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Really Amazing Grace

Green Awards Winner: Grace Farms Foundation - Public space sits lightly on the land



Once I saw an infomercial for a piece of fabric that, when twisted and folded properly, could be fashioned into a skirt, a shirt, a cardigan, or some sort of head scarf. My sartorial efforts are exhausted just by putting on a belt. But this kind of effortless versatility can be found in the serene topography of Grace Farms.

Nestled along the New Canaan–Pound Ridge border, Grace Farms is an 80-acre expanse that was rescued from the clutches of developers and transformed into a place where visitors can meet, relax, eat, worship, meditate, and shoot hoops. As I said, versatile. 

Opened to the public just last October, the centerpiece of Grace Farms is referred to as the “River,” a serpentine, flat-ceilinged open-air structure that is built into the landscape. The River consists of several “volumes,” enclosed glass spaces that house a farm-to-table café, an Asian-inspired tea service, an amphitheater, and a library with a collection reflecting the five initiatives of Grace Farms: nature, arts, community, faith, and social justice.

The premises also include an organic garden, walking trails, and two renovated horse stables that serve as classrooms, offices, and meeting spaces for Grace Community Church and compatible non-profits in need of a physical space. Attendees of the New Canaan–based church bought the property in 2007 and later created the fully independent Grace Farms Foundation.

From the beginning, the Grace Farms mantra was to “sit lightly on the land.” Designed by Japanese architectural firm SANAA fresh off their Pritzker Prize win, the structure is fully integrated into the hillside. Also, it is LEED certified (a green-building certification program), with geothermal heating and cooling, an abundance of low-iron insulated windows, and other high-efficiency internal systems. Wood elements incorporated throughout provide a sense of warmth and absorb sound. Tables for the Commons (café) were even built from trees harvested onsite. 

Sharon Prince, project visionary and president of the Grace Farms Foundation board of directors, says, “We believe that nature not only draws a wide spectrum of people together, but it can also inspire a sense of awe and shift attention away from ourselves. We like to describe Grace Farms as a type-B experience for our type-A world.”

Every detail of the endeavor was considered through this lens. And the area is the perfect resource for all things natural. The menu offered at the Commons includes several locally sourced items such as cheese from Plum Plums and products from Healing Home Foods, both in Pound Ridge. 

Commons Manager (aka head chef) Neena Perez believes that fresh, seasonal ingredients are king. “When I put the menu together, one of my goals was to spotlight local purveyors,” says Perez. “People come for the scenery, but now they also come for the food.”

While Grace Farms trumpets its accessibility (visitors pay only for food and select programming), this “no strings attached” policy raises eyebrows. But Prince insists the real policy is “come one, come all.” She says, “Grace Farms is a new kind of public space, created as a gift. It has always been important to us for everyone to feel welcome.”  


A “river” building runs through it.  The lovely, alluring serpentine structure (pictured left) was designed by SANAA architects.

 

For tickets to the Green Awards celebration click here

For a compete list of Green Award winners

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June 2017

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Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

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Maritime Aquarium
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The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
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Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

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Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
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545 Ridgebury Road
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View map »


Website »

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Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
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Cost: $55

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $15 per adult and child pair; $12 members

Where:
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
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Cost: $25

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

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Cost: $35.00

Where:
Whip Blow Dry Bar + Salon
23 Governor St
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Website »

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Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

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Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

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Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: 50

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
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Telephone: 914-937-2047
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  Registration is open for the 11th annual Swim Across America Greenwich-Stamford Swim, taking place Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Long Island Sound on the border of Greenwich and Stamford at...

Cost: Fundraiser

Where:
ACGT
96 Cummings Point Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Swim Across America
Telephone: 203-570-9195
Contact Name: Michele Graham
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The annual American Roots Music Festival offers a day full of folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, singer/songwriter, string band, old time, and everything in between. Multiple award winning...

Cost: $30, $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $90 / Day Only $25

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
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Grace Farms Foundation invites you to learn about local food sourcing and how individuals can make an impact on the environment through three workshops focused on edible and medicinal plants,...

Cost: $10-15

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Luke Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: (203) 920-1702
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Community Open House Day Community Open House Day - Patient Appreciation Day  RSVP: 203-740-9300  Come Celebrate With Us!  • Free Chair Massages • Live Music...

Cost: Free

Where:
SOPHIA Natural Health Center
31 Old Route 7
Brookfield, CT  06804
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Sponsor: SOPHIA Natural Health Center
Telephone: 203-740=9300
Contact Name: Lauren
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Cost: Free. Registration is required at danburylibrary.org under Events

Where:
Danbury Library
170 Main Street
Danbury, CT
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All children, except one, grow up… Captured live at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale screens in cinemas.  When Peter Pan, leader of...

Cost: Price: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15 Ridgefield Library card holder

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Sign up and play in the Ridgefield Golf Course Couple’s Golf: Saturday, June 24th, shotgun start at 2pm!  Pinehurst format: $45/person includes contests, prizes, beverage...

Cost: $45/person

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

All children, except one, grow up… Captured live at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale screens in cinemas.  When Peter Pan, leader of...

Cost: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15 Ridgefield Library card holders recei

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Soar over the world’s tallest buildings, race in a solar-powered car and scale epic bridges – while also celebrating the inspired work behind them all – in “Dream Big:...

Cost: $22.95 adults; $20.95 youths (13-17) & seniors (65+); and $15.95 for children 3-

Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Ridgefield Theater Barn proudly presents the touching Annie Baker play Body Awareness, starting Friday June 2nd.  A gentle satire, the show, directed by Maryann Arcoleo-Koltun and produced...

Cost: $24 for adults and $20 for students, seniors, and veterans.

Where:
Ridgefield Theater Barn
37 Halpin Lane
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

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Where:
Maritime Aquarium
10 Water St.
Norwalk, CT
View map »


Website »

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