‘I Don’t Think He Likes Pugs’: Local Woman Calls for Separate Large- and Small-Dog Areas at Spencer’s Run

Saying her pug was attacked twice in the dog run at Waveny, a local woman last week asked parks officials to consider creating separate “large” and “small” dog areas within Spencer’s Run. Kathryn Quirk told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission last week that her 1-year-old pug is “very friendly and she’s great with the other dogs and this one dog just jumped all over her and was very vicious” on two separate occasions. “Fortunately my husband was there and he was able to grab her,” Quirk told the Commission during its regular meeting, held Nov. 9 at Lapham Community Center. “He’s done this twice and I’ve watched him do it to another dog on a different day and I’m sort of reluctant to take her there now,” she said.

Private Group Seeks Permission to Display Advertising in Makeshift Ice Rink at Public Park

Parks officials are seeking permission from New Canaan’s legislative body to forgo enforcement of a local ordinance that prohibits advertising in public parks. The Parks & Recreation Commission voted at its meeting last week in favor of allowing a private group to run “dashboard” ads inside a makeshift ice rink that’s planned for Waveny. 

Though the advisory Parks & Rec Commission supported allowing the ads last year—despite concerns voiced then-Recreation Director Steve Benko—the discussion never was vetted by the Town Council because the makeshift rink itself never materialized. Gene Goodman—a principal of the private group behind the rink, NC Rink Inc, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records—said the ads themselves would be six feet wide by 2.5 feet high. “If you were standing at the perimeter of the dasher boards which will be about four feet high or so, you will be able to see it,” Goodman said during the Nov. 9 Parks & Rec meeting, held in Lapham Community Center.

Rec Department To Relaunch After-School Programs at the Schools

The town’s Recreation Department plans to relaunch its after-school programs at New Canaan Public Schools following an unexpected lapse this fall, officials say. The municipal department “for years has been doing after-school programs at mainly the elementary schools but also Saxe,” according to Parks & Recreation Director John Howe. But due to a mistake or misunderstanding, “Whatever you want to call it,” Howe said, “we didn’t do them this fall.”

“There has been some outcry from parents, talking to the superintendent of schools, they’d like us back, and so we’re shooting to go back to do parent conferences which are at the beginning of December,” Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their regular meeting, held Wednesday at Town Hall and via videoconference. “We’ll have outside contractors go in there to run some programs just to keep the kids busy, and then back in January, we’re planning on being right back in the schools, running programs.”

Howe spoke during his regular monthly update to the Commission. In addressing Parks & Rec, he also reported that the restoration work on the gazebo at Waveny has been completed and came out very well, that part of the dog run at Waveny has been closed off for re-seeding and will reopen in the spring, reviewed some of the Rec Department’s popular Halloween-themed events and said next year’s Color Drop fundraiser for the New Canaan High School Scholarship Foundation will be held March 25.

‘A Very Stressful Year’: Parks Department Pushes Through Unusually Dry Summer

An unusually dry summer that featured moderate to severe droughts throughout the state took its toll on New Canaan, parks officials say. “This has been a very stressful year as far as plant materials are concerned in the parks,” according to Parks & Recreation Director John Howe. “Luckily, the Highway Department has been out watering a lot of our trees, up until recently,” Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting, held Sept. 14 at Town Hall and via videoconference. Howe spoke during his regular monthly update to the Commission.

Kiwanis Beach Pass Sales Up 14% in 2022

One of New Canaan’s most unique if somewhat unknown recreational facilities saw a steep rise in activity this summer, officials say. 

The town sold 505 beach passes to Kiwanis Park for the 2022 season, “more than in recent years,” Parks & Recreation Commission Hank Green said. The figure is up 14% over last summer, Green said during the appointed body’s regular meeting, held Sept. 14 at Town Hall. 

“It was a great summer for Kiwanis Park,” he said while presenting an update on the Old Norwalk Road park to the Commission. Recreation officials noted in July that new residents of New Canaan are discovering Kiwanis and enjoying its beach, spring water-fed swimming hole, basketball courts and general freedom. The 14-acre park also includes a pavilion, facilities such as restrooms, a deck with picnic tables and play structures for kids.