WESTPORT, Conn. -- Liz Milwe pours her heart into improving the quality of life in Westport. Her latest project, helping to build a community center and kitchen classroom at Wakeman Town Farm, hits closer to her heart than any cause.
Milwe and her husband, Peter Wormser, are spearheading the campaign to bring a new community center and kitchen classroom to the farm. The kitchen will be named after their son, Tim Wormser, who died last year in Laguna Beach, Calif., at age 27.
- Who: Liz Milwe, Westport
- What: Along with her husband, Peter Wormser, she is leading a campaign to build a kitchen classroom at Wakeman Town Farm named after their son, Tim
- Learn more: At the Wakeman Town Farm website
“Tim’s Kitchen” will turn a former chicken-plucking room into the farm’s main indoor facility and gathering site. Campers will cook vegetables from the Farm’s organic garden, and cooking classes will be held for all age groups. The Farm will also invite guest chefs and artisans to host workshops on composting, canning, gardening and more. The kitchen will also host dinners with local farm-to-table restaurants and food purveyors
Peter Wormser, an architect, is designing the new community center and kitchen. Tim had a keen interest in food, and while attending Staples High School spent time on afternoons and weekends working at the Farms’ Daybreak Nursery.
“The community and Wakeman Town Farm has wrapped their arms around our family,’’ Milwe said. “It will be nice when people say they’re going to Tim’s Kitchen to take a class. For us, it’s adding something new to the town. It’s a new gem for Westport, and the fact that it will be named after Tim makes us feel great.”
The community center and kitchen should be open by late spring. The kitchen will be part of the new community center, which broke ground last year. Milwe and her husband have been part of a team working for the past five years on plans for the Community Center, which will allow Wakeman to offer year-round programming.
“We haven’t been able to have that before,’’ Milwe said. “We’ll be able to offer classes for adults, classes in the evenings, and also offer a place for organizations to meet. The classes will all be geared around our mission.”
The project is another example of Milwe’s dedication to Westport. She was one of the drivers behind the success of the Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainability Center, which was created to educate the community on local, healthy food production, responsible land stewardship, sustainable practices and community service orientation. Activities include educational workshops, student internships, after-school environmental clubs, summer camps and more.
Milwe has been involved in a number of town boards, including the RTM. She was also instrumental in getting the Sherwood Island Nature Center and Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve off the ground and has been a champion of the environment. She helped push for legislation to ban plastic bags in Westport and is working now with legislators to ban large piles of junk mail from being dumped in front of homes.
“I’ve always been active wherever I’ve lived,’’ Milwe said. “My family has always been very active in town. My mother and father both served on town boards in Westport. My mother was a peace activist. It’s just something that has always come naturally to me.”
Milwe’s community activism hardly coincides with her professional career. She works in her day role as a choreographer and is the Artistic Director for Jumping Fishing Productions. She has choreographed film, theater and dance productions, including some for Broadway and MTV. Her instructional dance program, Hip Hop for Kids, won the Parents Choice award for Best Children’s Video and is now distributed in the United States and abroad. She has also worked with the Westport Community Theater and taught for 15 years at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.
Her focus away the dance floor, for now, is on the project at Wakeman Town Farm. It is a personal and rewarding project that she and her husband have given their full support.
“It’s going to be a nice thing for our town,’’ Milwe said. “It makes you feel good that you’re able to make a positive contribution.”
For more information, or to donate, click here to visit the Wakeman Town Farm website.
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