At Westport Woods the Children’s Garden and Woodland Path is continuing to expand for the enjoyment of families who visit. This past spring, the Westport Historical Society donated an unfinished miniature house to the land trust to be re-purposed for the public. It was quite a project!

Lucky for us, two great WLCT volunteers, Steve McGuiness and Jeff Wade, spearheaded the renovation. Steve and Jeff created the vision to re-model the little house as a reflection of the office house at Westport Woods. New window openings, structural supports, new siding, a floor, a bench, and tables both on the inside and out. The little house was painted utilizing the same colors as the main house. Little details remain, like a chalkboard wall on the interior, a ramp to provide accessible entry to the house, and a sign to finish it with a name.

Steve was happy with the results and, “hopefully the house becomes a place for our youngest visitors to enjoy lots of creative play. It was a pleasure working on it with Jeff, who provided countless hours of volunteer work along with wonderful ideas.” The renovation took several months utilizing the normal Tuesday Trail Team time slot. Jeff adds, “one of the things I love to do is take on projects where you can create lasting spaces for the public to enjoy. Steve and I had a lot of fun, especially since the focus was to create a space where kids can just be kids!”

It has been integrated into the Children’s Garden and has already seen heavy visitation. Kids have used it as their home base in a game of freeze tag, it was the start of the Halloween Happenings trail, and even as a Tearoom on a morning walk. “We are grateful for all involved. When it arrived, I lovingly referred to the house as our new raccoon AirBnb, and now after all the hard work it probably could be rented out! Ha.”

Special thanks to Steve McGuiness and Jeff Wade, the Westport Historical Society, and Chris Fortier from Serious Business for supporting the project.