New Canaan Woman Proposes Bocce Courts for Irwin Park, Seeks To Convince Garden Club

About one year after a similar citizen-led effort at Mead Park stalled for lack of funds, a New Canaan woman on Wednesday night proposed to town officials that bocce courts be installed at Irwin. Liz Orteig told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting that creating a place for the popular game would speak to New Canaan’s significant Italian heritage and that those opposed to the concept may be won over by a unique design. “I have actually talked to some of the Garden Club ladies—they seem very resistant to the idea,” Orteig said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. “I would like a bocce court and I also thought that I could possibly get the Garden Club ladies on board by proposing that they design something very, very unique and special because they are really into the landscape and if we make a real feature out of it, they may be able to be persuaded. That is my whole contention.

Citizen-Led Effort To Create Bocce Courts At Mead Seeks Donor Support

The town resident leading an effort to install two bocce courts at Mead Park is calling for interested locals to help support the project. Len Paglialunga said those who “would love to start playing” bocce should contribute to a special projects fund of the town (details below). “We came up with this little idea and we’re trying to raise some funds to get it going,” Paglialunga told First proposed last fall, the placement of the bocce courts in a largely unused area beyond the right field fence of Gamble little league baseball field (past the playground) received unanimous approval from the Park & Recreation Commission in May. Paglialunga said he needs about $7,000 to fund the purchase of materials and labor.

New Bocce Courts at Mead Park Receive First Town Approval

A citizen-led campaign to create public bocce courts in New Canaan received its first formal approval this week, as parks officials green-lighted a plan to install two of them in a largely unused area past the little league fields and kids’ playgrounds at Mead Park. The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan first proposed last fall by New Canaanites John Buzzeo and Len Paglialunga, anchors of the morning crew at Dunkin Donuts. “In general it’s a nice social gathering,” John Howe, superintendent of parks for the New Canaan Department of Public Works, told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting Wednesday. The 76-by-13-foot courts are “a good size bocce court for recreational use,” Howe said at the meeting, held in the Lapham Community Center. “They’ll put two of them in, with a five-foot walkway between them and they’d be raised up some.”

The area in question, roughly beyond the left-field fence of Mellick Field and the right-field fence of Gamble Field—formerly site of the horseshoe pits, New Canaanites will recall—slopes somewhat and by raising the courts six inches or so, “we wouldn’t have any drainage issues,” Howe said.

‘Just a Disaster’: Officials Eye Repaving of Parking Lot at Kiwanis

Saying the main lot at Kiwanis Park hasn’t been repaved in about 30 years, officials are putting in for funds to get that project done and bring the area in line with others at the Old Norwalk Road facility. Though the access road at Kiwanis has been repaved and the parking lot at the rear is done, “the parking lot there is just a disaster,” according to Sally Campbell, chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission. “The stretch that you really see when you’re in the park is just falling apart, so [DPW Assistant Tiger Mann] is putting that in his capital budget, to get the funds to pave that,” Campbell said at the group’s regular meeting, held Nov. 11in the Douglas Room at Lapham Community Center. The discussion arose during a rundown on projects that Mann has planned for New Canaan’s public parks, including a new trail at Waveny that’s designed to get pedestrians off of the main road through it.

Former Horseshoe Pits Area at Mead Now Eyed for Bocce Courts

Advocates for the installation of bocce courts in New Canaan are now saying that a little-used area of Mead Park could be a better place for the popular game than the lawn behind Lapham Community Center. The area just beyond Gamble Field’s right field fence, for many years the site of horseshoe pits, could work better than Lapham in part because the bocce courts would be less conspicuous, according to Lenny Paglialunga, who presented the idea to town officials on behalf of his friend and fellow Dunkin Donuts morning crew regular John Buzzeo. “The thing I like about being down in the park is it is sort of—not ‘out of the way’—but there are concessions and bathrooms down there and lights, and in my opinion I think it would probably be more used down there than up here,” Paglialunga told members of the Park & Recreation Commission during their most recent regular meeting, held Oct. 14 in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. The installation—originally proposed for an area behind Lapham, though it turns out the project could require the removal of the gazebo back there—would be completed by a private contractor and paid for by Buzzeo, Paglialunga said, who also would take responsibility for its upkeep.