Parks Officials To Dog Walkers at Waveny: Carry Used Poop Bags Back Out

Town officials are urging Waveny visitors to carry their trash out, following complaints regarding full dog poop bags left inside the popular park. In addition to a section of Waveny along Lapham Road near the Merritt Parkway where dog-walkers long have dropped the used bags, the area commonly known as “the cornfields” in the park’s southeastern corner is seeing full bags left behind, officials said Wednesday night during the Parks & Recreation Commission’s regular meeting. “This is absolutely an outcry for the residents of New Canaan to really understand the carry-in and carry-out of a park that is getting more use than it ever has, and I think we are extremely lucky to have such beautiful facilities,” Commission Chair Rona Siegel said during the appointed body’s meeting, held via videoconference. “And to see them treated in such a manner is beyond disturbing. So I would just reiterate that this is the time with the use and all the effort and sweat that goes into these parks to make them beautiful and for everyone that people are reminded to take their trash with them.”

For years, the problems of discarded poop bags and dog waste left uncollected at parks such as Waveny and Irwin has resurfaced.

New Plan for Waveny House Forecourt Calls for Removal of Memorial Trees

Trees planted outside Waveny House in memory of a former first selectman and a New Canaan youth who died in an accident would be removed under a plan brought forward by an organization that takes on landscaping projects within the park. Recreation Director Steve Benko noted last week that two cherry trees that would be removed under the Waveny Park Conservancy’s plan had been planted in memory of Charles Kelley, first selectman of New Canaan when the town acquired Waveny. “And there’s a place there with a plaque with [Kelley’s] name on it,” Benko told Conservancy board President Caroline Garrity and board member Jane Gamber during the May 19 Parks & Recreation Commission meeting, held via videoconference. 

“His daughter and her family still live in New Canaan, so I don’t know if you would speak to her about removing those trees. But they were planted in his memory. And there’s another dogwood tree—if you are standing in front of house looking left toward the trees there, there’s another dogwood tree, by itself.

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.

Selectmen Approve $170,000 for Waveny Pond Improvements

Officials last week approved $170,000 in town spending toward the dredging of Waveny Pond and improvements around it. 

The figure is to be matched by funds supplied by a nonprofit organization, following a 3-0 vote by the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting, held Aug. 20 in Town Hall. Work to be completed by Redding-based Nazzaro Inc. includes not only the first known dredge of the pond at the foot of the sledding hill, but also creation of a dock and observation area, guiderails and plantings, according to Maria Coplit, town engineer in the New Canaan Department of Public Works. The project cost is estimated at $325,406, with an additional contingency of $48,811, according to Coplit. The Waveny Park Conservancy is to match the town’s $170,000 contribution toward the project, and the approximately $34,000 beyond the $340,000 from both the town and organization will be held in escrow, Coplit said.

Waveny Summer Concerts a Success Despite ‘Weather Roulette’; Wednesday’s Show Postponed to Thursday

Despite unpredictable weather—including a poor forecast that postponed Wednesday’s installment to Thursday—the town’s annual Waveny Summer Concert Series has once again been a great success this year, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. Held on the lawn out back of Waveny House, the event is “a fun family night out,” Benko said. 

“A lot of people will get together with friends…they have a conversation, listen to the music, and have a nice time under the stars,” he added. The series has been running in some form for nearly 40 years, Benko said. It started out as a collaboration with Manhattan-based Music Performance Trust Fund, and has since evolved into a 12-concert summer series featuring a variety of local and area musicians. Sponsors this year include Rand Insurance Co., Hobbs Inc., Kaster Moving Company, the New Canaan Board of Realtors and Karl Chevrolet.