‘It’s Very Refreshing’: Parks Officials Praise Local Family Volunteering To Help Collect Litter at Waveny


Parks officials last week praised a local family that’s volunteering to help spruce up at a local park.

Though town officials often field complaints about trash, Parks Superintendent John Howe said New Canaan’s Sky Minckler contacted him recently to ask whether it would be OK if she and her daughters “picked up litter and debris at Waveny trails and if they could put it in the dumpsters we have there and everything else.”

“And when we always think about Mead Park and all the litter at the playground, it’s very refreshing to know that someone is out there that’s willing to help us,” Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting, held Dec. 9 via videoconference. “And I wanted to thank her for that.”

Minckler, a guest at the meeting, said she and her husband had grown up in New Canaan and recently moved back to town.

“We are running into a lot of people who are looking to volunteer in town, because the kids have nothing to do during COVID because they can’t do the soup kitchens and their senior citizen bits and what not,” she said. “So if anyone here is in any need, please send them my way. I’m happy to add to our group.”

The problem of people leaving behind trash at public parks such as Mead has resurfaced several times in recent years, with Howe urging visitors to observe the town’s “carry-in, carry-out” policy.  Parks officials have pushed back in the past on suggestions to install additional trash receptacles, saying in part that doing so rewards bad behavior. Even so, the Commission recently approved a privately funded six-month trial whereby four additional receptacles for used dog poop bags will be installed at Waveny.

Commission Chair Rona Siegel called the Minckler family’s effort “fabulous.”

Minckler said she’d been joined by another mom-and-child duo Wednesday, and have had several passersby express an interest in helping.

“We would love to make this bigger if we can,” she said. “I’m happy to spearhead that since I know everyone’s time is precious.”

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