Biographical Information:

Dates: 1920-1999Dates in Ridgefield: 1946-1999
poetrypoet, conservationist, Ridgefield symphony Orchestra Director, philanthropist
One day in the early 1990s, two teenagers received $3,000 checks in the mail from a woman they’d never met. The boys’ parents had casually known Louise D. Peck for 25 years. Miss Peck later told the parents she had seen the boys walking to school for many years and wanted to help with their college educations. It was just one small example of the generosity–often unexpected or unusually generous–of a woman who gave away millions of dollars to charitable, conservationist, educational, and civic organizations. She did so quietly; Miss Peck was much better known as a vocal conservationist who fought for land preservation long before it was popular. She spoke at meetings, wrote letters, served on the Conservation Commission for 11 years, was a supervisor of the Fairfield County Soil and Water Conservation District, and belonged to the conservation committee of the Ridgefield Garden Club for years. She donated 10 acres of Turtle Pond and later her own homestead on North Salem Road to the Land Conservancy of Ridgefield. She served on the library board, was a director of the Ridge Symphony Orchestra, and founder of the NAACP chapter here. The New York City native arrived in 1946 after serving in the Army during the war, with her longtime companion Grace Woodruff. A Barnard English major, she wrote poetry that appeared in such publications as Harper’s and The New York Times. She died in 1999 at the age of 79, leaving behind several million dollars in bequests to local organizations, including a $1.7 million bequest to the Ridgefield Library.
Titles:Lambing and Other Poems, 1979Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (date unknown)
--Sources: Jack Sanders–Notable Ridgefielders; Minutes of the Board of Finance meeting April 9, 2001