The town official charged by state statute with caring for New Canaan’s public trees is at odds with a local volunteer group that’s eager to remove several Japanese maples from a walkway near Waveny House. The town’s tree warden thinks the maples planted along one side of the path that runs between the gazebo and fountain at the top of the sledding hill “are absolutely beautiful,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann said during the June 9 Parks & Recreation Commission meeting. Referring to a New Canaan Garden Club proposal to replace those trees with a long bed of peonies and flowering plants, Mann added, “He understands your desire to have that, but he also feels that he answers to the other 20,000 residents in the town and he doesn’t see any good reason why they should be removed at present.”
The comments followed a presentation by representatives of the Garden Club and Waveny Park Conservancy, as well as their landscape designer. Removing the Japanese maples would open up a nice view of the hill and pond below, would create more symmetry with the peonies already on the west side of the footpath and would be a better photo opportunity for people getting married at Waveny, according to Conservancy Chair Caroline Garrity and Kathryn Herman of New Canaan-based Kathryn Herman Design, LLC. “It would be very stunning to have this incredibly long walk that was unified on both sides of the walk with this really beautiful display,” Herman said during the meeting, held via videoconference.