Weston, Redding and Easton Among CT’s Best Places to Raise a Family: Study
Where’s the best place to raise a family in Connecticut?
New rankings offer insights on the top 100 places. Do you agree?
By Joe Lipovich (Patch Staff) – Updated June 7, 2017 9:53 am ET
WESTON, REDDING AND EASTON, CT — Weston, Redding and Easton all ranked among places to raise a family in the Nutmeg State, according to a new study. Just in time for Father’s Day, Niche.com took a look at the best places to raise a family in states across the country. According to its rankings for Connecticut, Fairfield and Hartford counties dominate the top 100. New Canaan and Weston take the top two spots; followed by Simsbury, Old Greenwich and the Simsbury village of Weatogue. Easton came in at No. 25 and Redding at No. 26.
In the national rankings, Devon, Pennsylvania earned top honors for the second straight year. No Connecticut communities cracked the top 25.
The lists were created using information about public schools, crime rates, cost of living and family friendly amenities. Data was pulled from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC and other sources, according to Niche. (niche.com)
Weston – Fairfield County’s Best-Kept Secret
It is a picturesque town located among Fairfield County’s most idyllic ones. It would be the perfect location for a Norman Rockwell rendering of a small town – if that small town had residents such as Keith Richards and Christopher Walken walking its tree-lined streets. Yes. Weston, Connecticut, is all that. And it was proclaimed by Connecticut Magazine as the No. 1 town in the entire state for a population of 10,000 to 15,000.
Located about an hour from New York City and adjacent to Westport, its shoreline-hugging sister, Weston is not your typical New England hamlet. In addition to the famous Rolling Stone and the infamous actor, Weston’s celebrity residents include – and have included – Christopher Plummer,
Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Jose Feliciano, Eartha Kitt, Donna Summers and James Naughton. And, of course, the ongoing rumor persists of Johnny Depp’s alleged residency.
Its population is small – 10,150 – but its zoning is a generous 2 acres. And 20 percent of Weston’s residents commute to Manhattan each day. For those who spend the better parts of their days in Weston, the town offers a profusion of benefits, chief among them are its schools. Top rated in Connecticut, the Weston public school system (lower, middle and high school) is centrally located in town in a campus-like setting.
“It’s a great place to raise children,” said resident Gail Sagel. “The schools are like private schools. Just look at some of the colleges the kids get into: University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, University of Michigan, Emory,Yale and Harvard … and the list goes on.”
According to Sagel, life in Weston is something of a throwback to a more simple time. “On Saturday mornings, I love the small-town feeling of running into neighbors while shopping for fresh fruits, vegetable and pies at the farmers’ market at the Coley Homestead on Route 57.”
Sagel also takes in the town’s natural beauty when she hikes the pristine trails that snake through one of its nature preserves, Devil’s Den. And she enjoys the sweeping views from the reservoir at the top of Valley Forge Road.
For a nominal fee, Weston residents are eligible to use some of the facilities in Westport, namely Compo Beach. And Westport’s shopping and train station are only a few minutes away. As to the local celebrities, longtime Weston resident Donna Gordon fondly recounts the following tale: “When my son Jeremy was in elementary school, he participated in the end-of-year field day. All the parents came to watch their kids participate in the festivities — relay races, sports, etc. Keith Richards’ daughter was in Jeremy’s class. The games started pretty early, and most of the parents were sipping their coffees. But not Keith Richards. He was drinking beer.”
You won’t see that in any Norman Rockwell paintings.
Adapted from “Weston: Fairfield County’s Best-Kept Secret by Julie Curtis, Wilton Daily Voice, May 27, 2012.”
What Weston Has To Offer
Weston is a residential community in Southwestern Connecticut (about 45 miles from New York City) with a population of approximately 10,150 residents. Residents enjoy two acre zoning, a lack of commercial development, a focus on open space, and an outstanding educational system.
Amenities: Weston’s unique rural, yet sophisticated, environment boasts an absence of busy commercial boulevards. “The Center” as the locals fondly call it, is the go-to place to shop and to meet. There one can find the local food market, a bank, pharmacy with gift
store, dry cleaners, real estate office, post office, spirits shop, hardware store, restaurant, and gas and service station.
Culture: Weston has an active arts scene. The Weston Commission for the Arts organizes music, art, drama and other valuable cultural events. Weston Library offers a variety of programs, book clubs, and workshops for residents of all ages. An active Senior Activities Center runs a wide range of programs, which include yoga and fitness, knitting/crafts, and much more.
Recreation: Parks and Recreation provides a wide choice of activities and camps for residents. In addition, the indoor pool at Weston Middle School is open to the public year round. Bisceglie-Scribner Park, a 53-acre recreation area, contains Little League fields, picnic facilities, a swimming pond and the Kiwanis Fitness Trail. Aspetuck Country Club, Weston Field Club, Weston Gun Club and Weston Racquet Club provide residents with ample opportunities to enjoy tennis, golf and private club membership.
Open Space: Almost one quarter of the Town is permanently devoted to open space. Whether the northern Nature Conservancy – Lucius Pond Ordway – Devil’s Den containing 1,765 acres, or Katherine Ordway Preserve containing 60 acres on the east side of Weston, or 645 acres of Aspetuck Land Trust sprinkled around the Town, every neighborhood can claim some piece of recreational land nearby.
Country Fairs & Farmer’s Markets: Emanuel Church and Norfield Church are famous for their fairs.
The Grange Fair at harvest time is another popular event, along with Weston Elementary and Weston
Intermediate School’s PTO’s Memorial Day Fair which is a draw for the entire region. Each year the Fair follows an old fashioned Memorial Day Parade, which is hosted by the Weston Volunteer Fire Department. After the parade, all can have free hot dogs and soda.
A popular Farmer’s Market is held on the grounds of the Coley Homestead at the Weston Historical Society on Saturdays from May through September. The Weston Grange is host to a “Winter Market” from mid-November until early May.
Community Involvement: Weston has a long history and reputation for community volunteerism.
The citizens devote countless hours to serving on Town boards and commissions. The Volunteer Fire Department and EMS Squad rank high in their commitment by providing extraordinary service to Town citizens when in need. The Weston Historical Society, the Kiwanis Club, the Weston Women’s League, the Weston Garden Club, and the League of Women Voters are just a few of the organizations that regularly dedicate themselves to improving the Town. Weston is a warm and inviting place for those who enjoy being a part of their community.