Westport, CT

Westport is a coastal town of colonial origin located along Long Island Sound in Fairfield County, Connecticut, 47 miles (76 km) northeast of New York City in the United States.


Westport Town Hall
Westport Town Hall


Neighborhoods


  • Saugatuck – around the Westport railroad station near the southwestern corner of the town – a built-up area with some restaurants, stores and offices. Saugatuck originates from the Paugussett tribe meaning mouth of the tidal river.
    • Saugatuck Shores – A curved peninsula surrounded by the Long Island Sound, this area was once part of the town of Norwalk. Today several hundred residents live on the peninsula, which became part of Westport in the 1960s.
    • Saugatuck Island – founded in the 1890s as Greater Marsh Shores, the island was renamed to its current name in 1920 and became a special taxing district on November 5, 1984.
  • Downtown Westport – The area around Post Road and Main Street on and near the Saugatuck River, Downtown Westport has many shops and restaurants. There has been recent growth in the downtown area, including Levitt Pavillion, National Hall (The area where Post and Riverside intersect), and Bedford square (opening in 2017) , a mixed use development on Church St, Elm St, Main St and Post Rd that will have apartments, public spaces, including a courtyard, underground parking, stores, and restaurants, as well as the incorporation of the historic Bedford Mansion.
  • Greens Farms – is Westport’s oldest neighborhood starting around Hillspoint road and ending at Westport’s boundary on the east side.
  • Cockenoe Island (pronounced “KuhKEEnee”) – just off the southeastern coast of the town. Cockenoe Island is an uninhabited island that was purchased by Westport for $212,740 from the United Illuminating Company in 1969 so that the company could not use the land to build a nuclear plant.
  • Old Hill – west of the Saugatuck River and north of the Post Road, a historic section of town with many homes from the Revolutionary and Victorian eras. Prior to the road being called the Boston Post Road it was called the Connecticut Turnpike.
  • Coleytown – Located at the northern edge of town, near the Weston town line. Home to Coleytown fire station, Middle and Elementary school.
  • Compo – Located around the main beach in the town, Compo Beach. Compo (Compaug), can be traced back to the early Paugussett tribe and means the bear’s fishing ground

A panoramic view from Saugatuck Bridge, Westport, CT, USA
Panorama from Saugatuck Bridge, Westport, CT, taken in 2012.


Education


Public schools
View of Staples High School, December 2011
View of Staples High School, December 2011
Staples High School is Westport’s only public high school.

The district has two middle schools (Grades 6 to 8) – Bedford Middle School and Coleytown Middle School – with a total of 1,321 students. In September 2009, Bedford Middle School was awarded the government-honored Blue Ribbon Award. In 2011, Out of 298 middle schools, Coleytown Middle and Bedford Middle schools were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state.

There are five elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 5) with a total of 2,556 students:
  • Coleytown Elementary School
  • King’s Highway Elementary School
  • Green’s Farms Elementary School
  • Saugatuck Elementary School
  • Long Lots Elementary School
There are a number of preschools in Westport, including Stepping Stones Pre-school, Greens Farms Nursery School, Saugatuck Nursery School, Earthplace Nursery School and the YMCA Childcare.

For the 2009–10 fiscal year, the school district’s adopted budget is $110.6 million. The school district had an estimated $109.1 million budget for the 2009–10 fiscal year, giving it an average per pupil expenditure of $16,266. The average 2010 class size for kindergarten through first grade was 22 students and 25 students for second through fifth grade.

Private schools
Greens Farms Academy, located in the 1920s Vanderbilt estate overlooking Long Island Sound, is a K-12 private preparatory school located in the Greens Farms section of town. Pierrepont School, opened in 2002 on Sylvan Road, is a private K-12 school for gifted students.

Scientific institutions
The Rolnick Observatory, operated by the Westport Astronomical Society, is open to the public for free on clear Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The observatory is located at 182 Bayberry Lane, on a former Nike missile site.

Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, is a natural history museum, nature center and wildlife sanctuary located at 10 Woodside Lane. The organization is dedicated to the promotion of public environmental education, preservation and conservation. Activities include maintaining a 62-acre (250,000 m2) open space wildlife sanctuary with trails, presenting public nature education programs, a water quality monitoring program, an interactive nature discovery area, a nursery school and summer camp.

The Westport Library taken from the opposite side of the Saugatuck River.
The Westport Library taken from the opposite side of the Saugatuck River.


Parks and Recreation


Comprising 234 acres (0.95 km2), Sherwood Island State Park is located on Long Island Sound and includes beach access. Compo Beach and Burying Hill Beach are municipal beaches that are open to out-of-town visitors in the summer for a fee. The state’s 9/11 memorial was put in Sherwood Island State Park in Westport; on a clear day the New York City skyline can be seen.

In 1960, Westport purchased Longshore Club Park.

In 2011, Paul Newman’s estate gave land to Westport to be managed by the Aspetuck Land Trust.

In 2010, the historic Wakeman Farm was reopened to the public as the Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainability Center. The town’s website describes as a “organic demonstration homestead open to the public. 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



At sunrise


(Reference: Wikipedia)