Francesca Segalas

Recent Articles

Parks Officials by 6-0 Vote Back Garden Club’s Plan for ‘Parterre Garden’ at Waveny

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.”

The commission voted 6-0 in support of the plan. Continue Reading →

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Officials Weigh New Parking, Traffic Proposal for Mead Park

Town officials are weighing a proposed parking and traffic plan for Mead Park that would preserve its one-way entrance and exit while making other major changes to how and where motorists can go and pull in. Under a proposal from local landscape architecture firm Keith E. Simpson Associates, traffic in the first long area that motorists enter from Park Street would become two-way, while the often-disregarded traffic island in the center of the park would be re-shaped so that it’s more intuitive to motorists, and new curbing would come to a second traffic island near the Apple Cart at Mead Park Lodge so that nobody parks directly on top of it. During a Nov. 8 presentation to the Parks & Recreation Commission, the firm’s Bill Pollack said it was possible to have 90-degree parking for the long stretch along the pond, though some officials said they’d prefer to have more comfortable angled parking there, even if it means losing some spaces. Commissioner Francesca Segalas said she would prefer angled parking because it’s far easier to open a front door “because the front of the next car is not even next to you.”

The proposal also calls for new parallel parking spaces beyond the right-field wall of the large baseball field, new directional arrows on the pavement and crosshatched areas between newly designated handicapped spaces and fire lanes. Continue Reading →

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Garden Club, Landscape Architect at Odds Over Future of ‘Parterre Garden’ at Waveny

New Canaan should pause before approving a plan that would see a formal garden at Waveny house changed from its original design, according to local landscape architects. Located directly east of the balcony out back of the 1912-built Waveny house, the parterre garden is “the most important formal garden in town,” an “historically significant” area that “deserves a great deal of thought before it gets radically changed,” Keith Simpson told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting. “That configuration of the boxwood hedge has been there for over 100 years and I think it has stood the test of time,” Simpson said at the Nov. 8 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “And also, the Olmsted office is probably the best known firm in the history of landscape architecture in the country. Continue Reading →

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‘It Is Bedlam’: Town Officials Target Parking Congestion, Problems at Mead Park

 

Citing safety concerns and some motorists’ bad habits, officials say they’re weighing changes to how people park in two areas at Mead Park that see intense motor vehicle use at specific times. Motorists often park directly alongside the Apple Cart Food Co.-run Mead Park Lodge by the little league fields or physically on the traffic island there, according to Sally Campbell, chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission. Those entering Mead from Park Street drop into a parking situation that is confusing and haphazard, especially on “baseball nights,” Campbell said. “It is bedlam over there with the parking” on such nights, she said during the commission’s May 10 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “We talked to the baseball people when they were redoing the field and we said, ‘You really should look at the parking because it’s very congested over by the Apple Cart and with moms getting their kids out of the car and everything, it is really unsafe,’ ” Campbell said. Continue Reading →

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‘It’s Incredible’: Japanese Culture Enthusiasts Enjoy First-Ever Cherry Blossom Festival at Mead Park

Ashley Fippinger held both arms out straight where she stood under a canopy tent in the bustling colonnade area of Mead Park on Sunday afternoon, as a volunteer from the Japan Society of Fairfield County folded her into a deep red kimono robe and tied on an orange sash. The Bridgeport resident hadn’t planned on donning the formal Japanese garment here, but heard about the society’s first-ever “Sakura Matsuri,” or Cherry Blossom Festival, online, and “just had to see it for myself.”

“And it’s incredible,” Fippinger said as a traditional Japanese drumming group from UConn played to a nearby crowd, gathered on the grass on a cool, overcast day. Asked how she felt to be in a kimono, she said: “I feel like a princess.”

A steady stream of residents and park visitors attended the two-hour festival, approved last month by the Parks & Recreation Commission and marking the society’s 30th anniversary. Joined by town representatives including Parks & Rec Chair Sally Campbell and commissioner Francesca Segalas, Japan Society of Fairfield County President Mito Mardin welcomed festival-goers as well as a special guest, consul Ryusuke Shimada of the Consulate General of Japan in New York. Children and families moved from hands-on station to station, trying origami, bonsai, painting and ikebana flower arrangements as live entertainment including a martial arts performance, dancing and singing took place toward the rear of the colonnade. Continue Reading →

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