Judy Neville

Recent Articles

Garden Club Wants To Use Irwin Park (Including Barn) for May Flower Sale, Officials Report

One of New Canaan’s longest-serving nonprofits is planning a spring flower sale at Irwin Park, though just where on the Weed Street property the organization will be able to hold the event is an open question, town officials said Wednesday. The New Canaan Garden Club would like to “open the barn up” at Irwin for the planned May 20 sale “and sell the flowers in the barn and people who are in and out from [youth] baseball could come in the afternoon,” Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell said during the group’s regular monthly meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. “But I think there is going to be a challenge with the barn, because it is not safe at this point.”

The comments came during an update from Campbell on special events planned for New Canaan parks. Recreation Director Steve Benko said that in speaking directly to Judy Neville—a member of the Garden Club’s Irwin Park Committee—he flagged other logistical problems for the Saturday planned for the flower sale. “I explained to Judy that with baseball’s zoning permit, they cannot even start until 9 o’clock in the morning, so that means they won’t start their first games until 9:30 and when you get baseball there you talk about getting 60 cars for the first set of games and another 60 cars for the second set of games, and she was all about having an ice cream truck and food truck to keep the parents there to buy plants, and my problem is if we don’t turn over cars every 45 minutes.”

If the event were to start a bit later—closer to midday, and run to about 4 p.m., Benko said—then “that may be OK because baseball is probably done around 12 p.m.”

Campbell asked Benko whether permits are needed for food trucks to operate in the public parks. Continue Reading →

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‘It’s Pretty Sobering’: Future of Playhouse Uncertain

New Canaan would need to spend some $2.1 million—with an estimated $450,000 beyond that, for abatement—in order to bring the Playhouse Theatre on Elm Street to safe, structurally sound and ADA-compliant condition, public works officials said Tuesday. The 1923 building needs parts of its roof and brick exterior replaced ($550,00), an elevator and ADA-compliant wheelchair access ($1,120,000), new gutters and drainage system ($200,000) and, perhaps most of all, a new layout for its sprinkler system—currently perched above a layer of insulation in the ceiling, according to Michael Pastore, director of the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “If the sprinklers come on, it’s going to soak that insulation, get heavy and probably bring down the ceiling,” Pastore said while presenting DPW’s budget request (see page 39 here) to the Board of Finance at a meeting held in the Sturgess Room of the New Canaan Nature Center. “That’s the situation we have.”

The figures above do not include contaminant abatement for any capital work needed—Pastore said a consultant hired to assess the structure last year put the figure at $450,000, strictly based on the Town Hall renovation. “It could be more, it could be less,” he said. Continue Reading →

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New Trees Grace Entrance to Irwin, Thanks to Garden Club and Town DPW

[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. Continue Reading →

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