A newly created committee designed to help residents who may be struggling to maintain their properties met met for the first time last week to elect officers and discuss its work. The Blight Review Board will help homeowners with problems such as overgrown yards, unraked leaves or deteriorating houses so they can correct those conditions rather than get punished for them, according to Chief Building Official Brian Platz, who had advocated for creation of the appointed body. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan presided over the meeting, held Thursday at Town Hall. During the 45-minute meeting, Brock Saxe was unanimously elected chairman and Paul Tully secretary. Saxe is a commerical real estate professional with Halstead and Tombrock Corporation, while Tully is a real estate and construction professional.
The Waveny Park Conservancy would like to express our appreciation to all the individuals who helped make our 2nd Annual Tailgate Party a huge success. We would like to thank the following members of the community, without whom the event would not have happened:
Louise Havens, BJ Flagg and Nurenu Brand Marketing, Elm Street Books, School of Rock, New Canaan Police Department, Becky Walsh, Diane Hannauer, Tangled Vine Band, New Canaan Wine Merchants, The New Canaan Library, The Chamber of Commerce, New Canaan Advertiser, The Rotary Club of New Canaan, Elm Street Books, New Canaanite, The Town of New Canaan and Mose Saccary and the Town’s Highway Department. Special thanks are extended to Steve Benko, who of course invests countless hours to ensure that every event that happens at Waveny goes off without a hitch. We are especially appreciative to everyone in the community that purchased a ticket and turned up for the Tailgate as the proceeds raised will assist the Conservancy’s efforts to restore and enhance the 130 acres of open space surrounding Waveny. Lastly, we encourage those that still want to show their support to go to our website to donate.
One of New Canaan’s most active and effective nonprofit organizations is counting down this week to a unique social gathering at Waveny Park that doubles as an important fundraiser. The Waveny Park Conservancy’s second annual Tailgate Party is to be held 4 to 10:30 p.m. on the lawn out back of Waveny House. Launched last fall, the event sees ticket-holding New Canaanites park in rows out back of the stately 1912-built Waveny House for an hours-long classic tailgate, mixing with each other over loads of food and drink, around a fire pit and in front of a live band—this year it’s Tangled Vine—and giant inflatable screen featuring college football games. “We had incredible success last year at the first annual tailgate and we look forward to people from New Canaan turning out again in support of the Waveny Park Conservancy’s cause,” co-chair Brock Saxe told NewCanaanite.com. “Growing up in New Canaan, I never appreciated the incredible asset that Waveny is to this town and so the Conservancy is working hard to restore trails and the cornfields and to take on a bunch of projects in collaboration with the town of New Canaan.”
Those projects include the creation of new trails that are getting high marks from park goers, renewal of the the pond located at the foot of the sledding hill and in the cornfields, a plan that has received enthusiastic support from town officials.
The Waveny Park Conservancy’s inaugural fundraiser came off in high style on Saturday night, as an estimated 400 to 500 locals enjoyed the cherished park’s first-ever tailgate party under a full “hunter’s moon.”
Town resident Joe Scarborough’s “Morning Joe Music” band played the balcony out back of Waveny House and had scores of the revelers dancing, while others warmed by a firepit and mingled about some 80 cars parked in four rows, before a massive inflatable TV broadcasting college football. Brock Saxe, who co-chaired the event with Scott Gress, said: “We were very lucky that Joe Scarborough and his band offered their services for the first annual Waveny Park Conservancy tailgate, and we are happy that everybody in the community turned out to support the conservancy.”
He added: “It all made for a great evening.”
New Canaan’s Bob Seelert, chairman of the conservancy’s board, called the first-ever tailgate party “a fantastic event, displaying New Canaan at its best, and demonstrating that Waveny indeed is the town’s ‘crown jewel,’ with the community displaying great support for everything the conservancy is trying to do.” What it’s trying to do includes redeveloping the disused “cornfields” area in the southeastern corner of Waveny and restoring the pond at the foot of the sledding hill, and evidence of the conservancy’s work already is evident in new trails that lead to the main house. The nonprofit organization also is focused on managing the park’s woodlands, improving the entrance from South Avenue and returning the gardens around Waveny House to what originally was envisioned by the Olmstead Brothers landscaping firm, hired by the Laphams more than 100 years ago. The organization is still tallying all ticket sales from the tailgate, and Saxe noted that several residents additionally gave money to the conservancy at “the giving tree.” The group also sold out of its branded blankets early into the event, he said.
An unsightly clearing in the southeastern corner of Waveny, laden with an invasive grass species grown out of the dredged material that in recent years has been piled there, is to be transformed into a newly landscaped and inviting destination, according to a nonprofit organization that’s taken on the restoration and beautification of the park. Known as “the cornfields”—a name that recalls Waveny’s pre-Lapham agricultural roots—the long-untouched area in recent years and until last summer had served as a sort of storage and staging ground for what had been dredged from Mill and Mead Ponds. Under a new plan developed by the Waveny Park Conservancy—and backed financially by a foundation established by a generous, recently deceased New Canaanite—the area “will become more of a meadow,” said Bob Seelert, chairman of the conservancy’s board. “It will be a marvelous destination spot, and in that regard, quite frankly, when you talk about continuing to inspire and serve the people of New Canaan forever, this is a transformational kind of destination spot.”
One of the first five projects taken on by the conservancy—projects that undergo the required town approval process prior to any physical work, though they’re funded through the nonprofit organization—the reimagining of the cornfields complements and is tied inextricably to a major plan to restore and beautify the Waveny Pond nearby (at the bottom of the sledding hill). In order to do that work, the conservancy is relying on New Canaanites who enjoy Waveny to support the organization through donations—see details below of its first major fundraiser, to be held Saturday.