Take A Hike on CT Trails Day June 6

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May 212015

338317-photo3On Saturday June 6, the Orange and Woodbridge Conservation Commissions will celebrate “Connecticut Trails Day” by jointly hosting a hike at the Racebrook Tract in Orange, CT.  All members of the community are invited to attend this fun outdoor event via a free guided walking tour. 

The event will be supervised by members of the Conservation Commissions from 10 am to 1 pm, and there will be a 1-hour-guided hike starting at 10:30 am.

The Racebrook Tract encompasses nearly 400 acres of open space in the towns of Woodbridge and Orange and provides pristine near-wilderness exploration and passive recreation to all who visit it.  The Tract was purchased from two farmers in the early 1900s by the New Haven Water Company, and the stone walls crisscrossing the Tract are the original farm fences.  Under the direction of the Yale School of Forestry, the Tract was one of the first professionally managed forests in the country, and because periodic timber harvests were conducted by the water authority, the forest is delightfully open today. 

Two relatively level and circuitous trails start in Orange and cross into Woodbridge.  The longer trail is just over 2.5 miles.  The trails pass through expanses of mixed hardwoods and impressive stands of 100-year-old white pines.  Just off the parking lot, there is a handicap-accessible boardwalk going through some interesting wetlands.

Because of its large size, the Tract contains a wide variety of natural habitats and wildlife.  Streambelts, forests, wetlands, meadows, and brush make the area attractive to a variety of animals and songbirds.  Many species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the Tract along with avian predators such as the great horned owl.   

The Orange and Woodbridge Conservation Commissions were formed to advise their Board of Selectmen on the preservation, development, and conservation of natural resources, including water resources, within the Towns of Orange and Woodbridge, respectively. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.02.34 PMThe joint OCC-WCC Racebrook Tract Walk offers an opportunity to take a guided tour of this beautiful open space, meet with your neighbors, and enjoy a lovely New England spring day in the woods.  All members of the community are invited to attend this fun outdoor event.  Children are encouraged, and comfortable and sturdy shoes and clothing are recommended.  Walkers are encouraged to bring water, and refreshments will be served at the end of the hike.  Steady rain and/or lightning will cancel.  Drizzle will not.  Sunday, June 7 is the rain date. 

Orange Conservation Website for additional info: www.orangectconservationcommission.com

For further information contact:  Dan Lynch, Orange Park & Recreation:  203-891-4790.

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Park & Rec Meeting Notes: July 24

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Jul 252013

File photo from a park & Rec meeting

File photo from a park & Rec meeting

The Orange Park & Recreation Department met Wednesday night at Town Hall.

First up on the discussion was the update on the Wolfe Park renovation phases.

Also, FYI: The Racebrook Tract is now cleared of most of the downed trees from the storms and safe for people to walk.

Commissioner Jim Ronai asked who takes care of the baseball fields at Old Tavern Park primarily Brinley Field, which needs work because balls are bouncing and hitting players in the face and other parts of the body during games, whereas on a properly maintained field that doesn’t happen.

Director Dan Lynch said he would look into it.

Rauch Field Scoreboard was replaced, Orange Little League paid for it.

All Park & Rec summer programs have begun. there are openings for day camp and mini camp.

Also, there is a spotlight in the parking lot of Puerto Vallarta that is blinding players at bat and could be to blame for players getting hit by the ball.

Ronai said he spoke with someone who maintains the property and they are willing to change the angle of the light so the remainder of the season will be safer for the players.

Park & Rec: 3 Day December Multi-Sport Camp

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Dec 112012

The Orange Park & Rec Department, 525 Orange Center Road, offers a 3 day December Multi-Sport Camp for grades K-6 by Fun Sportz America.

This three day vacation camp is a wonderful opportunity for your children to participate in group activities, team games and basic sport exercises.

Call the Park & Rec at 203-891-4790 for information or to register.

Programs and costs are:

Activity # 216801-A

Wednesday, Dec. 26 – Friday, Dec. 28
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Activity # 216801-B

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Will take place in the High Plains Community Center Gymnasium.

The Park & Rec Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.



Park & Rec Commission Likes Amity Senior’s Chess Program Proposal

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Oct 032012

A new beginners chess program has been proposed for the Park & Rec Department. (photo from www.VETTON)

Ryan Young, a Senior at Amity, went before the Park And Rec Commission at its September meeting to propose a new chess program for children and adults.

Ryan explained that he learned the game at the tender age of 4 and never lost his love for it.

He wants to run a program that brings beginners together and help them understand the game to the point where they can compete in a lower level tournament.

“I want to raise chess appreciation,” he said.

Often people ‘blow off’ playing chess because they don’t understand what’s going on during the games.

By the end of the program, Ryan would like his ‘students’ to be able to appreciate and play the game, as well as watch a high level competition and understand what is going on.

The Commissioners had a lively conversation about the program and two in particular, Jim Ronai and Jim O’Connor, whose children had participated in chess instructional programs over the years, spoke of its value.

After much discussion, the Commission agreed that Young’s class, starting with 12 to 16 participants would be an asset to the Park & Rec programs.

For more information or to express your interest, call the Park & Rec office at 891-4790.