Officials: Town Looking To Use Special Equipment, Not Goats, To Rid Waveny Cornfields of Invasive Plant  

Though goats could work in the Waveny cornfields area to rid it of a plant that’s become overgrown there, the project would be about two years long and it’s not clear just how many of the animals would be needed, town officials say. The goats that this summer started eating up invasive plants at Irwin Park are working in an approximately half-acre space, but the area in Waveny’s southeastern corner is far larger at five acres, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “The problem was that once we got rid of the phragmites, it left an area open,” Mann said during a Sept. 11 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission, referring to a highly invasive grass that had taken over the area previously. 

“Weeds are going to take over first and weeds tend to take over the clover,” he said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “The clover seed that was placed out there just did not take off enough and the mugwort took over.”

The stalks and root systems of phragmites were removed from the cornfields as part of a nonprofit organization’s project, and the entire area then was regraded and roto-tilled.

‘You’re Promoting Bad Behavior’: Parks Officials Push Back on Installing Additional Trash Bin at Waveny

Parks officials last week pushed back on the idea of placing an additional trash receptacle in a trouble spot at Waveny where dog owners tend to dump used poop bags. Installing a bin near the turn at Lapham Road above the Merritt Parkway would amount to “promoting bad behavior,” according to Parks Superintendent John Howe. “By putting a trash can in there, you are allowing people then to stack it another 40 feet away and when we had trash cans all over the parks and all over our school fields, they were in worse shape because people had a knack of saying, ‘It’s near the trash can, it’s close enough,’ ” Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their June 12 meeting in Town Hall. “You have animals that will take out the garbage and strew it around. I would sooner keep going like we are, removing the bag.”

He referred to a bag that a park visitor ties to a tree to receive the used bags.

Parks Officials Address Unusual Algae Problem at Waveny Pool

Parks officials said last week that they opened Waveny Pool last month while battling a rare problem with algae that had made its water unclear. Fluctuating temperatures in May contributed toward an algae growth that “I have only seen once in 18 years,” according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. Addressing a question raised by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Sally Campbell at the group’s June 12 meeting, Benko said workers spent time hand-vacuuming the bottom of the popular pool to rid it of algae that “affected our water quality.”

“I think we have it back to balance, we treated it,” Benko said said at the regular meeting, held in Town Hall. Asked by Campbell whether he talked to those who oversee other large-pool facilities when such problems arise, Benko said yes and added, “This is the first time that we have had this issue.”

“It’s a matter of trial and error, what works, I did put in some algaecide on Monday [June 10],” he said. Campbell said she went swimming on the day of the meeting “and it was 100% better than it was.”

“But it still has a little ways to go,” she said.

Did You Hear … ?

The Waveny Park Conservancy wants to rename the pond at the foot of the sledding hill ‘Anderson Pond’ after receiving a $350,000 gift toward a restoration project there from the Harlan and Lois Anderson Foundation, according to the organization’s president, Caroline Garrity. The Parks & Recreation Commission on Wednesday voted 9-0 in favor of the naming rights proposal. Sally Campbell, a regular member of the Commission who also sits as vice chairman of the Conservancy, was among those who voted. New Canaan’s highest elected official has said her dual role amounts to an apparent conflict. ***

 

Months after a New Canaan Country School neighbor sued the Planning & Zoning Commission over its approval of a new athletic facility, the school purchased that neighbor’s property for $3 million, tax records show.

Video Surveillance Cameras at Waveny: Parks Officials Call for Detailed Police Recommendation 

Parks officials said Wednesday night that the first step in determining whether video surveillance cameras should be installed at Waveny is to get a formal, detailed opinion from local police. An online petition with more than 1,400 digital signatures that advocates for the cameras and data on how such security systems benefit the public are “very important pieces” of the discussion, Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Rona Siegel said during the appointed body’s regular meeting. And a “recommendation from law enforcement to the town, presented to Parks and Rec is the correct step,” Siegel said at the meeting. “A clear and concise opinion from law enforcement” that includes recommendations on just where the cameras would go “is what the town needs,” she said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. Other questions such as what local agency or agencies would have access and jurisdiction over video content and how long it would remain before officials taped over it also must be part of the town’s decision, officials said.