WeGreen Westport Awards Recognize Residents Making A Difference

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From left: David Mann, chair Westport Green Task Force, Michael Aitkenhead, Nick Mancini, Sal Gilbertie, and First Selectman James S. Marpe. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Green Task Force has announced the winners of its 2013 WeGreen Westport Awards. They will go to Michael Aitkenhead, Nick Mancini and Gilbertie's Herb Garden.

Aitkenhead is a full-time environmental studies teacher at Staples High School, where he has been Teacher of the Year. He also works at the Town Farm where he is responsible for returning the dilapidated farm property back to its former glory.

He plans to grow organic gardens, native grapes, install a fruit orchard, raise bees and farm animals as well as fight off invasive pests.

Aitkenhead spearheaded the Westport EcoFest, a town event that allowed teens to put their environmental studies into practice through exhibits and programs that brought together the town's various eco-friendly initiatives and concepts.

Mancini has been living sustainably for many years and has taught many in Fairfield County about organic methods, composting, vermiculture and crop rotation.

He has been a valuable adviser to the school gardens in Fairfield county and involved in the Granges. He has also recently published a book called, "The Complete Organic Garden".

The last recipient, Gilbertie's Herb Garden, works closely with local nonprofits as well as community gardens and garden clubs throughout the region.

It educates the community through lectures and also hosts many classes and events on subjects including organic gardening, weed and insect control as well as native New England plant gardening. Gilbertie’s is also an active member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

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