Parks & Recreation Commission

Recent Articles

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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‘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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Drones in New Canaan: Parks Officials Eye Out-of-Season Use of East School Field, Waveny Pool Lot for Operators

Facing pushback on an idea that had emerged last month, parks officials now are weighing a new plan that would see drone operators in New Canaan restricted to a playing field at East School during the summer and a parking lot behind Waveny Pool for the rest of the year. The playing field is isolated, unused when school is out and visible from Little Brook Road, according to Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell, and nobody goes to the Waveny Pool parking lot when the facility itself is closed from Labor Day to Memorial Day. “One of the things we were struggling with is where to put the drones—they are not gong to go away, they will just increase,” Campbell told fellow commissioners during the group’s regular meeting, held Wednesday night at Lapham Community Center. As per a policy adopted last summer, New Canaan now requires drone users to join the New Canaan Radio Controlled Society and fly the contraptions in an approximately 50-by-90-yard area near where Lapham Road comes into the main road through Waveny. Allowable hours of drone-flying vary by season, under the town’s plan, and they’re only allowed in Waveny and no other park, under the town’s policy. Continue Reading →

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