WILLIMANTIC, CT (01/22/2018) Sustainable CT, a new statewide initiative to support Connecticut’s cities and towns, will be holding two regional launch events in eastern Connecticut this coming week. The first event will be held on Jan. 24 from 6:30-8 p.m. in New London at Connecticut College, in the 1941 Room, College Center at Crozier-Williams, 270 Mohegan Avenue. The second event will take place on Jan. 26 from 9-10:30 a.m. in Willimantic, in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University. The events are free and open to the public.
Created by towns for towns, Sustainable CT includes a wide-ranging menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning and recognition. Many area municipal leaders, experts and community members have worked together for the past 19 months to develop Sustainable CT.
Delpha Very, executive director of economic & community development in Putnam as well director of the town’s redevelopment agency, helped spearhead a group of municipal leaders, nonprofits, academics and business representatives to develop the arts and culture actions in the program. “In Putnam we recognize that the creative workforce is a significant driver of our local economy,” said Very. “By incorporating actions that support arts and culture, Sustainable CT provides municipalities the opportunity and resources to advance their own economic growth.”
The Sustainable CT platform supports a range of actions, such as improving watershed management, supporting arts and creative culture, reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy, implementing “complete streets” (streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers, as well as cars), improving recycling programs, assessing climate vulnerability, supporting local businesses, and providing efficient and diverse housing options. There is no cost to participate and communities will voluntarily select actions that meet their unique, local character and long-term vision. After successful implementation of a variety of actions, municipalities will be eligible for Sustainable CT certification.
The Town of Groton is one local community that has expressed interest in seeking certification. “In Groton we are planning for the future. In the wake of recent coastal flooding events and intense storms, we realize that there is a need to be prepared,” said Deborah Jones, assistant director of planning and development for the Town of Groton. “Sustainable CT, with its forward-looking actions provides a helpful roadmap, and potential funding opportunities that can help the town advance these goals.”
The Sustainable CT initiative was developed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University in partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. Three Connecticut philanthropies – The New Haven-based Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund – have supported the program’s development and launch.
The eastern Connecticut regional launch events are for anyone interested in learning more about Sustainable CT and how to get involved in supporting the implementation of Sustainable CT actions. Event attendees will include municipal elected officials and staff, residents, nonprofits, businesses, colleges and universities.
For more information and to register for any regional launch event, visit www.sustainablect.org.
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut’s public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 163 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 26 other states and 20 other countries. A residential campus offering 40 majors and 65 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Ranked the 25th top public university in the North Region by U.S. News and World Report in its 2018 Best College ratings, Eastern has also been awarded “Green Campus” status by the Princeton Review eight years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.