Parks Officials Approve New Softball Batting Cages for Waveny

Parks officials this month approved the installation of expanded new softball batting cages at Waveny that also will include warmup mounds for pitchers. The Parks & Recreation Commission voted 9-0 in favor of the project, to be funded almost entirely by New Canaan Softball. The cages will be installed on an approximately 70-by-45-foot concrete pad, with granite curbing, east of the “Water Tower Field,” where a single softball batting cage now sits, according to Parks Superintendent John Howe. “The girls could definitely use it,” Howe told members of the Commission during their regular meeting, held Oct. 13 via videoconference.

Parks & Rec: Tennis Permits Up 70% in 2021

Sales of Mead Park tennis permits are up 70% year-over-year, officials say. The New Canaan Recreation Department had sold 473 permits in 2021 as of the Sept. 8 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission, according to Commissioner George Benington. The figure compares to 277 in 2020 and 142 “so we can obviously see the post-COVID effects, or COVID effects, are having a huge impact on our facilities,” Benington said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “They’re absolutely phenomenal.”
The comments came during update from Benington on the town’s tennis, platform or “paddle” tennis and recently opened pickleball facilities.

‘It Looks Beautiful’: New Pickleball Courts at Mead Park Near Completion 

The widely anticipated pickleball courts at Mead Park are nearing completion and a new patio is planned for an area next to them, officials say. The courts have been painted and fencing has been installed, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their regular meeting, held July 14 via videoconference. Gates into and between the courts still need to be installed, as does a practice tennis wall at the southern end of the new courts, officials said. Located on the western end of Mead, above the pond and colonnade, the area around the courts also will get landscaping, an expanded parking lot and a patio, Mann said. “It’s shaping up really nicely,” he told Parks & Rec during an update.

Committee Struggles To Find Date for Twice-Postponed Waveny Fireworks

The volunteer committee that organizes the annual Fourth of July fireworks in Waveny is struggling to find a new date for the twice-postponed event, officials say. Originally scheduled for July 3 with a July 11 rain date, the annual picnic and fireworks show has been put off due to rain and concerns about damaging Waveny’s athletic fields where visitors’ cars are parked, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. “So we are looking to try and find an alternate date,” he told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their regular meeting, held July 14 via videoconference. ‘That’s been kind of difficult.”

The comments came during Benko’s general update to the Commission. 

Canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Fourth could not be scheduled with the fireworks contractor on the usual July 4 date this year. Though the Family Fourth Committee started planning later than usual in 2021 due to uncertainty about COVID-related restrictions, the group decided in May to market this year’s fireworks as “New Canaan residents only.” It’s unclear how many tickets were sold.