New Bocce Courts at Mead Park Receive First Town Approval

A citizen-led campaign to create public bocce courts in New Canaan received its first formal approval this week, as parks officials green-lighted a plan to install two of them in a largely unused area past the little league fields and kids’ playgrounds at Mead Park. The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan first proposed last fall by New Canaanites John Buzzeo and Len Paglialunga, anchors of the morning crew at Dunkin Donuts. “In general it’s a nice social gathering,” John Howe, superintendent of parks for the New Canaan Department of Public Works, told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting Wednesday. The 76-by-13-foot courts are “a good size bocce court for recreational use,” Howe said at the meeting, held in the Lapham Community Center. “They’ll put two of them in, with a five-foot walkway between them and they’d be raised up some.”

The area in question, roughly beyond the left-field fence of Mellick Field and the right-field fence of Gamble Field—formerly site of the horseshoe pits, New Canaanites will recall—slopes somewhat and by raising the courts six inches or so, “we wouldn’t have any drainage issues,” Howe said.

‘Just a Disaster’: Officials Eye Repaving of Parking Lot at Kiwanis

Saying the main lot at Kiwanis Park hasn’t been repaved in about 30 years, officials are putting in for funds to get that project done and bring the area in line with others at the Old Norwalk Road facility. Though the access road at Kiwanis has been repaved and the parking lot at the rear is done, “the parking lot there is just a disaster,” according to Sally Campbell, chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission. “The stretch that you really see when you’re in the park is just falling apart, so [DPW Assistant Tiger Mann] is putting that in his capital budget, to get the funds to pave that,” Campbell said at the group’s regular meeting, held Nov. 11in the Douglas Room at Lapham Community Center. The discussion arose during a rundown on projects that Mann has planned for New Canaan’s public parks, including a new trail at Waveny that’s designed to get pedestrians off of the main road through it.

Residents Seek Permission To Build Bocce Courts at Lapham

Parks officials are weighing a request brought forward by two New Canaan residents who are seeking permission to create bocce courts behind the Lapham Community Center at Waveny. Edged by planks of wood, an approximately 10-by-60-foot “stone dust bocce court” would be paid for, built and installed entirely by John Buzzeo, who brought the proposal forward with fellow New Canaanite and Dunkin Donuts morning crew regular Len Paglialunga, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. “He would build it at no cost to the town,” Benko told the Park & Recreation Commission at its regular monthly meeting, held in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. Buzzeo, a career builder, originally had thought about the area by Gamble Field at Mead Park where the horseshoe pits used to be, but found it likely would be too soggy to use, Benko said. An area between the gazebo behind the community center and the main building itself could be a good location, Benko said.