Parks officials on Wednesday night voted unanimously in support of a longstanding nonprofit organization’s plan to redesign, re-plant and otherwise improve a prominent garden at Waveny. The New Canaan Garden Club’s plan for the “parterre garden”—located east of the balcony of Waveny House (down that first set of stairs, en route to the sledding hill)—is “timeless and classic” and “engages both visually and physically,” according to Tori Frazer, a member of the organization’s Waveny Walled Garden Committee. “This has always been a formal garden,” Frazer told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “We intend for it to stay a formal garden. All the plantings and the plans are classic and will stand the test of time.”
Waveny Pool in the 2017 season will see facility upgrades, new furniture, improved landscaping and schedule adjustments designed to meet the wishes of permit-holders who go there through the summer months, officials said. Town officials are addressing concerns about muggy locker rooms and privacy in bathrooms, and the fees generated by the sale of permits also are funding the purchase of new umbrellas and chairs, according to Sally Campbell, chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission. A committee that helps oversee Waveny Pool has met five times since last season and “we have made extensive list and I think we have made huge progress and it’s just going to be great,” Campbell said during the group’s regular meeting, held March 8 at Lapham Community Center. “The big complaints were that the bathroom doors didn’t close, it was too muggy in the locker room and they felt it should be cleaned more. And Steve [Benko] was able to address all of those, and so I think this year people are going to be able to have a much better experience.
Officials last week voted unanimously in favor of allowing an area organization dedicated to building knowledge and mutual understanding between Japanese and Americans to hold a “cherry blossom festival” next month at Mead Park. The Japan Society of Fairfield County’s traditional festival is to be held 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 following an 8-0 vote from the Parks & Recreation Commission. New Canaan resident and society board member Jackie Alexander said the cherry blossom festival—or “Sakura Matsuri”—is “a century-old Japanese tradition to celebrate spring when the cherry blossoms bloom.”
“It happens to be [the society’s] 30th anniversary, so we would like to do a Sakura Matsuri at Mead Park to share Japanese culture and open it to the public,” Alexander said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. “It’s a family friendly event, with some music and some crafts.”
To include bonsai flower arranging and perhaps also a karate demonstration, the festival will be held in the colonnade, overlooking Mead Pond. The Japan Society of Fairfield County—founded in 1987 in Greenwich—also will donate a cherry tree to Mead Park, Alexander said, and is seeking a representative from the Consulate General of Japan in New York to attend a dedication ceremony.
Parks officials on Wednesday voted unanimously to recommend a new slate of fees for the popular Waveny Pool for the 2017 season. The proposed rates include modest increases for all types of passes at the self-sustaining facility, except for senior residents, who would pay $20 less. The pool was “very solid financially last summer,” Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell said during the group’s regular meeting at Lapham Community Center. “Our family passes went way up last year, which is why we decided not to raise the fees [by as much], because we thought it was just right,” Campbell said. Here’s a year-over-year breakdown of the new proposed rates.
New Canaan’s legislative body on Wednesday recognized a group of residents who volunteer each year to plan and run one of the town’s most beloved annual traditions, the Fourth of July fireworks at Waveny. The Family Fourth Committee through its many hours of volunteering creates what Town Council Vice Chairman Steve Karl called “a Norman Rockwell moment” for those who picnic and enjoy the fireworks show each summer. “It’s one of those places and times when it’s New Canaan at its best,” Karl said during the Town Council’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “Thank you.”
The committee includes:
Wendy Dixon Fog
Steve Parrett (Secretary)
Tom Stadler (Chairman)
Rob Mallozzi (honorary member)
Doug Richardson (liaison from the Park & Recreation Commission)
At councilman Penny Young’s suggestion, the committee earned a standing ovation from the legislative body and others gathered in the Town Meeting Room. Town Council Chairman Bill Walbert said nothing better defines New Canaan “than the celebration that we put on for our country’s birthday.”
“There are a lot of things that speak to it, one of which is the fact that we depend on our citizens to support it, it is run by our citizens we have countless volunteers that work everything from traffic to balloons to you name it.”
Walbert noted that Stadler “lives and breathes” the Family Fourth as the committee’s chairman and “is always looking to make it better.”
Committee member Steve Benko recalled that the Family Fourth was launched in 1979 when the chairman of Park & Rec at the time, Joe Toppin, brought the idea to then-First Selectman Charlie Morton about creating a regular event out of a Bicentennial celebration at Waveny a few years earlier, complete with a picnic, fireworks and skydivers.