Tag Archives: Westport Parks & Recreation Department

Parks & Rec Names New Golf Pro, Course Superintendent

With spring just a chip shot away, Westport Parks & Recreation Department has filled 2 big golf course holes.

Director Jen Fava announced today the appointment of Jon Janik as head professional, and Todd Salamone as Longshore golf course superintendent.

Janik played at Longshore as a member of the St. Joseph High School golf team.

Jon Janik

Born and raised in Bridgeport, he learned the game at Fairchild Wheeler. He won the 1997 junior club championship there, then 5 years later the men’s club title.

Janik began working in the golf industry while still at Fairfield University. He spent 3 summers at the Ivan Lendl Golf and Tennis Camp. After graduating, he became the assistant pro at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull. A year later, he was named head pro.

In 2007 Janik earned his professional golf management degree, and was elected to PGA membership.

He has won the Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, and been recognized as a US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher.

Janik also served as Trumbull High’s boys golf team head coach. In 2014 he was named FCIAC Boys Golf Coach of the Year.

Todd Salamone

Salamone has been with BrightView Golf Maintenance for 4 years, as senior assistant superintendent at New York’s Village Club of Sands Point. In 2015, he oversaw a bunker renovation there.

The Queens native majored in turf science at Ohio State University. After graduation he worked at private clubs on Long Island, and volunteered at pro events including the US Open and US Amateur.

Fava said, “We are very excited to welcome our new team to Longshore. We look forward to a great season, and lots of good things to come.

“We hope all of our golfers welcome them when the golf season gets underway.”

Information on course openings will be announced soon.

Friends Of Trees

There are 3 subjects I know will always generate huge “06880” reader reactions:

Parking. Dogs. And trees.

The first 2 are predictable parts of Westport life. The 3rd may be less intuitive.

But as regularly as power goes out when the wind blows, any time I post a tree story we get comments from readers who mourn the loss of every tree. And from others who say hey, easy come, easy go.

Yet — until the other day — I had no idea that both tree huggers and Paul Bunyans could find common purpose.

That’s when alert — and arboreal-minded — reader Johanna Rossi told me about the Friends of Parks & Recreation’s Arbor Program.

Full disclosure: I didn’t even know the Friends group existed, either. They’re a  public-private partnership that finances worthwhile projects and services, beyond those paid for by tax dollars.

The website of the Friends of Parks & Recreation website includes a photo of the Longshore entrance -- before the removal of several trees lining the entrance way. New trees have taken their place.

The website of the Friends of Parks & Recreation website includes a photo of the Longshore entrance — before the removal of several trees lining the entrance way. New trees have taken their place.

One of those programs can be found on the Friends’ website  under the heading “Trees, Trees, Trees.” Launched last year, it’s a way to honor “the lives and achievements of friends and families.”

Working with Parks and Rec, tree warden Bruce Lindsay identifies locations where he’d like to plant trees. He notes the specimens and species that thrive there.

Donors can choose their location and tree. The price is based on the cost of planting, as well as a fund to support maintenance — fertilizing, watering, pruning, etc. — for 5 years.

Planting takes place in the spring and fall. Photos and biographical info can be displayed alongside the tree.

It’s a “living legacy” for people to celebrate those who, most probably, are no longer living.

There’s even a GPS locator to help identify locations and tree types. Right now, there are 2 sites: Winslow Park and Compo Beach.

Tree warden Bruce Lindsay has a plan to remove dead trees at Winslow Park -- and replace them.

Tree warden Bruce Lindsay has a plan to remove dead trees at Winslow Park — and replace them.

So the next time I post a story about tree removal, don’t click “Comments.”

Instead, donate a tree.

Here’s The Poop On That Longshore Trash Can

It looks like another gorgeous view of the entrance to Longshore:

Longshore entrance

But look closely next to the stone pillar. See the green trash can?

Before you go all WTF on Parks and Rec, you should know this: It’s only there for the winter. With the golfers’ red trash receptables stowed for the season, this is a way for dog walkers to dispose of the little blue “gift bags” they carry (we hope) while strolling near the beach.

Now that we all know they’re there, there’s no excuse for cleaning up after Fido — then casually dumping his dumpings wherever.

Town Takes Over Riverwalk Maintenance

In 1992, a volunteer committee led by the indefatigable Betty Lou Cummings created the Library Riverwalk and Gardens.

A 6-month fundraising campaign drew 5,000 contributors, donating cash as well as services.

Together with a 2nd phase 7 years later, the accomplishments are stunning:

  • 11,000 bricks, many of them engraved, in a path 638 feet long
  • 57 benches, 3 picnic tables, 23 pole lights and 2 sculptures
  • 127 shrubs and bushes, plus 19 trees (and a sprinkler system)
  • Stairs from the library to the water, and a boat launch walkway.
A small portion of the library Riverwalk.

A small portion of the library Riverwalk.

After 22 years, the committee has asked the town to take over responsibility for maintanance. They’ve turned over $15,000 in their account to help.

Parks and Rec is happy to accept the responsibility. Over the past several years they’ve taken a more active role in assisting the committee. With the opening of the renovated Levitt Pavilion nearby, the time is ripe for the transfer to happen.

The Riverwalk is one of Westport’s hidden gems.

Okay, it’s not really hidden. Plenty of people enjoy it, at all times of day and throughout the year.

But many others don’t know it exists. And not many know the back story of its creation.

Thanks, Betty Lou and the 5,000 donors who helped make it a reality. More than 2 decades later, your work is greatly appreciated.

And it looks better than ever.