Town officials are recommending that New Canaan offer three options for those seeking to donate benches in public parks—for example, in memory of a loved one—as well as a new “protocol” that caps the life of such a donated bench at 10 years. After that time, a donor would could renew its donated bench at the cost of a new one, under a draft policy now under consideration by the Parks & Recreation Commission. Donating a bench for Waveny, Irwin or Mead Park would cost $1,500, while donation for an “athletic bench” at the parks would cost $1,000, under the proposed new “Bench Dedication Program Policy.”
The policy is designed to “streamline the work of the Parks Department and the Recreation Department” which often receives calls from people who want to donate a bench, according to Commission Chair Sally Campbell. “And somebody will go, ‘Well I am just going to buy this bench and put it in,’ ” Campbell said during the Commission’s most recent meeting.
“But the bench has no connection to other benches in the park, so we are looking to try to get the same look,” she said at the meeting, held Sept. 11 at Lapham Community Center.