Town officials say they plan to allocate about $300,000 in federal funding to create a new Flexi-Pave pedestrian path at Mead Park.
The walkway would make a horse-shoe from each end of the main parking lot at Mead, encircling much of the pond and including a revitalized memorial walk dedicated to the 38 New Canaan men who died while serving in World War II, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.
“We would like to see a more formalized path around Mead Park itself,” Mann said during the Aug. 9 meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
“The suggestion was to do that with Flexi-Pave. We had an upsurge through COVID through the parks. The parks were the go-to place to go in Fairfield County, not just Waveny but Mead and others.”
The approximately 2,000-foot-long winding walkway would run along the Gold Star Walk, which includes the eastern edge of Mead Pond, across a footbridge and along part of the northern edge, then across a second footbridge and running parallel with the access road through the park and back to the parking lot. The town would go to the same supplier and designer that it used in the past, who have held prices for the materials used for Flexi-Pave that first came to public parks in New Canaan with a 2007 installation in Irwin, Mann said.
Though the Board of Selectmen did not formally approve the request for American Rescue Plan Act funds, members of the elected body spoke in favor of the installation and are expected to take up the allocation at Tuesday’s regular meeting. From there it would move on to the Board of Finance and Town Council for final approval.
The selectmen asked how the Flexi-Pave has held up elsewhere (very well; weed seed does get into the material and take root but people’s footballs crush them out) and whether existing trees will be maintained (yes).
First Selectmen Kevin Moynihan noted that there’s also a need for a Flexi-Pave walk behind the little league fields at Mead, connecting the parking area there to an entrance to Bristow Bird Sanctuary.
“Parks and Rec discussed the need to improve” the existing pedestrian entrance, Moynihan said, referring to the Parks & Recreation Commission’s July 13 meeting, which he did not attend and was not recorded, though the discussion was covered by this news outlet.