Parks Officials Pooh-Pooh Proposed Bocce Court at Irwin

Town officials last week pooh-poohed a local woman’s suggestion that one or two bocce courts go in at Irwin Park, saying she should seek alternate locations and put together a more formal proposal that has wide backing. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Sally Campbell during the appointed body’s Nov. 13 meeting told New Canaan resident Liz Orteig that she should connect with locals who had won support three years ago to put bocce courts in at Mead Park. 

Campbell asserted that Irwin Park is deed-restricted—though officials noted that there are still areas there where bocce courts could go, see below—and questioned Orteig about applying to a local nonprofit origination for grant money for the project. “Before we entertain anything, I would like to see what your research has,” Campbell said at the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “Are they in other parks?

New Canaan Woman Proposes Bocce Courts for Irwin Park, Seeks To Convince Garden Club

About one year after a similar citizen-led effort at Mead Park stalled for lack of funds, a New Canaan woman on Wednesday night proposed to town officials that bocce courts be installed at Irwin. Liz Orteig told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting that creating a place for the popular game would speak to New Canaan’s significant Italian heritage and that those opposed to the concept may be won over by a unique design. “I have actually talked to some of the Garden Club ladies—they seem very resistant to the idea,” Orteig said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. “I would like a bocce court and I also thought that I could possibly get the Garden Club ladies on board by proposing that they design something very, very unique and special because they are really into the landscape and if we make a real feature out of it, they may be able to be persuaded. That is my whole contention.

Garden Club and Beautification League Partner To Create Wreaths, Holiday Decorations for Downtown New Canaan

The white lights are in the trees on Elm and, thanks to a longstanding effort of two of New Canaan’s most cherished volunteer nonprofit organizations—with help from the town—the village center will be fully transformed into a winter wonderland come the Holiday Stroll on Friday night. More than 40 members of the New Canaan Beautification League and New Canaan Garden Club gathered Friday morning to create the wreaths, bows, garlands, holiday arrangements and evergreen roping that will adorn Town Hall, the police and railroad stations, library, new Post Office and windows throughout town. “Our members are vitally interested in this from both organizations because it’s such a great joint effort,” Jane Gamber, president of the Garden Club, said from the Visitors Center at the New Canaan Nature Center, amid tables piled with ilex bush cuttings, winterberries, pinecones and branches. “We enjoy collaborating together. It’s the holiday spirit and it’s a great way for everybody to give back a little to this town.”

For the past week, members of the Department of Public Works have been collecting the greens and—together with others supplied by New Canaan-based Mill River Tree Service—supplied the makings of the decorations.

Beautification League, Garden Club Create Large Wreaths That Adorn Major Buildings through the Holidays

More than two dozen volunteers from a pair of the town’s longest-serving and most hands-on nonprofit organizations gathered at the New Canaan Nature Center on Thursday to create the giant wreaths that adorn major buildings in town through the holidays. Officials say the New Canaan Beautification League and New Canaan Garden Club have collaborated for some 50 years to create the wreaths—an effort that’s also supported by the town in that public works supplies evergreen cuttings and mounts the creations each year. “It’s a tradition. This is really a tradition,” Beautification League President Faith Kerchoff said from the bustling, sunlit Sturgess Room, which smelled sweetly of the wide variety of evergreens used for the wreaths, including holly, arborvitae, spruce, boxwood, pine, cedar and juniper. Buildings that will get large wreaths include New Canaan Library, the Railroad Station, Police Department, Outback and Town Hall.