12 thoughts on “‘I View This As An Expendable Area’: Future of Kiwanis Park Uncertain

  1. When my kids were really small, Kiwanis was a place we went for splashing around, digging in the sand, hitting the playground. Very old-school swimming hole. We went there rarely, but when we did go it was a nice break from the pool, a slower pace, easier for me to keep my not-yet-strong swimmers occupied and active.

  2. While I perfectly understand the need for town-wide budget cuts, the idea of letting one of the few green spaces available in this area of town go to rack and ruin for the sake of what is a drop in the ocean in terms of the wider budget fills me with horror.

    What the park IS very good for is a providing a natural outdoor space and wildlife habitat – as proven by the very popular YMCA summer camp. I do hope the severe budget cuts do not lead the park to fall so far into disrepair that it loses these attractions too.

  3. I would hate to lose Kiwanis Park. I think it has a lot of untapped potential and would be a brilliant spot for a town ice rink (among other potential things). Already has concessions + bathroom facilities, ample parking…would be a great wintertime outdoor destination for N.C. families (and the Town could sell use permits for it like they do for the town pool at Waveny).

  4. Kiwanis park is a gem in this town, it just needs dedicated people to give it some attention (food purveyor, scheduled activities (sand castle competition? yoga on the beach?)). The playground and beach are perfect for smaller kids and can be more manageable for parents than the Waveny pool. If we can get the ice rink to come to fruition (private/public partnership?), it would be a wonderful winter spot for residents to gather for hot cocoa and conversation after they buy their Christmas trees.

  5. Is it possible to make this a pay per visit park open to non-members as a means of increasing revenue?
    Can we attract activities that can be drop-in like Mommy and Me Yoga or music or storytimes? These can have a nominal fee to participate and the upside is increased foot traffic at the food concession stand.
    Can Parks and Rec sponsor competitions like a sandcastle sculpture contest? Or a motorized sailboat race?

    I think the play structures are in sound condition and wouldn’t change much.

    Attracting a food purveyor is key. Sad to see Apple Cart step away. But we need to make it profitable for them by promoting the park to increase volume.

    Agree that the teenage crowd is better suited elsewhere. Keeps this geared toward the young children and parents and caretakers.

    And making this a year-round space is ideal. Surely we can find a way for Christmas tree sales to take place along side ice skating and hot cocoa.

    Happy to get behind a fundraising effort here. How can I help?

  6. You have been discussing affordable housing in New Canaan so that some of our Municipal employees can reside in town. Since that is probably zoned in quarter acre lots, why not subdivide and create homes so that this may happen.
    This would solve two issues,an additional tax base versus an expense and the availability for our Municipal employees to own a home which would be constructed in size to meet the towns needs and that of the employee.

    • Kiwanis Park was a gift to the town and is deed-restricted for recreational purposes only according to the Attorney General’s Office who reviewed the deed. It was not gifted for senior housing, affordable housing or municipal housing.

  7. Our family loves and uses Kiwanis Park every summer. Its such a unique and fun place for especially the 6 and under age group to freely play in a safe beach setting where they can easily go in and out of the shallow water and actually have access to sand that isn’t 90% broken shells and rocks like our local beaches. I’ve always wondered why more people don’t go bc it’s always such a pleasure for me and my kids. I would love to see it continue to improve.

  8. There seems to be a lot of interest in social media for an ice rink there in winter! It would compliment the tree sale operation and allow for Kiwanis to be a new an exciting amenity in town. If you build it they will come! Private public partnership is the perfect way to make this happen if there is interest. Skating appeals to all ages and since our pond rarely freeze this would give all an opportunity to enjoy skating outside. Several on fb have already offered to help….again, need to determine if there is interest and I am sensing there is…a lot!

  9. Re: The “expendable” part of town we have lived in for 20 years. We do hope the town plans on reaching out to the abutting neighbors for a special meeting when starting to contemplate changes such as the noted less caretaking, less upkeep or proposed nighttime activities which could impact home values as well as quality of life/noise/lights. Furthermore, we’d like to see the key missing data in the article such as how much revenue Kiwanis brings in from the YMCA, Scouts, private party, etc rental fees, from its portion of the lucrative pool passes, the concession kitchen fees, as well as from renting that house from which the nice young Public Works/NCPS Nurse family seems to have been “Outted/Ridded.” Note Town policeman lived there in previous years. Having your area of the town deemed “Expendable” is not encouraging when your taxes just went up dramatically.”

    As noted, Kiwanis park had dramatically more use this year by young families with children, which started when Mead Park was shut down right during peak park season and which has only abated slightly. Furthermore the Kiwanis paths on the curve of Old Norwalk Road are critical to maintain at the current level to save lives as lives have been lost on that dangerous curve.

    • Thank you for submitting your comment. To be clear, I think First Selectman Kevin Moynihan in using the word ‘expendable’ was referring to a segment of spending in the municipal budget, not a geographical area of the town. The context has to do with meeting a spending guideline set by the Board of Finance. I don’t know whether the distinction changes anything else you are saying in your comment, but I wanted to be clear on what the first selectman was referring to, as I’m the one who reported it. Thanks again.

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