Town Adds Pesticide Use Disclosure to Municipal Website

Eight months after parks officials voted in support of the move as part of a larger recommendation, the town on Tuesday added a section to the municipal website disclosing its use of pesticides on several athletic fields. Though state law prohibits the use of pesticides on school grounds through grade 8, New Canaan uses the chemicals in treating athletic grounds at Waveny, Conner Field and baseball fields at Mead Park. 

Selectman Kathleen Corbet last summer questioned why pesticides are still applied to some public fields used by young kids, and in September developed a set of recommendations for the town. Her findings included that “not very many people know about the use of pesticides in our Town,” and she said in her report that “[a]t a minimum, unless a pesticide free policy is adopted for all athletic fields, public disclosure about the use of pesticides on the natural grass athletic fields is recommended.”

During this week’s regular Board of Selectmen meeting, Corbet noted that a draft disclosure still hadn’t been posted to the town’s website. “Did we forget to do that?” Corbet asked during the meeting, held via videoconference. Public Works Director Tiger Mann responded that the town did not forget.

Selectmen Approve Funds for Upkeep of Artificial Turf Fields

Town officials this week approved two expenditures designed to help with the upkeep of artificial turf fields in New Canaan. The Board of Selectmen during its regular meeting Tuesday voted 3-0 for a contract with Harwinton-based Championship Turf Surfaces ($13,800) for cleaning, grooming and maintaining Dunning Field and the two new playing fields by the Waveny water tower. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams in the same vote approved a request from the Department of Public Works to purchase 20,000 pounds of crumb rubber infill for fields maintenance work. “It makes a much safer playing surface for the users,” DPW Parks Superintendent John Howe told the selectmen during the meeting, held via videoconference. Championship Turf will “deep clean” the turf surfaces, Howe said. “They will de-compact the infill, they will rotary-brush it, vacuum it, static=brush it—which just means one that’s not moving— and use a magnetic broom which we do not have, to help in case there are some metal particles out there,” he said.

‘It Looks So Wonderful’: High Praise for First-Phase Work Done in Bristow Bird Sanctuary

The completed first phase in restoring a long-neglected and little-known bird sanctuary in New Canaan—one of the nation’s oldest—is earning high praise from town officials and visitors. Described as a quiet and beautiful wooded area, the Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve—thanks to volunteers and Department of Public Works personnel—features attractive new footbridges over meandering streams, a newly dredged pond, seating areas and varied bird feeders, officials said during last week’s meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission. Responding to a presentation from Public Works Director Tiger Mann on the work that’s been done in Bristow in the past six months, Commissioner Francesca Segalas said, “It looks so wonderful.”

“I am so happy to see this,” she said during the meeting, held Jan. 13 via videoconference. 

Mann shared a photo walkthrough that he’d captured the same morning, starting at the northern end of the 17-acre bird sanctuary—accessible through Mead Park, at the back of the little league baseball fields—and following pedestrian trails toward its other entrance along Route 106. As he walked along, Mann said he found the park “very quiet.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” he said.