Local softball families seeking to replace an iconic tree recently felled at their showcase field have planted several apple trees there, after beating their fundraising goal for the project twice over. New Canaan Softball rapidly raised $10,250 for the estimated $5,000 project that includes not just three Norway maples behind the backstop at Waveny’s Orchard Field, but also two honey crisp apple, two traditional, one yellow delicious and one Granny Smith apple tree, according to town resident Jeff Fortmann, a parent who serves on the organization’s board. Asked for his reaction to the strong response from local families involved in the sport, Fortmann said, “I’m just astonished.”
“It was an absolute thrill to get this support from the softball community,” he said. The Parks & Recreation Commission in October approved New Canaan Softball’s proposal to fund and help loan for the tree plantings. The area had been the site of an orchard, maintained by the Lapham family, owners of Waveny prior to the town’s acquisition of the property in 1967.