Parks & Rec Commission Approves Waveny Ball Field Renovations

The plan includes a new 90-ft baseball field equipped with artifical turf for the New Canaan High School boys' varsity team and renovated fields for the girls' varsity and junior varsity softball teams.


At its Dec. 12 meeting, New Canaan's Parks and Recreation Commission approved a $1.4 million plan for renovating Waveny Park's softball and baseball fields, which will include a new 90-ft baseball field equipped with artifical turf for the New Canaan High School boys' varsity team and renovated fields for the girls' varsity and junior varsity softball teams. The fields will also serve the town's youth and adult recreational teams.

Waveny currently has two girls' softball fields, two mens' softball fields and a 90 ft baseball field, so the plan (see attached PDF) won't add or take away the number of fields at the park, which is important to all parties involved, according to Patrick Edmonds, a member of New Canaan Baseball Softball Inc., which designed the plan with the Waveny Fields Renovation Committee.

"We've done our due diligence, so that girls' softball, mens' softball and high school ball wouldn't lose out on anything," he told Patch on Friday. "If anything, they all have something to gain."

An earlier version of the plan involved reducing the number of softball fields from four to three and adding a Cal Ripkin-sized baseball field for 11- and 12-year-old players, thus forcing men's and girls' softball teams to share a field, but scheduling conflicts made it unpopular with coaches.

"We don't want to put any constraints on any program's access to the field, so we decided we were going to go with a different plan," Edmonds said.

The new plan, he said, also has the potential to provide space for soccer and field hockey use. "We're excited about the versatility of the artificial turf field, as well as the possibility to utilize the outfield," he added.

After the plan is approved by all required town bodies, the groups are tasked with raising the private funds to back the project. The groups are hoping to begin construction in August, so that it will be ready for use in spring 2014. Fairfield-based consulting firm of Blades & Goven is assisting the overall site planning and design, while McChord Engineering Associates is performing the detailed site design.

"It's a work in progress," Edmonds said. "We have a fair amount of initial soft commitments from some New Canaan residents. We're just gonig to beat the bushes on all sides in regards to raising funds."

Steve Benko, the head of the Parks and Recreation Commission, told Patch that raising the money for the renovations is going to be a "big job."

"No town money will be involved and they only have five months to raise the funds if they want to be ready for next spring," he said. "That's quite a project."

Edmonds said that $100,000 has already been raised to fund the design of the plan and that one of the initial next steps is to get a special permit from the New Canaan Town Council to equip the girls' varsity softball field with new lighting.

He added that it's important for residents to know that the renovations will have little effect on the park's use overall.

"We're reconfiguring space already used by the current baseball fields," he said. "We're not taking any other space from Waveny Park and and changing its purpose. We're making improvements."

Glen K Dunbar January 14, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Ball field...Baseball. What a nice dream/thought. Too bad the weather around here is so crumby ALL the time. Stinks. Wish I can go to AZ CA FL HI
G. Eastman January 14, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Astroturf in Waveny Park? Lovely.
Patrick Henry January 14, 2013 at 02:19 PM
What is wrong with the Mead Park Field the Varsity team usually plays on?
God Bless New Canaan January 14, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Didn't we just spend a full year and a refferrendum fighting 1.1 mil for Main St. sidewalks? Is this a new request for additional lighting at Waveny, or the same one that came up last month?
G. Eastman January 14, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Well, for one, the new field at Waveny would have lights. Also I imagine the AstroTurf would mean less rainouts.
Chow mein January 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM
What about old geezers like me who have been paying school taxes nearly forever only to see my taxes subsidize other people's kids schooling? To add insult to injury my tax dollars have paid for the slicing and dicing of my beloved and wild Waveny Park, which has been hijacked into becoming the back yard to a multitude of ball fields and swimming pool.
mary parker January 15, 2013 at 06:01 AM
To me it seems all of the Park and Rec money always goes towards the baseball fields upgrades. What about Mead Park Tennis Courts? I worked there for 10 years and they needed upgrades yet the baseball fields got the upgrades. I drove by this winter and couldn't believe my eyes. Fencing down, lights for night playing down, the pathways to the lower courts crumbling, all of the gates to the tennis courts wide open, not locked up for the winter, benches smashed, garbage pails turned over, court brooms still out on the courts getting ruined by winter, the roller machine out on courts 7 and 8 uncovered rusting away. Place looks like crap! This equipment is expensive to replace. Why are the courts neglected? At least when I worked there I cared about this. They need to be upgraded and cared for properly instead of looking like they are now.
marilyn January 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Well put, chowmein.
spencer richardson January 15, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I note that the article refers to "mens' softball fields" and "girls' softball fields." Does that mean that there are no boys' softball fields" or womens' softball fields, or is the term "mens' softball fields" meant to include boys and "girls' softball fields" to include women? Somehow I thought the 1950's had ended....
Hope January 15, 2013 at 05:16 PM
What do the romantic Waveny wedding planners think of this plan?
Patrick Henry January 16, 2013 at 02:12 AM
I am curious of how the parking/traffic in Waveny will be affected. I know Mead Park becomes quite clustered for the Varsity ball games. Factor in soccer matches and softball games I imagine nary a spot will be available for walkers and joggers. Unless the plan calls for additional parking.


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