Town To Work on Parking Lot at Mead Following Rise in Pickleball Court Use

Though they’ve been open less than two years, the pickleball courts at Mead Park have become so popular that the town is looking at ways to get more parking spaces into the lot that serves the facility, officials said last week. All five courts were in use at lunchtime on April 12, Parks & Recreation Director John Howe told members of the Parks & Rec Commission during their regular meeting that night. “It’s caused a parking issue down there,” he said during the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. The warmer weather and busier season at Mead—clay tennis courts, Mead Park Lodge, baseball and playground visitors—are expected to exacerbate the parking crunch, commissioners said. The parking configuration is “going to have to change,” Parks & Rec Secretary Francesca Segalas said.

Officials: Mead Park Tennis Courts To Open Later This Month

All of New Canaan’s athletic fields are open and the increasingly heavily used tennis courts at Mead Park are on track to open this month, officials said last week. The company that helps ready the clay courts at Mead for the season has done its prep work, according to Parks & Recreation Director John Howe. “We don’t want to do what we did last year, though,” Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their April 12 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center and via videoconference. “We opened too early,” he continued. “I’m not saying we are not opening up until June or anything like that, but we want a few weeks where we can water and roll the courts and have the surface firm up more.

Town Officials Discuss Future Use for Dying Oak in Waveny

Town officials are discussing what should come of a large dead or dying tree near the pond in Waveny. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Francesca Segalas said this month that the tree, an oak, appears to be the “oldest tree” in the park. “Is there a way that we can figure out to turn that into a sculpture instead of just cutting it down?” Segalas said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held July 13 at Lapham Community Center. 

“There is sculpture that could be made that as it deteriorates, it’s part of the sculpture,” she added. “And I would rather see the tree turned into something than ‘Here’s benches made from it.’ ”

The tree in question is located toward the foot of the sledding hill, west of the pond. 

Segalas’s comments came during Parks & Recreation Director John Howe’s general update to the Commission. 

He said the tree “probably is going to have to be cut down” though officials have talked about taking its wood to create benches like those in the walled garden. “Right now they’re reproduced in plastic recycled wood, which is great, but is not quite the same,” Howe said.

Parks & Rec: Tennis Permits Up 70% in 2021

Sales of Mead Park tennis permits are up 70% year-over-year, officials say. The New Canaan Recreation Department had sold 473 permits in 2021 as of the Sept. 8 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission, according to Commissioner George Benington. The figure compares to 277 in 2020 and 142 “so we can obviously see the post-COVID effects, or COVID effects, are having a huge impact on our facilities,” Benington said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “They’re absolutely phenomenal.”
The comments came during update from Benington on the town’s tennis, platform or “paddle” tennis and recently opened pickleball facilities.