At Ambler Farm they celebrate the community’s rich farming heritage through hands-on learning and sustainable agricultural practices. Ambler Farm is your farm! Owned by the Town of Wilton, the 200-year-old farm hosts year-round events and educational programs for all ages. explore our programs. For more, visit amblerfarm.org

Wakeman Town Farm

The Wakeman Town Farm Sustainability Center is an organic demonstration homestead dedicated to serving the Westport Community. The Farm is a model facility created to educate the community with local healthy food production, responsible land stewardship, sustainable practices and community service orientation. For more, visit https://www.wakemantownfarm.org

Back Yard Bee Keepers Association

For a little bit more about Beekeeping, the Back Yard Bee Keepers Association is Southwestern Connecticut’s club for the Hobbyist Beekeeper. You can find them here.

Scalzi Riverwalk

A ten year project to revitalize a portion of the Mianus River that came to an abrubt end last year as the city destroyed an essential component of it. See more on the Facebook page.

Stamford Corona Update: April 20, 2020

in Activities/Stamford Museum and Nature Center/Updates 276 views

Friday’s Governor’s Briefing: Hospitalizations down, but we’ve passed a thousand deaths. Our stay at home policies are working. Our first rapid testing site is up.

On the bright side, we are dealing well with food insecurity. Travelers has, instead of firing its cafeterias staff, tasked them with providing meals. We have hundreds of volunteers making a difference all over the state.

Governor Lamont handed the podium over to Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, who provided us an update on how we’re dealing, or not. They’ve created a web page, and have numbers for various support lines and links to various groups to support people through this time.

And if you are having issues with addiction, assessment for substance abuse can be done over the phone. Call 211 or directly to the DMHAS line for this, 800-563-4086.

The bottom line. There’s a lot of help out there. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Vanessa Dorantes, Commissioner, Department of Children and Families, also checked in. She reminds us that this is also a time of strength.

When it Builds up,
Talk it Out.

It’s okay to talk it out 833-258-5011, or simply Talk it Out.

Press Questions:

  • coordinating with region regarding reopening
  • can’t keep distancing, wear masks
  • I’m doing great
  • testing ramping up
  • no schools/stores open until May 20
  • tracking cases within agencies: daily discussion
  • what we do with marinas will be coordinated with other states
  • disproportionate impact on African-American community
  • nursing homes: 40% of fatalities
  • undocumented people: treating everyone
  • Bridgeport, Torrington, Westfield, several more adding beds
  • schools reopening: regional or not
  • restaurants will be handled universally to avoid travel
  • working closely with legislature: integral part of any process: “one Connecticut” as governor always says

Links and Data

Connecticut Official Site: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

As of April 19:

Stamford cases: 1758

Stamford case rate: 1355/100,000, or one out of every 74 people in Stamford.

Stamford deaths: 73

Connecticut cases: 17,962

Connecticut deaths: 1127

Remote Opportunities

Remote Learning at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Avon Theatre Film Center has added various on-line offerings.

Ferguson Library, though closed, has various digital services available.

Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens is still open (please follow CDC guidelines) and has webinars scheduled: Controlling Backyard Invaders – Backyard Gardening Series, tomorrow, Tick Prevention on May 14.

From the City’s Daily Updates

This is just a small sampling of the information at the City’s Site. You’ll find there information on a wide range of resources.

The City of Stamford announced its ongoing initiative to hand out thousands of masks to residents and organizations across Stamford.

  • This initiative began several weeks ago through coordination with Public Safety departments including Stamford Police Department, Fire Department, and Community Emergency Response Team.
  • Masks have been given to organizations including New Covenant House, Building One Community, Bethel AME Church, and a partnership with the NAACP to distribute masks and information to apartment buildings and complexes.
  • Stamford Police Department’s Community Outreach Program provides masks and information to individuals throughout Stamford as part of the department’s ongoing commitment to Community Policing.
  • Masks and prevention information have also been included as part of the Board of Education’s Grab and Go meal program.
  • Prevention information is provided in English, Spanish, and Creole as needed.

Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order requiring any person in a public place in Connecticut who is unable or does not maintain a safe social distance of approximately six feet shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.

  • Exceptions are made for individuals “for whom doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety,” including medical conditions, anyone under the age of 2 years old, and parents or guardians who cannot safely place a mask on a child’s face.
  • “This order shall supersede and preempt any current or future municipal order.&#8221

Connecticut Volunteer Opportunities: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Volunteers

Connecticut Mental Health Resources: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Public-Health-Resources/Mental-Health-Resources

Stamford COVID-19 Resource Center: https://www.stamfordct.gov/covid19

Stamford Hospital COVID-19 Hotline: 203-276-4111

And to help Stamford hospital, visit their page.

Stamford Volunteer Opportunities: https://www.stamfordct.gov/stamfordtogether

CDC guidelines on How to Protect Yourself and Others.

COVID-19: What You Can Do To Help Stamford

in Activities/Restaurants/Volunteering 463 views
Best Gift is You

I spoke with a very generous Stamford business owner recently. I was updating the Stamford Life Restaurant Status page. He wrote me: “If you would like to call, I have some info for you but I am not sure how to deliver it.” I called. He wouldn’t let me share his name, but he did share with me what he, his customers, and many other concerned citizens are doing, modestly, to take care of those around him.

What he has reported is that this crisis has him also seeing the best in people, and he and other business owners are chipping in in ways you are unlikely to see, from just keeping their employees on the books while losing money on them, to dedicating the proceeds from certain sales to various causes, to packaging up food and supplies for our first line responders and providing it where it’s needed, to feeding people who can’t feed themselves.

Every Act Counts

And while my new friend doesn’t want the attention, he suggests that every little bit makes a difference, and sometimes your little bit will be anonymously matched, just because.

You can start simple. Buy a gift card, leave it at the counter to pay the tab of first responders. Ask if your favorite establishment is working with anyone. If they are giving back, make a donation or look at how you can be involved. Find people in your neighborhood who shouldn’t be going out, and do their shopping while you do yours.

Other Opportunities: Help Stamford

Most of this is from Stamford’s COVID-19 page. This is the “Help Stamford” section. I encourage you to look a little deeper. If there’s a part that calls out to you, call out to the people making it happen and see if there’s a way for you to help. There’s always something in your ability. And maybe it’s not what’s here.

This is an especially bad time for people depressed, or stuck at home with their abusers, cut off from their families, especially during the holidays, or with young or special-needs children for who can drive a paret up a wall when the normal routine is so severely interrupted.

Your Call, Your Concern, Your Delivery,
is their Life Line

The City of Stamford is requesting donations of personal protective equipment from businesses or individuals. If you wish to donate to the City, please contact Jim Federici at JFederici@stamfordct.gov or call 203.977.4378 (office line).

The City needs a variety of equipment, including but not limited to:

  • N95 masks
  • Surgical masks
  • Gloves
  • Isolation gowns
  • Face shields

Stamford Together, a citywide volunteer program to help support emergency response efforts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Volunteers can contribute to five major initiatives (click each title to sign up):

  • Testing Site Volunteer Program: As the City launches more testing sites, volunteers are needed to keep these sites functional.
  • Resident Delivery Program: Volunteer drivers are needed to provide delivery services to quarantined members of our community.
  • Medical Reserve Corps: A national network of medical and public health professionals who assist emergency response during public health emergencies.
  • Volunteer spots for Grab and Go Meals and Senior Outreach have been completely filled.

Building One Community has compiled an Amazon wish list for essential items needed for the community, including detergent, soap, and more. Residents can also donate to Building One Community’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Donate to Stamford Health’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund.

Food bank donations are requested for The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Inspirica: from homeless to home is accepting donations and working with restaurants and grocery stores to feed the needy. To coordinate a meal delivery, or for more information, please contact Sydney DeLago at sdelago@InspiricaCT.org or (203) 388-0122.

Pacific House is a nonprofit providing supplies and shelter for the homeless population in Stamford. Residents can donate to Pacific House through this form.

State volunteering/donations:

  • Governor Lamont encourages residents across the state to sign up for volunteer opportunities through https://www.ct.gov/coronavirus.
  • Students and retired health care workers are encouraged to register for Connecticut’s CT Responds, a statewide volunteer management system.
  • Connecticut’s American Red Cross has requested residents consider donating blood.
  • Residents can donate to 4-CT, an independent nonprofit staffed by volunteers connecting and providing resources to organizations addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Connecticut.

Assistance available for residents

Low-income residents:

Person-to-Person Food assistance: Groceries and fresh produce, protein, and dairy are available to residents with income below 235% Federal Poverty Guidelines, or employees furloughed due to COVID-19.

  • Please call 203.655.0048 to make an appointment.
  • Visit https://p2phelps.org/ for more information.
  • Stamford’s location is 425 Fairfield Avenue, Building 1, Suite 111, Stamford, CT 06902.
  • Person-to-Person on Wheels mobile pantry serves Stamford neighborhoods with fresh produce, protein, dairy, tuna, beans, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, soups, fruits & vegetables, pasta, and rice. The mobile pantry is available at the following times and neighborhoods:
    • Mondays, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Yerwood Boys & Girls Club, 90 Fairfield Avenue.
    • Mondays, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. Stamford Manor, 26 Main Street.
    • Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Ferguson Library South End, 34 Woodland Avenue.
    • Tuesdays, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. Shippan Place, 521 Shippan Avenue.
    • Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Domus, 83 Lockwood Avenue.
    • Thursdays, 3 p.m.–7 p.m. Building One Community, 75 Selleck Street.

Person-to-Person Emergency Financial Assistance: Caseworkers meet with clients to determine eligibility for emergency financial assistance for rent, security deposits, utilities, and small emergency expenses. Residents can call 203.655.0048.

Senior residents:

Stamford-based SilverSource provides resources to seniors. Stamford seniors — or individuals interested in volunteering — can contact 203.324.6584. Resources include:

  • Individual Assistance & Emergency Support: Serving seniors in need of housing stability or healthcare needs. Social work consultations are taken by phone.
  • Prescription Deliveries: Seniors currently on the prescription program will continue to receive medications with the support of pharmacy delivery services.
  • Grocery Deliveries: SilverSource has set up pop-up food pantry/distribution centers to support homebound seniors with grocery deliveries. Volunteers and staff make front door drop-offs and utilize delivery services.
  • Medical Transportation: SilverSource continues to provide free transportation to essential medical appointments. A rigorous wipe-down is done of the transport vehicle between each passenger trip.
  • Senior Wellness Check-ins: Staff and volunteers connect with older clients by phone to ensure they are well and reduce isolation.


Nonprofits who have a client who: 1) Uses one of the health clinics as his/her medical home 2) Does not have a primary care physician 3) Needs to be tested for COVID-19, and 4) Is unable to negotiate the internal process at the clinic, please call Maria Millan at 203.977.5676 and provide all relevant information. Clients will be provided with a waiver enabling someone else to represent him/her in securing a test or securing medical information used to support a decision not to test.

Author Amy Oestreicher to Speak at Stamford JCC December 11th

in Activities/Personal Improvement/Stamford Events 200 views

Amy Oestreicher Detour
After winding up in a coma just shy of her High School graduation, Amy learned how to navigate the seemingly impossible to take on life with grace and power. My Beautiful Detour is her story.
She’ll be at the Stamford JCC on December 11.
For more about Amy, see Amy’s web page.
For details on the event see Amy at the JCC.

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