‘Make Sure the Trail Gets Finished Properly’: Parks Officials Push for Top Mix on New Pedestrian Path at Waveny

Seeking to make more widely usable a new trail at Waveny, public works officials said Wednesday night that they’re hoping to partner with a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to ensuring that the park continues to thrive and serve New Canaanites. The Waveny Park Conservancy—a group that’s already created a pair of popular new trails—would like to see every trail in the park use its high-quality mix as a top layer for New Canaanites to trod as they pass, according to Tiger Mann, director of the Department of Public Works. Yet that mix is “very expensive” as such materials go, and in order to purchase enough to cover a long new trail that runs from the main road through Waveny toward Lapham Community Center, some help is needed, Mann told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular monthly meeting. With the town working on a regularly approved budget of about $50,000 for such projects, “we are going to need a little help from the conservancy,” Mann said at the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. Originally requested two years ago by Recreation Director Steve Benko, the trail garnered support from New Canaan’s funding bodies and received approval for a $43,000 contract from the selectmen in October.

Did You Hear … ?

A large-breed Japanese dog stopped traffic last Wednesday afternoon on Carter Street after getting off his property and making his way to East School. It happened around midday on Jan. 4, when the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department was called to Little Brook Road on a report of a roaming brown dog. The Akita made his way up Clapboard Ridge Road toward Carter, and was spotted trotting down the middle of the street, police said. He wanted nothing to do with an Animal Control officer wielding a snare, so he trotted happily back to his home.

‘A Pit Stop’: Organizers Rule Out ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ in 2017

Caffeine & Carburetors, the popular gathering of auto enthusiasts in downtown New Canaan and, more recently, at Waveny Park, will not be held in 2017, according to the New Canaan resident who launched the events six years ago. Doug Zumbach, owner of the eponymous gourmet coffee shop on Pine Street where informal gatherings of fellow specialty and classic car enthusiasts in 2010 swiftly outgrew the area immediately around his business, said he and fellow founders Peter Bush and Todd Brown are “putting Caffeine & Carburetors in a pit stop” for now. “After 24 or 25 shows over the past six years, it’s time to just revaluate the operation of it all,” Zumbach told NewCanaanite.com. “It takes a tremendous amount of effort, time, town resources, et cetera, to put successful shows together. I have other personal and professional projects I would like to approach this year.

Parks Officials Support Scaring Canada Geese Out of Mead, Disrupting Birds’ Breeding Cycles

Town officials last week voiced support for using taxpayer money to hire a Wilton-based company to scare Canada geese at Mead Pond and disrupt the birds’ breeding cycles in an effort to make sure their droppings go away from playing fields. The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend accepting about $5,000 from parents of New Canaan High School baseball players and requesting $15,000 in next fiscal year’s budget for the balance of a “geese management” program that would include Mead as well as the Saxe Middle School playing fields. The money would be paid to Chris Santopietro of Geese Relief LLC. The company’s website says ‘Got poop? We can help.’

Geese Relief works with “highly trained working border collies,” Santopietro told Park & Rec commissioners at their Dec.

‘The Town Needs To Invest a Little More’: Officials Call for More Funds to Maintain Public Parks’ Grounds

More maintenance is needed in New Canaan’s parks, particularly in landscaping the areas immediately around public buildings, and the officials in charge of them say they’ll seek more money in the upcoming budget season to care properly for the cherished properties. The Parks Department doesn’t have the funds needed “to adequately maintain the parks,” Sally Campbell, chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission, told members of the Town Council at their Nov. 16 meeting. “I just still can’t believe the conditions of the landscaping around our town buildings and around our beautiful town assets,” Campbell said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “And we are fortunate that [Parks Superintendent] John Howe does an amazing job maintaining the athletic fields and maintaining our baseball diamonds—and those are kind of easier to maintain—but to maintain the landscaping around Lapham [Community Center], or in Irwin Park where the weeds are just all over the place or the town buildings, we just need more money.”

The comments came during a pre-budget season review of parks and recreation before the Town Council, the final funding body to sign off on New Canaan’s spending plan each year.