Notes In A Nutshell: Orange Park & Rec

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Mar 302019

(file photo)

The Orange Park and Recreation Commission met at Town Hall on Wednesday, March 27.

Following is the information that came from this meeting.


Director Dan Lynch reported that Simon Khairallah will be going before the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, for the final approval for his Eagle Scout project.

Mr. Lynch also reported that the garbage can and ice hockey goals were removed from Wright’s Pond.


Two new seasonal maintenance staff members will begin working on Monday, April first.

Director’s Report:

Mr. Lynch spoke about the pool locker room renovations. The pool is currently shut down and the lifeguards are not working at this time. Pool members can use the alternate pool locations at the Jewish Community Center and the Woodbridge Town Pool. The expected completion for this project is July 1.

The South Wing renovations at High Plains Community Center. The expected completion time is the end of May or the beginning of June.

The Exercise Room continues to remain open to members.

There is a new page on the Park & Rec website titled “What’s New.” This page will continue to give pool renovation updates as well as list the upcoming programs. Summer Camp will begin on June 17 and registration begins on April 29. Traveling Teens registration begins on April 22.

Disk golf will resume again this spring.

Notes In A Nutshell – Park and Rec: Would Orange Benefit from A Lacrosse Field?

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Aug 272014

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 7.45.12 PM

The Park and Recreation Commission met tonight at the Orange Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. Much of the meeting was dedicated to the Fred Wolfe Park project.

Girls Lacrosse Field Request

Bill McNeil speaking on hopes for Girls’ Lacrosse field expansion at Fred Wolfe Park

Girls lacrosse is the fastest growing sport around, High Plains is much too crowded. 170 players in Orange.

McNeil did his homework on the history of the park, a recent walk-through of the land, found it would be perfect for LAX fields, except now, it is overgrown and filled with invasive plants (bittersweet etc) that are choking the trees.

It will take a lot of money to put grass/turf fields in at no expense to the town (It will be collected through fund-raising)

Jeff Ocheski from Fuss and O’Neil, the same firm hired to do the plans for the Wolfe Park redevelopment.

Commissioners said that none of the fields would be sports specific (ie just lacrosse of just soccer, etc.)

The park could accommodate football games as well. The master plan includes a 400 meter running track/walking track and bathrooms.

The town is hoping for state grant money to become available, and allowing McNeil and his group to begin preparing their desired site may actually get the ball rolling sooner.

Lighting would be the least invasive to neighbors as possible, according to Park & Rec Chairman Joe Lembo.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli said the bathrooms and building for equipment storage, etc needs to be strategically placed so the overall plan for the 64-acre is fluid. A one-acre dog park also would be a desired addition to the park. Zeoli said a STEEP grant is available now, and this would be a perfect project for the grant, as it would fall under the quality of life portion of the grant.

It was suggested that  a second entrance leading to the park should be built to give the residents on Hollow Road a break.

Residents on Hemlock and surrounding streets should be informed of any changes that will be taking place at Fred Wolfe Park.

There will be a Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Sept. 10 regarding the plans for Fred Wolfe Park. Residents are more than welcome to attend and offer their input.


Dan Lynch – Old Business

A Park & Rec sub committee will make recommendations about improving fields.

Overused fields get “tired” and worn.

The town pool had regular maintenance and will re-open on Sept. 8. new starting blocks will be in.

Day camp numbers were down this year, but successful none-the-less.

Registration for some  fall programs are already open, but other fall program registrations will begin on Sept. 2 for town residents. A week later for non-residents.





Is The Park and Rec Doing Enough To Encourage Recycling In Orange?

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Sep 272013

Members of the Park and Rec Commission discuss the troublesome letter they received from the Recycling Committee.

Members of the Park and Rec Commission discuss the troublesome letter they received from the Recycling Committee.

The Orange Recycling Committee sent in a letter to be read aloud during the Sept. 25 Park and Rec Commission meeting.

Recycling Chairman Mitch Goldblatt reportedly chastised the Park and Rec department for not having enough recycling containers available during town events at the fairgrounds and Old Tavern Park.

Park and Rec Director Dan Lynch said they have recycling containers all over the place, Old Tavern, High Plains etc.

Goldblatt wrote that the Park and Rec department should go through the containers, take out the garbage and make sure all recyclable materials go to the transfer station.

Park and Rec Commission Chairman Joe Lembo said the Recycling Committee made plans for residents so they should have made plans for the town as well.

The Park and Rec Commission discussed having the roll-away bins like residents have and request a recycling truck come in and pick them up.

Lembo said the letter was curt and quite surprising considering that it was the first time his committee has heard there was a problem.

Jim O’Connor said the letter did not specify what the recycling committee was seeing that caused them to be so upset.

“The key is communication,” Lembo said. “I wish we had received a phone call before they decided to send this letter.”

The Park and Rec Commission plans to get in touch with the Recycling Committee so they can try to iron out all the problems.

Are You Ready For This? Orange May Have Its First Half Marathon in November

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Aug 312013

Commissioner Jim Ronai, runner Clint Tibbetts and P & R Chairman Joe Lembo at this week's meeting.

Commissioner Jim Ronai, runner Clint Tibbetts and P & R Chairman Joe Lembo at this week’s meeting.

At this week’s Park & Recreation Commission meeting, Clint Tebbetts from the Shoreline Sharks, a running club out of West Haven offered his proposal, and sought the commission’s approval for a half marathon race — 13.1 miles or 21 kilometers, for Saturday, Nov. 23, (6 days before Thanksgiving) at 8 a.m.

The town of Orange has seen great success with 5k road races, but a half marathon, which would attract an entirely different type of athlete. Tebbetts plotted the race route using a GPS mapping system with the

Race organizer Clint Tebbetts of the Shoreline Sharks.

Race organizer Clint Tebbetts of the Shoreline Sharks.

goal of giving runners a great route without interrupting the normal Saturday vehicle traffic on Orange roadways.

The roads would not be shut down for this race, but police would be at locations where runners have to cross the road.

Tebbetts said he wants the race to be community friendly so the runners would run “with traffic.”

The Shoreline Sharks just began hosting road races and this would be its fourth. Tebbetts said the club gives money to charities, and if the half marathon is successful and the town had a suggestion for a local charitable donation, they would absolutely take it into consideration.

To save money, the club would advertise the race using social media. Advance registration would be $50 (considerably less than other half marathon races), which would include a shirt, medal and food.

All of this sounds great, so the commission surely approved it immediately right? — Not so fast, there were a couple of concerns.

The Shoreine Sharks is simply a club. It is not an LLC or non-profit organization, so therefore, who would insure the race for everyone’s protection (runners, town, volunteers, etc.)?  Tebbetts said he would take out an insurance policy for the race.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli who was in his Town Hall office watching the meeting on OGAT came into the meeting room ans asked to speak.

“The town will not take insurance from a private person, it has to be an LLC or non-profit,” he said.

He also told the Commission that they would have to check with Assistant Police Chief Anthony Cuozzo for police availability for the extra duty race assistance.

After discussing the matter the commission voted to approve  Tebbets’ application IF he received all the other necessary department approvals and obtained the required insurance policy. They agreed to waive the $300 Pavilion rental fee for the couple of hours it would be in use for registration and award presentation if the profits from the race were donated to an Orange charity.






A Dog Park In Orange? Yes, It’s In The Works!

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Jul 052012

Canines may soon be allowed to run leash free in their own Orange Dog Park

July 5, 12:34 p.m.

During the last Orange Parks and Recreation Meeting the commissioners further discussed plans to bring a dog park to town.

Park & Rec Director Dan Lynch said he’d researched successful dog parks from as far away as Massachusettes and as nearby as Hamden.

Currently, Orange has a small fenced in area at the rear of the Orange Fairgrounds near livestock display building, where residents can unleash their friendly dogs and let them run free and play with other dogs.

Lynch said people sometimes use it — but not that many.

It was noted that dog parks are traditionally very small and not a lot of land is dedicated to them, but it’s all about how it’s fenced in. They agreed that it would be a plus for everyone to have one in town.

The commission wants to incorporate a dog park into the Fred Wolfe Park renovation plan and will bring the idea to the park architect.


Commissioner Jim O’Connor said he lives near Eisenhower Park where Milford has a dog park.

He said Milford sees a lot of police activity, littering, loitering teens and if Orange is to pursue it they need to come up with a good plan for upkeep.

Chairman Joe Lembo said, “At the Hamden dog park, people go and meet there while their dogs play. The upkeep is taken on by dog owners.”

Lembo noted O’Connor’s concerns and acknowledged that all of those things would need attention as the plans progress.

A satellite map of Fred Wolfe Park as it stands now.

Fred Wolfe Park is located in a secluded area off of Ridge Road.