No drop of syrup will taste as sweet to Marjorie Furman as the one she’ll have this weekend. It might be because Furman and her three children had a hand in making the thick coating for a warm stack of pancakes long before it reached the table.
Furman and her three children — Margot, 4, Chip, 3, and Connor, 2 — spent several weeks getting sap from a tree near the New Canaan Nature Center. Three times a week, the Furman clan went to their tree to watch the sap seep into a bucket. “The sap tasted watery. The kids were kind of surprised that it was,” said Furman, who lives on Holmewood Lane.
The Furmans and other families will get to enjoy the finished product during the annual Syrup Saturday Festival and Pancake Brunch, starting at 11 a.m. at the nature center. The event celebrates the New England tradition of maple syrup-making and includes a pancake brunch with varieties of syrup, including the nature center’s own. During the festival, visitors can watch the syruping process, from tree tapping to the boiling into syrup at the “sugar shack.”
Furman said she liked having something for the kids to do rather than being stuck indoors during the winter. “I really enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s more doing something outdoors with your kids and the interaction with nature. It’s teaching them a real life lesson.”
Tickets for the Syrup Saturday Festival are $8 for nature center members and $12 for non-members. Children under 3 are free. For more information, call the New Canaan Nature Center at 7, Ext. 20.
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Four: That's how many pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accidents there have been on Post Road East in Westport since 2008. Three of those four accidents resulted in the death of pedestrians.
For Andrew Masi and several of his co-workers at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations Inc. on Post Road East across from the main post office, these statistics are troubling, especially because they cross the street every day to get to their office. That's why they would like to see more police enforcement of traffic laws.
Assigning officers to constantly monitor traffic at crosswalks on Post Road East may sound like an obvious solution, but Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola said it's not that simple. "Our traffic unit targets these areas to curb violations of the law," Arciola said. "And we do have a motorcycle cop specifically assigned to areas where we receive complaints. But we can't be everywhere at once. If we could, we would."
Although it's not possible to have the police monitor crosswalks all day, every day, Arciola said his officers do enforce traffic laws if they see violations. Additionally, Deputy Police Chief Dale Call said the department is working on a comprehensive pedestrian safety plan that includes driver education, pedestrian education and enforcement.
Beyond more enforcement, Masi said he would like to see a bigger, brighter sign alerting drivers of the crosswalk. And because Post Road East is a state road, such decisions are made by the state Department of Transportation. Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the DOT, said adding more or bigger signs isn't a foolproof solution because signs have an impact only when drivers pay attention to them.
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