Participation in New Canaan softball has grown so much in recent years that in order to provide adequate practice time, a second field at Waveny should get lights for this coming fall season, officials said last week. The organization that runs youth programs here, New Canaan Softball, has already raised $75,000 to light what’s known as the “Water Tower field,” and the Recreation Department is requesting an additional $50,000 from the town during this budget season. New Canaan Softball is anticipating 240 girls in the program this year, up from 90 just five years ago, Recreation Director Steve Benko told members of the Board of Selectmen during a budget hearing held Thursday at Town Hall.
Joined by Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell, Benko said girls’ softball in New Canaan “has seen a metamorphosis.”
“There’s interest in it and they need more field space,” Benko said. “And one problem is with the coaches’ availability, because they are all volunteer coaches, is the time to practice is in the evening. And we can use the Orchard Field until 9 o’clock at night, but the other field, the Water Tower field, there was approval for the lights and they are willing to raise money for the lights, and to have that second field lit to give them addition time for practices, it would help the overall program now that the numbers are going up, which is a great thing.”
The $50,000 capital request is part of the overall $271,500 that Recreation is seeking for fiscal year 2020.