‘It Has Been Cold’: Low Temps Delay Prep, Opening of Playing Fields

This spring’s lingering low temperatures have delayed the town’s work in preparing and opening some of New Canaan’s playing fields, the parks superintendent said Wednesday night.

John Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting that he “can’t remember that we have ever been this late still painting the fields for the first time and opening them up.”

“A few warm days are going to help but next week temperatures are going to go back down,” he said.

After another dip down into the 30s on Sunday, the National Weather Service is calling for temps to linger in the 50s this week during the day and dip back into the 30s at night.

Even with the unseasonably cold weather, “We are getting there slowly,” Howe said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center.

“I talked to the contractor that does our spring clean for the tennis courts and they are still slated for the beginning of May, so we should be good there,” he added, referring to the clay courts at Mead Park. “We are still working on storm cleanup. You will probably see a lot of piles here there and everywhere through the parks, we will get the heavy machinery out there to pick them up.”

Howe also said that the brush that had been piled along the wall inside of Irwin Park has been removed.

“We weren’t able to get to pulling the stumps and everything else once the snow came back,” he said. “But we got somebody in there to take care of that so that’s all seeded and we are going to keep that low-cut grass.”

Chair Sally Campbell noted that parks, part of the Department of Public Works, survived the recent budget season with some much-needed funds for next fiscal year.

Howe confirmed that money is in the capital budget to rebuild the Har-True clay courts at Mead.

“We will probably start right after Labor Day,” Howe said. “Replacing the fence is something we have been talking about for 20 years.”

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