‘Mead Park Brings Families Together’: Newcomers Give $16,000 Toward New Play Structures, Rubber Surface

A local moms-led effort to help the town acquire new playground equipment and rubber surfacing for a popular children’s area at Mead Park got a nice boost recently from one of New Canaan’s most established and generous service organizations. The Newcomers Club of New Canaan’s $16,000 grant to the Friends of Mead Park Playground will help the group move toward its fundraising goal of $203,000 (though more help is needed, see below) as a target installation date for this summer quickly approaches. “For so many members of Newcomers, Mead Park is the center of the community,” Newcomers President Claire Foster said in an email when asked about the grant. “Whether it be meeting up for a playdate, watching a child’s baseball game, or setting up for a family picnic, Mead Park brings families together. It is the mission of The Newcomers Club of New Canaan to facilitate and add enjoyment to our newest neighbors’ transitions to town, and we felt that by supporting the restoration of one of our town’s most beloved parks, we are supporting all our neighbors by laying the groundwork for many wonderful memories to be made in a safe and fun environment.”

The funds are deeply appreciated by Allyson Mahoney and Monica Chimera, co-chairs of the Friends of Mead Park Playground.

‘It’s Going To Be Huge’: Town Women Found Group To Help Acquire New Playground Structures, Rubber Surfacing for Mead

New Canaan residents Allyson Mahoney and Monica Chimera say that Mead Park absolutely is the right place for a great playground. On moving to town six-plus years ago, each of the New Canaan moms—Mahoney has two boys, 5 and 7, and Chimera an 8-year-old girl and two boys, 5 and 2—found that the playground beyond the little league outfields at Mead served as a “point of entry” where they met other mothers and their children met other kids. The Apple Cart at Mead Park Lodge serves as an ideal eatery for young families on-the-go, and Chimera said her kids love waving at dad as his Metro-North Railroad train returned from the city, watching as it passed visibly above a wooded hill to the east. Yet the existing, 20-year-old play structure, well past its useful life, is showing its age. Though the town has done “an outstanding job” of patching it up to make it usable, Mahoney said, slides have required replacement, one piece of Plexiglass has popped out more than once (sometimes replaced temporarily by a piece of wood) and the wood chips that surround the area are not ideal.