The Board of Selectmen Tuesday morning unanimously approved the installation of the long-proposed fitness trail in Waveny Park following the approval by the Parks and Recreation Commission on Dec. 8.

"This is an idea that has been a long time coming," First Selectman Jeb Walker said. "Besides children, a number of other constituencies will benefit from this, including seniors."

Selectman Rob Mallozzi also praised the project saying "it sounds like a wonderful addition to our town."

Judi Anders, president of the Special Education Network of New Canaan (SPED*NET), along with many other supporters around town, have been advocating the development of the new fitness path with outdoor exercise equipment in Waveny Park for some time now. SPED*NET plans to donate the equipment.

"It is very difficult, as special needs children get older and outgrow playgrounds, for them to have social interaction with everyone," Anders said. "With a fitness path that could be used by everyone, they would have that necessary interaction."

The idea for the fitness path was originally conceived by Ron and Tina Rosenfeld, owners of the New Balance store in town, in 2009. The Rosenfelds had approached SPED*NET after seeing a surprising amount of customers with Autism coming into their store.

For the past two years, SPED*NET and New Balance co-sponsored the All Out For Autism run in New Canaan to help raise funds for the proposed fitness area. Thus far, the event has raised more than half of the funds needed for the equipment and accessories. Anders said they hope to place around 10 pieces of exercise equipment in the area along with a new surface for the actual path.

The location, which is directly across from the soccer field southwest of Waveny house, may also benefit many of the high school teams like track and cross country.

With support from everyone including senior citizens, it is unlikely that the project will hit too many speed bumps.

Anders said that everyone is looking at this fall as a possible completion time for the project. She is hoping for another Autism run and other fund-raising opportunities to help bring the initiative to life.

"We're very excited," she said. "It will be great bringing people of all abilities to be accepted as one."

The proposal still needs approval from the Town Council and Planning and Zoning Commission.