Parks Officials Envision New Uses for ‘Colonnade’ at Mead

With its vantage point overlooking the pond and tennis courts, and enclosed by the columns that recall ancient Greece or Rome, the colonnade at Mead Park could be developed in some way to better serve New Canaanites, parks officials said Wednesday night. It’s a “nice area, and if you start to fix it up, it could be utilized,” Recreation Director Steve Benko said during a regular meeting of the Park & Recreation Commission, held at Lapham Community Center. The town could consider putting “either a paver patio or a flagstone patio, and you could put a couple of Adirondack chairs and round picnic tables with umbrellas, and a lot of people go down to the snack bar and it gets very busy with noise with kids. And it might offer the tennis players a place to go up, grab an iced tea, and sit and chat with their friends. Or somebody brings their lunch up there.

New Canaan Baseball Unveils Dramatic Plan To Upgrade Little League Fields at Mead Park

Officials with the nonprofit organization that oversees youth baseball in New Canaan on Wednesday unveiled a dramatic plan to improve the little league baseball fields at Mead Park with larger dimensions and new fences, light poles, bleacher areas and scoreboard. New Canaan Baseball also is seeking to reorient Gamble Field so that home plate is located where left field currently sits and the diamond fans out in the same general direction as Mellick, according to the organization’s president, Jim Higgins. “Our overall guiding principle in terms of what it is we wanted to accomplish was we wanted to stay generally within the footprint of what is there,” Higgins told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular monthly meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “We are sensitive to reorganizing anything or disrupting any other part of the park, so the plan that we have come up with is substantially within the existing boundaries of the two fields. A couple of the key goals were drainage, trying to get state-of-the-art drainage and the right materials underneath the grass, because we lose a lot of game days due to rain—and not just on the days it rains, but the drainage is not as good as it could be.

Neighbor of New Canaan Nature Center Raises Concerns About Condition of Grounds

A longtime next-door neighbor of the New Canaan Nature Center told officials at a public meeting last week that the organization is failing to care properly for its grounds and that he plans to share steps with the town to correct existing problems and ensure they do not re-emerge. John Busch of Oenoke Ridge Road told members of the Park & Recreation Commission that he’s lived just north of the Nature Center for nearly 20 years “and I walk the trails all the time.”

“And I daresay I know a lot about how the land has been cared for and, in my opinion, not cared for,” Busch told the commission at its regular meeting, held Wednesday night in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. “I would like to share some thoughts not only about the condition currently but actions that I think this commission could take to improve the condition of the land not just now but in the future.”

Chairman Sally Campbell said the commission would form a subcommittee to establish whether it has oversight of the property and, if so, walk the grounds with Busch and report back to the full group at its meeting in February. Asked by commissioner Matt Konspore for a quick summary of what exactly is wrong, Busch answered: “The Nature Center’s land is something not been cared for. There is a lot of debris.

Parks Officials Pursue Water Heater, Re-Lining at Waveny Pool

Parks officials say the self-sustaining Waveny Pool has generated nearly $300,000 in a capital reserve fund and that if strong bids come back to the town, the popular summer facility could see the money used to install a heater in the pool for the upcoming season as well as to re-line it this fall. The heater especially is something that users of Waveny Pool say they’d like to see, in addition to more regular cleaning of the bathrooms there and other tweaks, according to members of the Park & Recreation Commission. A heated pool “would be just a terrific thing,” Chairman Sally Campbell said at the group’s regular meeting, held Wednesday night in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center. Commissioner Jason Milligan, who sits on a Waveny Pool Subcommittee, said more than a dozen regular users of the facility met and brainstormed several ideas that could make the experience there even better. Recreation Director Steve Benko said plans already are underway to increase the workload for a company that cleans Waveny Pool’s bathrooms so that they’re cleaned twice per day during an 8-week period at the height of summer, raising the contractor’s fee from about $7,000 to $9,800 per season.

‘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.