Parks Officials Weigh Plan To Restrict Drone Operators To Mulch Area Off Lapham Road

Saying that drone flying at Waveny is growing more popular and intense, parks officials are considering further restrictions on just where and when people can use of the remote controlled devices there. Last summer, the town adopted a recommendation from the Parks & Recreation Commission to permit drones at Waveny Park only, and to require that users join the venerable New Canaan Radio Controlled Society or ‘NCRCS.’ Under that group’s rules, drone flying is relegated to an approximately 50-by-90-yard area near where Lapham Road comes to the main road through Waveny, and hours vary by season. Yet since requiring that drone operators join the NCRCS, 25 people have signed up—all but five of them nonresidents—and they’re now racing and flying the propeller-powered aircraft through gates staked in the grass, commissioners said at their most recent meeting. Chairman Sally Campbell said she and commissioner Kit Devereaux have spent the past few months trying to answer this question: “Is there a site in town that we could designate just for drone-specific activity?”

“I feel very strongly that part of the park we have always felt it was the passive part of the park,” Campbell said at the April 19 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “The active part of the park is on one side, where the fields are and the playground and whatever, and that side has always been passive and we never allow games there, we do not have tournaments.

New Canaan’s George McEvoy, Potter

George McEvoy sidles on a recent morning into a well-worn, straight-backed faux leather chair, crisscrossed with duct tape and positioned before the potter’s wheel here in a cramped room just off of his long-ago converted Seminary Street garage. One step away—that is, halfway across the room—a microwave for heating coffee sits on a shelf that’s splattered with clay, as are sheets of burlap and tarp that surround the wheel itself. Shaping and trimming tools hang from a wood plank nailed into the wall that’s also adorned with postcards, photos and Modigliani prints. “When I started, I just said I enjoy doing it and I could sit at the wheel for an hour or two and you’d think 15 minutes go by, you’re concentrating on it,” said McEvoy—strong clear voice, sharp mind, nimble body and thick silver hair defying his 74 years. “You lose your mind into it.”

A New Canaan resident for 45 years who has lived for half that time in the yellow Victorian home with the turret on Seminary—the one just below the crest of the hill there, with the trumpet vine tree weaving into the house itself— McEvoy first “lost his mind” to pottery in 1962.