Town To Fix Problem Where Foul Balls Strike Vehicles at Mead Park

Town officials last week voted in favor of a $6,735 contract for a design improvement at Mead Park that’s expected to address the decades-old problem of baseball striking parked cars. The work of redoing the backstop on the varsity baseball field and some fencing around it is expected to cost a total of about $80,000, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. During its regular meeting May 19, the Board of Selectmen approved a contract with Avon-base Richter & Cegan Inc. to “give us a design to help us with the layout of that area, of the backstop itself and the fencing to try and protect and prevent balls from leaving the playing field,” Mann said. “It’s been a problem for a very long time with the layout of this backstop,” Mann told the selectmen at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract. 

Foul balls struck down the right-field line at the large field often fly over a fence and onto cars in Mead’s main lot—a problem that was mitigated somewhat though not entirely with a new parking configuration.  

The selectmen asked Mann whether the project had been discussed during budget season (in years past, yes), whether funds for the work were in this year’s budget (yes), in which direction the balls are flying (toward the parking lot) and whether the concern was vehicles.

Selectman Williams: Concerns About Waveny Park Safety Have Been ‘Politicized’

A town official on Tuesday voiced concerns about the characterization of New Canaan’s most heavily used park as unsafe. Saying he believed that some of the talk around town about the safety of Waveny Park was “misguided a bit,” Selectman Nick Williams raised the issue during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. While saying that he was “in favor of safety,” Williams asserted that “Waveny is one of the best parks in America and one of the safest parks in America.” Speaking during a section of the Board’s agenda dedicated to general town matters, Williams said that suggestions to the contrary were “perhaps politicized,” but was not specific about how. “I think it’s unfortunate that people are talking about Waveny as if it’s Central Park in the 1970s,” Williams said.

‘A Safe Place To Nest’: Local Teen’s Project Aims To Help New Canaan Bats

A local teen’s Girl Scout Gold Award project has seen the creation and installation of nesting habitats in three New Canaan parks for a largely misunderstood and threatened mammal. Celia Sokolowski, a 2019 graduate from New Canaan High School has hung five bat houses in trees at Kiwanis, Mead and Waveny Parks. 

A Girl Scout since the first grade, Sokolowski completed the project for her Gold Award, the highest achievement possible in the organization. To receive a Gold Award, candidates must complete 80 hours of service, Sokolowski said. She added that the project must be sustainable, and it must educate the public on an issue the candidate is passionate about. Sokolowski, who is headed to Indiana University in the fall to study business, had the idea to hang the bat houses after taking an AP environmental science class during her senior year at NCHS.

New Playground, Rubber Surface at Mead Park on Track for Late-May Completion

The widely anticipated installation of a new playground and rubber surface at Mead Park—a project nearly two years in development—is expected to be completed next month, officials say. A collaboration between the town and Friends of Mead Park Playground, the project will see preparation work for the new play structures and a “Poured-In-Place” surface commence during the last week in April with a target completion date of late-May, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. The 20-year-old playground structure that had been there was recently removed (it’s going to be refurbished and sent for use in an underdeveloped country) after the New Canaan Department of Public Works’ Highway Department helped disassemble it in a single day, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting. “The first step to is to grade the area, level it off and then we will install the playground, put the stone in and the concrete borders and then the last step is to put the Poured-In-Place surface in,” he said at the meeting, held April 10 at Town Hall. “And that is probably going to be in mid- to late-May to put that in, because the temperatures should be in the 50s to do that.