Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Ridgefield 25

The most dedicated, most creative and most influential people in Ridgefield

Family Hike

To Kilimanjaro and back

Silver Lining

Ushering a North Salem gem into the future

Aging Well

Senior Living Communities Around Us

A Curling We Will Go

Trying Out an Olympic Sport

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

October 2018

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Opening Act: Liz Brasher Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 8pm Pepsi Rock Series powered by Xfinity Led by vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler, and his bass-wielding brother Tim, The...

Cost: $52.50

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


Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Wednesday, October 24, 1:00-2:30 pm, Bruce Museum Registrar and Curator Kirsten Reinhardt will speak about the Museum’s collection of Navajo textiles, from Native American weaving traditions...

Cost: Free for Museum members and visitors with paid admission

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-505-9897
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 24th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Free and no registration required. Decorate Halloween cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candy. Come in costume! Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

This one-hour workshop presented by Scott Ahrens from the NY Department of Financial Services includes a presentation, Q&A session and helpful brochures and takeaways on: Filling out FAFSA...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

FRIENDS! The Musical Parody is the hilarious new musical that lovingly lampoons TV’s “Friends” — celebrating the wacky misadventures of your favorite group of 20-something...

Cost: $39.50

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


Sponsor: Barts Arborists, Ridgefield Magazine, Star 99.9, and Western Connecticut Health Network
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Wednesday, October 24th at 7:00 PM. Ages 12 and up. Make a paracord bracelet for yourself or for a friend (the holidays will be here soon). Hosted by Gabriella. For questions, you can email the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Thursday October 25 from 4 – 5 p.m. tap into your creative skills to carve and decorate a fantastic pumpkin, just in time for Halloween! All materials, including pumpkins, will be provided....

Cost: $12 per New Pond Farm Member Child, $16 per Non-member Child

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Two legendary founders of The Rascals have teamed up for the first time in five years – Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish cite the fans and love of their timeless songs as reasons for...

Cost: $97

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


Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Recreating the legendary sound of The Eagles with their incredible lead vocal similarity, intensely accurate instrumental work, soaring harmonies, and top-flight live performances. Hear all the...

Cost: $40

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


Sponsor: Pepsi Rocks Series Powered by Xfinity
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On Saturday October 27 from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. join farmer Mike to assist with some daily farm chores. Collect eggs from the chickens then prep them for sale, view the milking process, and get all...

Cost: $10 per New Pond Farm Member family

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
Redding, CT  06896
View map »


Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Website »

More information

Best known for his starring roles on two of television’s most cherished and long-running series, “Taxi” and “Who’s The Boss,” Tony Danza has also established...

Cost: $69.50

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags