Parks & Recreation Commission

Recent Articles

Now, Vandalism: Richmond Hill Garage Remains a Problem, Town Officials Say

The free-standing garage on Richmond Hill Road—widely considered an eyesore—recently was broken into, according to town officials. Addressing the Parks & Recreation Commission at the group’s most recent meeting, Public Works Director Tiger Mann said as the building is unoccupied and empty, no theft took place. However, the break-in resulted in a broken window, and the site attracts illegal activity, he said. “It’s becoming that type of nuisance,” Mann said at the July 13 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. Though the town had looked into demolishing the building, officials found that lead paint had fused to the brick, meaning that it all had to be disposed of as a unit—an expensive proposition. Continue Reading →

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Fields Work To Displace Some NCHS Sports Teams Temporarily This Fall

Teams from New Canaan High School and youth sports groups will be affected by a $5 million construction project now underway and that will begin in full-force in mid-August, parks officials said last week. The project, which will bring turf to what are now grass fields at NCHS, will restrict or prevent access to athletes, mostly football and field hockey teams, through the first week of October, members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said during a special meeting on Thursday. While addressing the commission, Recreation Director Steve Benko said, “We are looking at how to accommodate this issue with some of our fields at Waveny.”

“[Sports teams] have to understand that, through the end of September, there are going to be times when fields have to be shared,” he said at the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “They might not have all the space that they had… it’s not staged, it’s all going to happen at once.”

Benko warned residents to take heed of signs announcing field closings. “Please be careful if you see that a field is closed,” he said. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Woman Proposes Bocce Courts for Irwin Park, Seeks To Convince Garden Club

About one year after a similar citizen-led effort at Mead Park stalled for lack of funds, a New Canaan woman on Wednesday night proposed to town officials that bocce courts be installed at Irwin. Liz Orteig told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting that creating a place for the popular game would speak to New Canaan’s significant Italian heritage and that those opposed to the concept may be won over by a unique design. “I have actually talked to some of the Garden Club ladies—they seem very resistant to the idea,” Orteig said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. “I would like a bocce court and I also thought that I could possibly get the Garden Club ladies on board by proposing that they design something very, very unique and special because they are really into the landscape and if we make a real feature out of it, they may be able to be persuaded. That is my whole contention. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

A mother turkey hopped out into Valley Road around 12:30 p.m. on June 7 to keep at bay a town woman walking her dog up near the Grupes Reservoir. The mama turkey apparently was guarding her three baby chicks nearby—unfortunately, a passing motorist struck the big bird and killed her. The pedestrian phoned the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department, and Officer Allyson Halm spotted the baby turkeys but lost them on retrieving a carrier from the van. ***

Congratulations to New Canaan resident Pasquale Poccia, who became a U.S. citizen this week after taking the Oath of Allegiance on Wednesday during the 6th annual Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony at Mystic Seaport. Poccia is owner of Pasquale’s Osteria, an Italian and International/Continental cuisine restaurant on Main Street in Norwalk. Continue Reading →

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‘It Started Getting Tough’: New Canaan Men’s Soccer Group Seeks Playing Time on Sports Fields

A well-established men’s soccer group in New Canaan that’s seeking consistent access to the town’s playing fields is prompting parks officials to create a formal process for it and similar leagues. Led by officers including New Canaanites Jeff Walker and Grant Harshbarger, the men’s soccer group is more than 20 years old, counts 65 registered players, has its own insurance and is seeking to lock down two 2-hour sessions in the evening for what typically turn out to be 8-on-8 or 10-on-10 games, officials say. Town and district officials such as Recreation Director Steve Benko and New Canaan High School Athletic Director Jay Egan have been “generous about helping us get fields, but about three or four years ago it started getting tough,” Walker told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting. Joined by Harshbarger at the meeting, Walker said 40 of 65 players are New Canaan residents while the others are typically their family members or friends. “We used to be almost 90 percent New Canaan, but we have lost a lot of players to other towns’ programs that consistently set up times for fields,” Walker said at the meeting, held May 10 at Lapham Community Center. Continue Reading →

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