Pass Sales for ‘Steve Benko Pool’ Up for 2022 Season

The Steve Benko Pool saw a 4.1% rise in total passes sold year-over-year in the 2022 season, which ran from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, parks officials say. This was “an incredible summer” at the pool, which saw 4,669 pass sales this year compared to 4483 in 2021, according to Parks & Recreation Commissioner Rona Siegel. “Everyone knows it was really hot,” she said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Sept. 14 at Town Hall and via videoconference. 

“One really great thing to note for the [pool] team: Not one full day was the pool closed, and usually historically there is something or some reason [the pool is closed]. So, pretty incredible.”

The town, as it has in years past, sold 100 family passes to nonresidents at an increased rate, Siegel said, and saw resident passes increase in all categories: families (920 vs.

Officials Pursue Noise-Reduction Measures at Waveny Trails Near Merritt Parkway

Officials say they’re looking at ways the town might partner with nonprofit agencies to reduce the noise along the southernmost trails at Waveny that run alongside the Merritt Parkway. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Keith Richey during the appointed body’s July 13 meeting said he walks that stretch of trail often “and it’s so noisy.”

“Is there anything we can do like a bulldozer pushing earth up to create like a little embankment, or plant a bunch of spruces or do something?” Richey said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. 

His question came following an update from Waveny Park Conservancy Executive Director Phoebe Knowles. During the update, she cited the Merritt Parkway trail and said “the town removed the really ugly chain link fence this year, which has improved the visuals down there so it looks beautiful.”

In response to Rickey’s question, Knowles and Parks & Recreation Director John Howe said several officials from the town, WPC and Merritt Parkway Conservancy had been out looking the area that very day. The group was “trying to figure out who and how” to address the noise issue, Knowles said. The state Department of Transportation has a right-of-way that runs 90 feet from the center of the parkway, she said.

Town Officials Discuss Future Use for Dying Oak in Waveny

Town officials are discussing what should come of a large dead or dying tree near the pond in Waveny. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Francesca Segalas said this month that the tree, an oak, appears to be the “oldest tree” in the park. “Is there a way that we can figure out to turn that into a sculpture instead of just cutting it down?” Segalas said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held July 13 at Lapham Community Center. 

“There is sculpture that could be made that as it deteriorates, it’s part of the sculpture,” she added. “And I would rather see the tree turned into something than ‘Here’s benches made from it.’ ”

The tree in question is located toward the foot of the sledding hill, west of the pond. 

Segalas’s comments came during Parks & Recreation Director John Howe’s general update to the Commission. 

He said the tree “probably is going to have to be cut down” though officials have talked about taking its wood to create benches like those in the walled garden. “Right now they’re reproduced in plastic recycled wood, which is great, but is not quite the same,” Howe said.