New Canaan Baseball Unveils Dramatic Plan To Upgrade Little League Fields at Mead Park

Officials with the nonprofit organization that oversees youth baseball in New Canaan on Wednesday unveiled a dramatic plan to improve the little league baseball fields at Mead Park with larger dimensions and new fences, light poles, bleacher areas and scoreboard. New Canaan Baseball also is seeking to reorient Gamble Field so that home plate is located where left field currently sits and the diamond fans out in the same general direction as Mellick, according to the organization’s president, Jim Higgins. “Our overall guiding principle in terms of what it is we wanted to accomplish was we wanted to stay generally within the footprint of what is there,” Higgins told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular monthly meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “We are sensitive to reorganizing anything or disrupting any other part of the park, so the plan that we have come up with is substantially within the existing boundaries of the two fields. A couple of the key goals were drainage, trying to get state-of-the-art drainage and the right materials underneath the grass, because we lose a lot of game days due to rain—and not just on the days it rains, but the drainage is not as good as it could be.

NC Baseball Eyes Summer 2016 for Re-Grading, Drainage Improvements at Mead Park’s Little League Fields

The private nonprofit group that oversees youth baseball in New Canaan is talking with engineering and architectural firms in anticipation of a major capital project at Mead Park that recreation officials say hasn’t been done in 42 years. New Canaan Baseball has offered to pay for the estimated $1 million re-grading of the two little league fields at Mead, and has set a target date for the starting the work next summer, according to the organization’s president. “The critical path is ultimately finding one or two people that are going to be chiefs of the project,” Jim Higgins told the Park & Recreation Commission at its regular meeting Wednesday night, held in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. “It is significant project. The board has a desire to do it.

Private Group Offers to Fund Re-Grading of Mellick, Gamble Fields at Mead Park

The private group that oversees youth baseball in New Canaan wants to fund a full re-grading of the little league fields at Mead Park—a project that could cost $1 million and hasn’t been done in 42 years, recreation officials say. New Canaan Baseball Softball Inc., a nonprofit organization, are at appoint where “serious capital expenditures” are needed to bring it up to snuff, the group’s president, Jim Higgins, told the Park & Recreation Commission at its most recent regular meeting. “To cut to the chase, Mellick and Gamble are long, long, long overdue for a major renovation and New Canaan Baseball is proposing to—out of our own money and money that we raised—spent somewhere between half a million and a million dollars, completely redoing Mellick and Gamble,” Higgins said at the March 11 meeting, held in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. “When I say ‘redo,’ the footprint stays the same, we are not asking to change any aspect of the park, so the footprints of the fields will stay where they are. But we think the only way to do it right is to scrape the whole fields.

Parks Officials to NC Baseball: At Season’s End, Take Down the Outfield Windscreens at Mead

Parks officials last week approved a private group’s request to hang a windscreen on the outfield fence of the large baseball field at Mead Park, but are insisting that this time around the opaque netting come down at season’s end. That didn’t happen in the case of the little league fields at Mead that got the screens last spring, despite New Canaan Baseball’s agreeing to do so, Park & Recreation Commission Chairman Sally Campbell said during the group’s regular monthly meeting. The commission had received feedback that residents didn’t want to see the netting in the winter months, Campbell said during the meeting, held Wednesday in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. “New Canaan Baseball said they would put them up and take them down last year, and they never came back to take them down last year,” she said. “So this windscreen, too, it needs to put up by [New Canaan] Baseball and taken down by X day by [New Canaan] Baseball and we should not have to go back to you all to say to take it down.

Parks Officials Approve Plan for Border Collies to Scare Geese out of Mead Park

Parks officials on Wednesday accepted a private group’s offer to pay a Wilton-based company about $3,000 to use border collies to run Canada geese off of the large baseball field at Mead Park this spring. The birds’ droppings are an “enormous problem” and baseball players are in regular contact with the fecal matter just in virtue of playing the game, Paul Giusti, who identified himself as representing Friends of New Canaan Baseball, told the Park and Recreation Commission at its regular monthly meeting. “I think all of you know it is really bad [for baseball players], let alone [for] the toddlers that are there that are crawling around in this and these geese are getting onto Mellick and Gamble also,” Giusti said at the meeting, held in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. He was joined by Jim Higgins, president of New Canaan Baseball Softball Inc.

“We will do the first three months during the baseball season and see how this all works out. It’s not like it’s a bullet-proof kind of solution, but I think it will improve the situation for the toddlers, for the ballplayers, for everybody that is there to have a better experience at Mead Park.”

The commission approved the plan 8-0, breaking from its own policy of waiting one full month between a hearing a request or making a decision on it, citing the timing of the baseball season’s planned start in early April.