After all four installments of a popular antique and specialty car show were canceled one year ago due to the pandemic, parks officials on Wednesday night approved ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ for Oct. 17 at Waveny. It’s founder and organizer, New Canaan resident Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous coffee shop at Pine and Grove Streets, “always does such an amazing job, and all the events that he has had in the past have been pretty problem-free,” Parks & Recreation Commissioner Laura Costigan said during the appointed body’s regular meeting, held via videoconference. “And I can’t think better way keep jumpstarting things after the pandemic than approving” the event, she said. The Commission voted 11-0 to approve it.
Zumbach in proposing the event—and also noting that he hoped in the future for a possible Sept.
Saying it’s healthier for athletes, parks officials last week voted in favor of a recommendation to keep using pesticides on New Canaan athletic fields where it’s legal to do so. Referring to a consultant’s report that compared the surface hardness of a grass field treated with pesticides (Conner Field off of Farm Road) versus one that’s pesticide-free (Saxe Middle School’s), members of the Parks & Recreation Commission voted 7-1 during their regular meeting Dec. 9 to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that New Canaan continue a midsummer application of chemicals on fields at Conner, Mead Park and Waveny. In making the recommendation, the Commission referred to a memo from Parks Superintendent John Howe, New Canaan High School Athletic Director Jay Egan and Recreation Director Steve Benko saying fields that don’t use pesticides are harder and therefore more likely to cause concussions. The trio, identified as the “New Canaan Fields Committee,” cited a $3,000 “Core Performance Quality Standards Assessment” of Conner and Saxe fields from Tom Irwin Advisors of Burlington, Mass.
“Based on the information provided in the [Tom Irwin Advisors] report, the data shows that the use of pesticides on Conner Field has had a positive effect on the quality and safety of that field for athletic contests,” the memo said.
Attendance at Kiwanis increased by more than 40% last summer and the park potentially could more than cover costs associated with its operation, officials said last week. Kiwanis Park “is not fully being used for what it should be,” according to Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Rona Siegel. “The facility is incredible inside that concession,” Siegel said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Jan. 8 at Town Hall. “It is restaurant-grade for the summer and spring months.
Town officials are urging Mead Park visitors to remove their trash from a newly installed playground area that came to be as a result of a successful public-private partnership.
New Canaan is proud of the new playground and those that raised funds to help pay for the project, “and so I guess for me it’s just a public request, too: Whatever you take in, make sure you take it out, just like camping,” Parks & Recreation Chair Rona Siegel said during the appointed body’s regular meeting, held July 10 at Town Hall.
“And there are trash cans near the concessions, near the driving area,” Siegel said. A collaboration between the town and Friends of Mead Park Playground–a private effort overseen by two New Canaan women that saw more than $200,000 raised thanks to scores of individual donors as well as generous local businesses and nonprofit organizations—the remade play area replaces aging, deteriorating equipment and includes a “poured-in-place” rubberized surface. After some weather-related delays, the playground was finished and ready for use prior to the Fourth of July, though almost immediately trash began collecting in the area.
Parks Commissioner Jack Hawkins asked whether trash cans had been installed around the playground area itself. Told that they had not, he said, “Can we discuss tat and can we get some down there? I think having a trashcan available down there will help prevent littering.”
John Howe, superintendent of parks with the New Canaan Department of Public Works, said that before the town moved to a “carry in-carry out” policy, “we had much more garbage blowing around.”
“Blowing around the trash cans, anything from squirrels getting inside and chewing their way out, to ‘Well it’s close enough, it’s near the trash can,’ ” Howe said.
Kiwanis Park, two sports fields along Farm Road at New Canaan High School, artificial turf fields near the water towers and the parking lot south of the softball Orchard Field at Waveny all are contenders as potential sites for a proposed open-aired ice rink, officials said last week.
Those areas appear to meet the rigid criteria needed for a seasonal rink in New Canaan that would be open to the public with an admission charge, under a proposal that Parks & Recreation Commissioner Gene Goodman is developing as a member of the appointed body. Goodman said that after consulting with recreation and public works officials, several other candidates—such as at Mead Park, the New Canaan Nature Center, Saxe Middle School and Conner Field—had to be rejected for a variety of reasons. A potential site must be level, big enough to accommodate a 120-by-60-foot rink with an additional 10-foot perimeter as well as space for temporary structures (snack bar, changing area, skate shop, office, Zamboni machine), access to bathrooms and running water and electricity, and parking for at least 40 vehicles, Goodman told members of the Commission at their July 10 meeting. “What ofttimes looks like a viable alternative, has a lot of cost considerations and negatives,” Goodman said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Goodman said he’s working on narrowing down his list of potential candidate sites and hopes that the the subcommittee he’s leading could bring a recommendation to the full Commission this fall.