Conservation Officials Consider 10K Running or Walking Event to Spotlight New Canaan’s ‘Greenlink’

Citing a successful model from Darien, local conservation officials say they’re thinking of launching a 10K running or walking event in New Canaan that would spotlight the town’s “green link” connecting public parks and the downtown via trails and sidewalks. 

Robin Bates-Mason, a Town Council member who sits on the legislative body’s Land Use and Parks & Recreation Committee, and also volunteers with local nonprofit organizations such as Planet New Canaan and the New Canaan Beautification League, said the Darien Land Trust uses an event to bring awareness to its properties around Darien. “It’s quite popular,” Bates-Mason said during last week’s meeting of the Conservation Commission, where she was a guest. Participants pay a $15 fee, she said. The appointed body’s chair, Chris Schipper, said it could be “an interesting project.”

“I like the idea of people walking and riding,” Schipper said during the Oct. 14 meeting, held via videoconference. 

Referring to his request on behalf of open space advocates to allocate a portion of a $6 million windfall in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Schipper added, “And I have, in the course of discussing ARPA funds and allocations of funds, I’ve said we really have to promote walk-ability and bike-ability here in New Canaan and I think we have some support from [the Department of Public Works], we just have to get around some of these state road restrictions.”

“And I can tell you it drives me crazy I come up 106, regularly coming back from Greenwich, and I see young moms with a stroller walking alongside [Route] 106.

‘It’s Just Been Very Difficult’: Town Re-Contracts with Norwalk Cleaning Company After Problems with Franchisee

Town officials on Tuesday re-hired a small Norwalk-based company to handle cleaning duties at several municipal buildings after having problems with a different franchise-model group. 

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of an approximately $95,000 contract to hire P&M Cleaning Services for 13 town buildings. P&M “were the ladies that ran a company here in Norwalk that were actually used to clean our buildings for seven years and then they lost a bid last time because of the franchise-type relationships,” Buildings Superintendent Bill Oestmann told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. The town had “some problems” with that franchise-model company, JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting, Oestmann said. “A lot of it stems from labor issues, getting quality work and getting people has been a bit of a problem,” he said. “So we tried to work through this for a couple of months with them, it’s just been very difficult and JAN-PRO, it’s a franchise, through corporate it’s franchised out.

Eleanor Brennan Meredith (1956-2021)

Eleanor B. Meredith passed away on October 2, 2021 at her home in New Canaan surrounded by her husband and children after privately struggling with bile duct cancer for several years. A caring wife and loving mother of four; owner of her own publishing business and an entrepreneur at heart; and a friend to many and a sounding board to all. Born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1956, Eleanor grew up in Pennington, New Jersey, with horses in her backyard – which started her life-long passion and love of riding horses. She attended Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, where she excelled in a variety of sports and was the president of her senior class. She then went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a degree in English Literature, where she made a permanent mark on the university’s athletic program in several ways.

Parks Officials Approve New Softball Batting Cages for Waveny

Parks officials this month approved the installation of expanded new softball batting cages at Waveny that also will include warmup mounds for pitchers. The Parks & Recreation Commission voted 9-0 in favor of the project, to be funded almost entirely by New Canaan Softball. The cages will be installed on an approximately 70-by-45-foot concrete pad, with granite curbing, east of the “Water Tower Field,” where a single softball batting cage now sits, according to Parks Superintendent John Howe. “The girls could definitely use it,” Howe told members of the Commission during their regular meeting, held Oct. 13 via videoconference.

Bobcats Seen on New Norwalk and Beech Roads

A new photo of two bobcats casually standing on the deck of a New Norwalk Road home has town officials concerned about the animals’ welfare. 

Taken at a residence near Route 123’s intersection with Carter Street, the photo of what appears to be an adult bobcat and kitten indicates that “they are way too comfortable getting that close to a dwelling,” according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. “I have real concerns and I want to put it out there that feeding the wildlife is wrong and dangerous and sort of a death sentence for these creatures,” Halm told NewCanaanite.com. “We cannot have them hanging out on a deck.”

She added, “I have real concerns that people are feeding these cats and that is a big mistake.”

The homeowner who took the photo is not feeding the bobcats, Halm said. That homeowner said the animals weren’t scared away even by an air horn and “just sauntered off” when usually hazing techniques were used, she said. Separately, home surveillance video on nearby Beech Road captured a bobcat walking past the residence before dawn Monday, according to footage shared by the homeowner. 

Bobcats began to appear with more frequency in New Canaan around 2014, and since then Halm has said she’s seen what appear to be families of bobcats establishing dens here.