Town Officials Call for Less Conspicuous Garbage Dumpsters in Parks

Town officials said last week that they’re addressing an aesthetic problem whereby those entering local parks in some cases are accosted by the sight of garbage dumpsters. 

The town many years ago switched from trash cans dotted around fields at parks such as Waveny and Mead, to having dumpsters, according to Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell. That effort was “very critical to reducing the amount of trash on the fields and in our parks,” she said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Oct. 10 at Lapham Community Center. 

“However, we find that every park we drive into we are verbally assaulted by City Carting on the dumpsters,” she said. The answer, according to Commissioner Hank Green, who has looked at how nearby towns handle their dumpsters, will involve putting up three-sided fencing around them. “It should be a pretty easy fix,” Green said.

Wet Weather Delays Installation of New ‘Mead Park Playground’ To Spring

The extremely wet fall weather has set back the baseball fields project at Mead Park, officials said last week, and one knock-on effect of that is a delay in the installation of a new playground area that now is not expected to open until the spring. Though the New Canaan Baseball project at Mead is “pretty much on schedule,” Recreation Director Steve Benko said, “the weather set them back” and there have been “some days they could not work, it was just too wet.”

It’s “critical” for New Canaan Baseball to get its paving done before a “Poured In Place” rubberized surface for new playground equipment at Mead is installed, and the contractor on the job has said the earliest he could start would be mid-November, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting. “He said he’s is a little leery of that because once you get into December, the Poured In Place material is temperature sensitive,” Benko said during the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. 

If the rubberized material is installed before the hardscape, there’s a risk that seams open up in it, Benko said. Referring to a contractor hired by Fort Wayne, Ala.-based GameTime, Benko added: “So the contractor felt it would be in our best interests to get the best possible job of surfacing if we could push off the installation the playground to the beginning of April. Then, he said, you’re not chasing the cold and you will do a good job with the surfacing.

Dramatic Drop in Tennis Pass Sales at Mead Opens Questions of Courts’ Future Use

New Canaan has seen a dramatic decline in the number of residents purchasing passes for the tennis courts at Mead Park, according to officials who now want to consider alternate uses for some of them. Members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said Wednesday night that while residents purchased some 400 passes a dozen years ago to play on the clay courts at Mead, that number declined to about 300 from 2012 to 2015, then 147 last year and just 112 this season, whose opening was delayed due to a contractor’s failure. “They have dropped by two-thirds almost,” Commission Chair Sally Campbell said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Latham Community Center. “So it appears there is not real heavy usage of the courts anymore. So we were thinking we have a little group some committee members who are going to look at what would be best thing to do with those courts.

‘We Will Figure Out What Is the Best Uniform One’: Parks Officials Seek to Standardize Benches in New Canaan

Town officials say they’re pulling together an inventory of all the different types and styles of park benches in New Canaan, with an eye on creating a more uniform look and feel. 

Members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said at their most recent meeting that they’d like to “standardize the benches” so that there’s less variety on a per-park basis. “These are different from the memorial benches—we are also going to get a protocol together for that,” Commissioner Francesca Segalas said at the group’s regular meeting, held July 11 in the Lapham Community Center. “But each of these places has different benches and chairs and picnic tables. We all know Irwin has the Adirondack type look, and the Apple Cart-looking tables at Mead with the cross-hatch green, and so each of the parks has a difference. But some of them have four or five different variations and [Commissioner] Laura [Costigan] and I are accumulating data and pictures and then we will figure out what is the best uniform one to have at each of the parks.”

Recreation Director Steve Benko noted that many of the teak benches in New Canaan parks are 25 years old. 

Segalas said that most of those are memorial benches. 

“They are supposed to have like a 10-year-life, right?” she said.