Care, attention to detail, personal touch and a spirit of volunteerism goes into so much of what we celebrate and love about New Canaan. And those special qualities also often go unnoticed or at least without being noted. In “The Little Things,” we take the time to do that.
Whether you’re a fan of folk, country, rhythm and blues, or just fancy a night out under the stars, New Canaan’s Waveny Summer Concert Series is a great local summertime option. A free, weekly event open to the public on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. on the lawn behind the Waveny House, the series opened June 27 and will continue weekly through Aug. 26. The July 29 installment, featuring ’50s and ’60s group T&T Dreamin’, is sponsored by NewCanaanite.com. “We try to come out every week that we can,” New Canaan resident Bill Lawler said on the sun-splotched lawn out back of Waveny House as the July 22 concert got underway.
After one of New Canaan’s many snowstorms last winter, next-door neighbors and fast friends Courtney Flynn and Jennifer Moore—teachers by training and profession—plowed a path between their homes, then scooped pots of snow and hauled them inside and up to Moore’s bathtub for their combined children (five altogether, each four years old or younger) to play with in a unique way. The pair armed the kids with spray bottles of food coloring and “they just went nuts,” Moore recalled on a recent morning from a corner room downstairs at the United Methodist Church, a box of baby wipes surrounded by rubber bands, marbles and dowels on the table in front of her, graduated cylinders and beakers on a shelf against the wall. “Coloring the snow and mixing the colors and seeing what happens when they mixed the colors or how they could get the color to go away or to melt the snow,” Moore continued. “They were playing, and that’s all about states of matter—solid, liquid, gas—the snow was melting and then the color was changing. So they [the kids] liked that, and then we just started doing little things outside.”
Those little things—hands-on and offering new ways to experience and understand the everyday—ranged from the basics (dropping rocks to test gravity) to more sophisticated (planting seeds, digging for worms).
[Editor’s Note: The following information was submitted by Katie Stewart of the New Canaan Garden Club, a nonprofit organization that’s been doing this type of great work in town for more than a century. Find out more about membership here.]
The three photos below were taken on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by Judy Neville when the New Canaan Garden Club Irwin Park Committee installed five new trees at the Park entrance with the help of the town backhoe and Parks Superintendent John Howe, Highway Superintendent Mose Saccary and Tiger Mann. In 2005 the garden club members accepted the stewardship of New Canaan’s newest park on Weed Street from the Irwin Family when the club members were given an endowment fund to continue the beautification of the property/park and improve the quality of life in our already special town. The garden club gladly collaborates with the Park and Recreation Commission, the Office of Selectman and the Public Works crew on the maintenance and beautification. Annually improvements and new projects have been undertaken using the funds.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi says that for years, he has admired and appreciated the “Welcome” signs that often greet motorists pulling off of roads such as the Merritt Parkway and crossing from one municipality to another in Connecticut and elsewhere. “I thought to myself that New Canaan is the most welcoming community I know—why don’t we have one?” Mallozzi said. We may, soon enough. Town planning officials on Tuesday approved a proposal to install a DOT-approved, 4.5-foot-high “Welcome to New Canaan” sign at two entrances to the town (not far from the southbound off-ramps of Exits 37 and 38 on the Merritt). Tiger Mann, assistant director of the Department of Public Works, unveiled the signs at the Planning & Zoning Commission’s regular meeting, held in the Douglas Room at Lapham Community Center.
An avid tennis player at the New Canaan Field Club, town resident Suzanne Jonker drives up Route 123 all the time. Prior to this summer, nothing much caught Jonker’s eye as she passed the (harrowing) intersection at Parade Hill Road. That’s all changed, with the creation this year of a bright wildflower meadow that’s drawing high praise from locals. Here are a few photos that Terry took on Thursday, article continues below:
“It used to be all weeds, so it definitely caught my eye and I thought, ‘Wow, that is so nice,’ ” Jonker told NewCanaanite.com. “Really good work.