What looks like another intersection to most individuals, is actually Brookfield’s unofficial second center. Located on the intersection of Station and Federal Rd, this location remains a popular landmark for most Brookfieldians. What makes this intersection so unique isn’t the 4 gas stations on each corner, but actually the business and community around it.
A few years ago, conversations were started around turning this area into the new Brookfield Town Center. Due to issues with zoning and other regulations, this conversation was tabled until 2015 which was when these issues were resolved. The new goal was to turn this area of the town into a commercial, pedestrian friendly destination that will attract a younger crowd. This new community will include shops, restaurants and apartments, and will be surrounded by much needed sidewalks and improved lighting. Due to these conversations, two initiatives were born: Brookfield Village and Four Corners Revitalization Plan.
This mixed use development project has been approved for funding. This new community will include shops, restaurants and apartments. The layout will be 4 large multi-use buildings, with shops and restaurants on the 1st floor, and apartments above. The area in between the buildings will be turned into a really nice patio which is perfect for restaurants and shops. This project will take place in two phases during which two of the four buildings will be constructed. The First phase was completed in late 2017. Lessees have already started to claim their space in the two newly constructed spaces, and more are starting to set their eyes on the two buildings that will be built in 2018.
Four Corners Revitalization Plan
This plan is focusing on improving the “streetscape” of this part of the town. This 4 stage project will focus on extending and improving the existing sidewalk, amenities and lighting starting at Four Corners.
4 Stage redevelopment project to rejuvenate the Four Corners section of town.
These two initiatives, in addition to the recent completion Still River Greenway, are two of many to come. There are plans underway to give this section a facelift with new stores, better roads, and new residents.
More Information on Four Corners in Brookfield
If you are like me, every now and then you need to get up and get those creative juices flowing. When it comes to arts and crafts Brookfield has a little bit of everything.
Crafting and Designing Arts
As far as craft stores are concerned, there is Joann Fabrics and Crafts and Michaels. There is also the Wood Bin for those who like to play around with unfinished wood furniture and accessories.
There are several options those who would like to attend craft classes or work in a studio. The most popular option is the Brookfield Craft Center. They have studios, classes, and workshops in the specialties of: clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and jewelry.
The second option available is The Pottery Factory. While it is more of a Walk-in centered experience there is a variety of crafts to focus on: pottery painting, candle/soap making and glass fusing. For more options, their events calendar features drawing, painting and other crafts.
YMCA offers a similar array of classes for teens and adults. It offers ceramics, painting and photography classes.
Musical and Performing Arts
Brookfield also has a few options available for performing arts. Route 7 Music is your go to place for anything music related. In addition to having a large selection of musical instruments, the store also offers lessons for the usual suspects (guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums, and voice) as well as other instruments.
If you are trying to focus on dance Brookfield Performing Arts Classes probably has what you are looking for. With a selection of dance classes, this center is a hit for all ages. The classes include: tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet and hip hop.
The Brookfield Theatre for the Arts runs a handful of productions each season. Feel free to audition or volunteer to be part of the crew, or pay your respects to the arts by attending the productions. The Brookfield Public Library, which is located next to the Theatre for the Arts, hosts poetry and literature readings.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of events available in Brookfield. Visit the town’s events site to see more events that are happening.
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What started out as a short dead-end trail next to the Brookfield Station, has grown into a 2.5 mile walkway that extends all the way to Four Corners.
The still river greenway is an initiative started by the town of Brookfield in 2000. 16 Years and 3 million dollars later, the greenway was opened. This 2.5 path is a great spot for walks, runs and biking. It is 10 feet wide and crosses the Still River which is an iconic Connecticut waterway. In addition to being handicapped-accessible, the path has amenities such as rest stops, lighting and benches. It also boasts having the longest pedestrian bridge in Connecticut at 170 feet long.
The greenway runs parallel to the Still River and has several entrances. The main entrance, the Police Station, is located 3/4ths the way up the walkway. For parking there are spots available at this entrance, as well as the police station and the municipal center. The walkway extends another .5 mile to the south towards route 133. The northern entrance of the walkway is located approximately across from The Hearth on Federal Rd. There is no parking at this entrance at this time, but it is being looked into for a future initiative
This project was broken up into two phases. The first phase saw the construction of a paved trail that runs from the Municipal Center to the Town Center (Four Corners) of Brookfield. This part of the trail was completed in 2012. The second phase includes a trail that loops around in the woods. In order to monitor the usage and impact, sensors were placed on the greenway. In 2017 an estimated number of 60,000 to 80,000 individuals have used it in its first year, which is a great increase from the expected 20,000.
According to the town of Brookfield, they aren’t done with the trail. This greenway was meant as a catalyst for several other projects going on at the same time which hope to bring more life to this side of the town. One such project plans on cleaning up the “streetscape” of the Town Center area. Part of that project includes extending the sidewalk at Four Corners all the way to the Northern entrance of the greenway. Also, more parking will be added at that entrance.
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Candlewood Lake is a 8.4 sq. mile lake located in Connecticut making it the largest body of water in the state of CT. The lake spans the towns of Brookfield, New Milford, Sherman, New Fairfield and Danbury. It is a popular summer location especially for those who own boats, or those who just want to enjoy one of its many of beaches.
One interesting feature about this lake is that it was manmade. The efforts began in 1926 by Connecticut Light and Power, the company that came up with the plan. The goal was to generate enough energy for the summer via hydroelectric power. Water was pumped from the Housatonic River into the valley. This process didn’t take long: the lake was completed by 1928. While the inhabitants of the area were relocated the buildings, houses, roads and other structures still remain. Divers are still able to navigate the roads and bridges that are on the bottom of the lake, as well as find artifacts of back then.
There is something to do on the lake for everyone: Boating, diving, row boating, kayaking, and rope jumping. If you are into exploring, there are dozens of islands and special coves waiting to be found. The shores are peppered with public and private beaches, properties and parks. The most popular locations on the lakefront are: Squantz Pond (a beach in New Fairfield), Danbury Town Park, New Fairfield Town Park, Brookfield Town Park, Lattin’s Cove, and Candlewood Shores Beach. For some of these beaches, a season pass is required from the respective town’s Parks and Recreation Office.
Another famous spot on the lakefront is Down the Hatch. In addition to having a gorgeous view of the lake, it is the only business on the lake that allows you to dock from the water side. Since it is a very popular hangout spot it is a great way to meet other people who are on the lake or live in the surrounding areas.
The best time to visit the lake is anywhere between May and October. The water won’t be warm until late July/August so plan accordingly. In the winter when the lake completely freezes over you will see a lot of individuals walking or having fun on it. Bring out your ice skates and join in on the fun. Just remember be safe.
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Staying in Shape in Brookfield:
Let’s face it, it can be hard to stay motivated to get in shape especially in the colder parts of the year. Luckily here in Brookfield you can’t use the “there’s nothing to do” excuse.
Brookfield offers a rich selection of activities ranging from gyms, studios, and locations that can help you stay active throughout the year. For a more extensive list of stores and centers feel free to contact the town of Brookfield.
Gyms: These are the easiest go-to options for staying in shape. These all vary in membership and amenities, so check them out if you haven’t done so already.
Studios: If you are looking for more specialized classes such as dancing, yoga or Pilates, give these locations a try.
1. YMCA: 2 Huckleberry Hill Rd: (203) 885-0348 – Some of the classes offered include: Spinning, volleyball, aquatic fitness, yoga, and Tabata.
2. The Dive Shop Aquatic Center: 439 Federal Rd: (203) 740-9166 – In addition to having a large pool, the aquatic center has classes for: aquatic aerobics and swimming
3. Fitness Revolution: Spin and Pilates: 4 Sand Cut Rd: (203) 740-0282 – This center focuses solely on Pilates and Spinning classes.
4. Brookfield Performing Arts Classes: 994 Federal Road: 203.775.6300 – With a selection of dance classes, this center is a hit for all ages. The classes include: tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet and hip hop.
5. Arya Fitness Studio: 483 Federal Rd: (860) 960-3535 – For a more sensual twist on fitness, come to Arya Fitness Studio. Their classes include: yoga, pole dancing and aerial ropes.
Stores: Check out these stores to gear up for your gym time or your next outdoor adventure
1. Woodbridge Running Co: 632 Federal Rd: (203) 775-1065 – This little store is geared towards those with a passion for running. With a knowledgeable staff, and quality inventory, this shop can meet all your running needs.
2. The Bicycle Center; 612 Federal Rd: (203) 775-7083 – Service, parts, gear, bikes and advice; this shop has it all.
The Great Outdoors: At the end of the day, nothing beats going outside and having some old fashioned fun. There is a great selection of roads, trails, lakes and other ventures to stay active with.
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Brookfield has a lot of restaurant in their town and in the surrounding towns. If you are looking for fine dining when in Brookfield then you should try the Candlewood Inn. Settled on Candlewood lake this restaurant has a gorgeous view of the lake. This Inn also hosts weddings and has beautiful gardens. Eating here is a like dinning like nobles.
If you travel into Danbury, right on the border, you will have a chance to eat at the best steak house in the area. Black Angus is by far the best steak house you will ever eat at. You are greeted by the owner who seats you immediately, and your waiter/waitress have tasted everything on the menu to help you choose. I start off my meal with a seafood appetizer, I know seafood at a steak house who does that? It is fresh and cooked to perfection. Then I would share the 40oz porter house with my wife. For desert you need to try the chocolate moose with Amaretto, your taste buds will die of happiness. Their wine and drink list are impeccable and will have something for everyone. If you are looking for some family friendly restaurants, then I would recommend either Maggie McFly’s or The Hacienda. McFly’s is a great place for the family it has something for all ages and has a very friendly staff.
They have been in Brookfield for over ten years, and many residents keep coming back to them. Their bar also has great drinks and shots for all occasions. The Hacienda Don Maule is a fantastic authentic Mexican restaurant. During the evening they hire bands to sarinda their guests while they eat the best Mexican food around. If you want to host a large group, Hacienda has their own private room that can accommodate over 30 people. Their food is cooked fresh with the best ingredient’s. If you are craving a great burger and famous French fries, then Five Guys is the place to go. Their chain is known all over the country, but compared to any other burger in the area theirs is the best. Brookfield has many great restaurants, you can’t throw a stone with out hitting one. Go on out and discover some great food.
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Different Types of Grass and their Impact on your Lawn
No matter where you live everyone wants a lush green lawn, but it is not always easy to get one. Growing grass not rocket science, although you do need to do a little research to get that award winning field of green. The main factors to growing your grass are PH of the soil, sunlight, water, and cut height. In the northeast we have snowy winters, warm summers, and sometimes unbearable humidity. One of the best grasses to use in this region is Kentucky blue grass. This grass has amazingly rich color and is quite easy to take care of. This grass love sun, but also adapts to the changing weather conditions year round. If you have to ability to test your soils PH level you should do so, blue grass has an optimal PH rang for growth and health it is six to seven on the scale. Watering this grass will require two to two and a half inches of water to reach their roots. You should water the grass in the early morning between 5 A.M and 7 A.M, is the time when the roots are looking to replenish themselves. You should water two to three times a week to maintain them and try to do it on a consistent basis. When you are cutting this grass you should cut to a height of two to three inches.
Wondering how much fertilizer bluegrass needs, well you will need two to three pounds for five hundred square feet. Taking care of Kentucky bluegrass will give you a rich emerald green lawn in no time. Living in the South Bermuda grass and Bahia grass grow very well in the hot climate. Bermuda grass loves a PH soil level of six to six and half, the grass does not respond well to acidic soil so make sure that you take care of your soil. Unlike the Kentucky bluegrass the Bermuda grass has longer roots, needed to absorb water in the hotter seasons, and will need six inches of water penetration to keep the roots fresh. Watering them should be every other day to for about two hours in the morning to reach that six inches. The optimal cut height for this grass is between two and three inches, keeping them on the longer side will also help you identify if they are dehydrated because the grass blades will welt. Fertilizing Bermuda grass only requires a half pound for five hundred square feet, making it a inexpensive grass to maintain. Bahia grass is excellent if you are in the mid-south. Its optimal PH soil level is between five and six, and it only needs a half pound of fertilizer for the square footage as the Kentucky and Bermuda grass.
This grass is on the taller side compared to the other two having its cut height be between three to four inches. This grass also has longer roots than the other two with water needing to penetrate seven to eight inches to reach the roots. If you live in the west then you are very lucky all three of these grass grow very well in that area, just remember to pick the grass that suits your specific climate otherwise it will be harder to keep your lawn healthy. Out in the mid-west perennial grasses flourish. Perennial grass is a grass that spreads both by seed and vine root systems. Is some parts of the country this is considered a weed, though it acts like a weed it is a great grass to grow. Their roots grow both into and along the ground, this also requires a little more water, about six to twelve inches of penetration. It has the same cut height as the Bermuda grass, but requires far less fertilizer roughly a half pound per five hundred square feet. It is a shorter grass to maintain at two and a half inches, while also having a wider range of PH tolerance of five to seven on the scale. Grass takes many forms and they thrive in different climates. Hope this helps making the process choosing grass for your lawn easy.
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What is Landscaping Exactly?
Landscaping Pricing for Small & Large Projects
Landscaping is a great way to spruce up ones home, but it can cost a pretty penny. Simple projects like redoing a garden can be cheap, but larger scape projects can be in the range of $30,000. Things you need to look at to understand how much a job will cost are easy to find. The first is the size of the yard or area you want done. The larger the size the more it will cost. The location of the yard or area is also important. Areas that are in hard to reach places or require more work to do to get it to the level you want will cost more, than a yard that has easy access and well maintained.
The most obvious reason why a job will cost more is the materials and plants you may want. Picking stone or woods to furnish your property that are exotic, or name brand will cost more to purchase, plus you are paying for the labor to install them. Plants and flowers are the same, the more exotic they are the more they cost. While the more exotic stuff is inherently more expensive, where a landscaper finds the supplies can also impact the price. Importation and locally sourced plants will have a majorly different price tag on them. Locally sourced materials can vary from community to community, but finding plants in your local area can cut costs compared to having them imported form somewhere else.
Ways to save on your next landscaping project will vary from property to property, but it can be done. First you need to shop around for a landscaper that will fit your needs. They should be capable of the job, but also know how to cut costs to fit your budget. Ask them how and where they get their materials, that are the furnishing that you are looking to get. Instead of doing a large project that will get everything you want done at once, take your time. Hiring back a landscaper for more projects over time builds a rapport, and could work out better deals. The smaller projects can be done in shorter time and be cost effective. Doing a little do-it-yourself work on your dream like planting flowers, finding deals on materials, or laying your own walk ways will reduce the amount of work the landscaper has to do. Knowing what will increase your costs to your project will help you find ways around the cost, and save your budget.
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Learn about Choosing the Right type of Grass for your Lawn
Learn How to Place Bushes, Trees and Ivy Strategically to Improve the your Home Security
Landscaping can turn any sun-dried lawn in to a garden fit for a queen. Little do most people know that landscaping can be more than just beauty, a landscaping job can also improve the security of your home. Using flowers, bushes, and trees to enhance the security of someone’s residents has been dated back to the medieval ages. Nobles would build garden mazes in court yards not only to create something beautiful to symbolize their status, but in an event where someone or a gang of people tried to invade them, the garden mazes would help slow down or help spot the would-be invaders. Though most people today do not have castle or noble estates, anyone can use the same tactics of utilizing plants to protect their homes. Whether you own a home or live on the first floor of an apartment building, bushes create an extra barrier between your lawn and our window.
Strategically placing bushes in front of or under your windows will either trap, deter, or allow you enough time to get your family to safe and call the police. Locust bushes have one to two-inch thorns that cause skin irritation and swelling that can be easily identified. We use Rhododendrons and evergreen bushes in our front lawn. These bushes do not have thorns, but grow big and strong making it very hard to get through, while also having beautiful purple flowers blooming in the spring attracting butterfly’s and hummingbirds. Trees provide shade and memorable projects like building a tree house, but if you grow a tree in the right spots they are very effective at protecting your privacy. When we think of trees we think of oak, pine, and maple trees; but we don’t need to use these trees to enhance out privacy. Our family home has an ornamental Japanese maple tree that grows its limbs out, almost like a Bansi tree.
This single tree covers up four windows, provides great shades, and when you plant a garden around the base makes for a wonderful conversation starter. Growing fruit trees like apples and pears are also good for the back yard. These trees in the first couple of years grow only a couple of feet, but provide great foliage and you can have your our home grown fruit. Flowers are also great ways to help deter would be trespasser. Growing non-poisonous ivy on fences helps prevent grip and traction when climbing. To have your ivy look nicer there are roses that grow like vines and bloom in any color you would like. Landscaping can be very beautiful, but also very functional at being an extra security measure.
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A Guide on Choosing the Best Landscaping Company
When it comes to your property you only want the best care and service you can get. Like all jobs we wish to hire a company for we ask ourselves, what company should I hire? First thing we should do is look on some review web sites like Angie’s list, yelp, or Site Jabber. These sites have been created to help customers find advise from other customers that have hired a company. Take the reviews with a grain of salt, there are some people out that create multiple accounts to give good or bad ratings of a company. I have found that reading both bad and good reviews on yelp help paint a better picture of a company. When I have read both sides I can see what the common problems are with a company. For example I was looking for a car dealer and after reading all the bad reviews I found that the main problem with this particular dealership was that they had a poor customer service manager, but otherwise was a good dealer to go to.
While we are on the internet finding reviews we should also take a look at the companies website as well. When looking at the website a good company will have pictures on them of jobs they have finished, this will help show you the quality of work they can perform. I was trying to find a landscaper in my area when I went on their website I found a picture of a neighbor of ours had their front yard refinished with the company we were looking at, they did a fantastic job. The next thing you should look for is how long the company has been in business.
There is always up and coming landscapers, but you best bet are those that have been in the business for many years. The longer they have been in business means two thinks one, they must have been doing something right to stay in business that long and two, they will be pricier to hire. One thing I keep an eye out for is how many people the landscaper employees. These are typically small businesses that employees a small group of people. This means that the owner will be doing more of the work and will be juggling multiple jobs at once. If you are looking for maintenance then a smaller team is fine, but if you are looking to do redesign then you should look for a larger team. When you have picked a company you should schedule a consultation and ask question pertaining to the job that you are looking for. Questions you should also ask is where do their supplies come from, where and who do you hire, and what happens to the disposal.
Finding the right company is not as hard to find as you may think it just requires some internet surfing and question asking.
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How Strategic Landscaping can improve your Home Security