Conservation Officials Consider 10K Running or Walking Event to Spotlight New Canaan’s ‘Greenlink’

Citing a successful model from Darien, local conservation officials say they’re thinking of launching a 10K running or walking event in New Canaan that would spotlight the town’s “green link” connecting public parks and the downtown via trails and sidewalks. 

Robin Bates-Mason, a Town Council member who sits on the legislative body’s Land Use and Parks & Recreation Committee, and also volunteers with local nonprofit organizations such as Planet New Canaan and the New Canaan Beautification League, said the Darien Land Trust uses an event to bring awareness to its properties around Darien. “It’s quite popular,” Bates-Mason said during last week’s meeting of the Conservation Commission, where she was a guest. Participants pay a $15 fee, she said. The appointed body’s chair, Chris Schipper, said it could be “an interesting project.”

“I like the idea of people walking and riding,” Schipper said during the Oct. 14 meeting, held via videoconference. 

Referring to his request on behalf of open space advocates to allocate a portion of a $6 million windfall in federal funds through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Schipper added, “And I have, in the course of discussing ARPA funds and allocations of funds, I’ve said we really have to promote walk-ability and bike-ability here in New Canaan and I think we have some support from [the Department of Public Works], we just have to get around some of these state road restrictions.”

“And I can tell you it drives me crazy I come up 106, regularly coming back from Greenwich, and I see young moms with a stroller walking alongside [Route] 106.

Petitioners Fail To Obtain Required Signatures for Referendum Vote on Town’s $10 Million Grant for New Canaan Library Project

Those seeking to force a referendum vote on town’s $10 million grant to New Canaan Library for its widely anticipated rebuilding project failed to garner enough verifiable signatures before deadline, officials say. The petitioners needed to obtain 689 signatures of New Canaan registered voters—5% of qualified local electors as of the most recent voter list—in order to force a town-wide vote on the grant, Town Clerk Claudia Weber has said. Yet after verifying the names and qualifying status of the names submitted to her office, Weber said the petitioners fell short. 

They obtained 528 signatures of support, Weber told 

“On behalf of the thousands of New Canaanites eagerly waiting for the new New Canaan Library, we look forward to receiving our building permit and starting construction,” Library Director Lisa Oldham said. Opponents to the library’s plan for a new 42,641-square-foot facility—located closer to Maple Street and with a new entrance facing south—emerged soon after the organization unveiled its project in January 2020. Many of those opposed to the project said the library should be required to preserve the original 1913 library and a 1930s-era addition.