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.

Parks & Rec Recommends Locating Proposed Open-Air Ice Rink at Waveny

Parks officials this week voted to recommend that a proposed seasonal outdoor ice rink be located in Waveny. Based on the findings of a subcommittee, the Parks & Recreation Commission voted 10-0 in favor of trying out a winter “mini rink” in the parking lot that serves the Orchard Field softball diamonds. 

One commissioner abstained from voting during the April 14 meeting, held via videoconference. Commissioner Jake Granito, who helped lead the Ice Rink Committee, said the group looked in depth at three possible locations—tapping Public Works Director Tiger Mann, Parks Superintendent John Howe and Recreation Director Steve Benko for their expertise—and concluded that the Waveny site “is best suited for the town.”

It’s a large area that’s “also good because you have the grass fields behind it,” Granito said. “The bathrooms are right there. There’s still plenty of parking.