Commission Rejects ‘Pollinator Garden’ at Mead Park

The Parks & Recreation Commission on Wednesday night denied a request from local volunteers seeking permission to install pollinating plants on a traffic island at Mead Park. The “pollinator garden,” proposed for the traffic island near the little fields and entrance to the Mead Park Playground, was designed as part of a larger “pathway” serving butterflies, birds, bees and other insects and animals that move pollen from one plant to another. Several New Canaan organizations have been at work for more than one year to increase pollinator-friendly habitat here. Yet members of the appointed Parks & Rec Commission said they feared planting pollinator-friendly species at the traffic island would bring additional bee stings and motor vehicle traffic to a largely pedestrian area. 

“That’s just such a busy place in terms of automobile traffic,” Commissioner Hank Green said at the meeting, held via videoconference. “A lot of big SUVs, a lot of these cars are being driven by teens.

Test Results Show ‘Slightly Elevated’ E. Coli Levels in Parts of New Canaan Waterways

A half-dozen bacteria data collection sites in three New Canaan rivers turned up slightly elevated levels of E. coli following tests that commenced this spring, officials said last week. 

The results could indicate nitrogen in the water supply, according to members of the New Canaan Conservation Commission. 

“I am not looking at these streams and rivers as drinking water supply, but I am looking at them from a wildlife and biodiversity standpoint and I am trying to get a better feel on, are they getting too much nitrogen in the water?” Commission Chair Chris Schipper said during the appointed body’s Aug. 13 meeting, held via videoconference. “I assume E. coli is also related to nitrogen. And are there other chemicals getting into the water supply?”

The Commission referred to data collection and water quality tests from Harbor Watch, part of Westport-based nonprofit organization Earthplace. The group presented to the Commission last spring. The town approved a total of $25,000 for the professional services in the Commission’s budget for the current fiscal year.

Selectmen Approve $170,000 for Waveny Pond Improvements

Officials last week approved $170,000 in town spending toward the dredging of Waveny Pond and improvements around it. 

The figure is to be matched by funds supplied by a nonprofit organization, following a 3-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting, held Aug. 20 in Town Hall. Work to be completed by Redding-based Nazzaro Inc. includes not only the first known dredge of the pond at the foot of the sledding hill, but also creation of a dock and observation area, guiderails and plantings, according to Maria Coplit, town engineer in the New Canaan Department of Public Works. The project cost is estimated at $325,406, with an additional contingency of $48,811, according to Coplit. The Waveny Park Conservancy is to match the town’s $170,000 contribution toward the project, and the approximately $34,000 beyond the $340,000 from both the town and organization will be held in escrow, Coplit said.