Eastern Helps Launch Sustainable CT

               Program Lift Off on January 16 at the Hartford Public Library

Written by Lynn Stoddard

WILLIMANTIC, CT (01/16/2018) Sustainable CT, a new statewide initiative to support Connecticut’s cities and towns, will have its launch in the Hartford area on January 16th at 6:00 p.m. in the Center for Contemporary Culture at the Hartford Public Library, in collaboration with the City of Hartford. Created by towns for towns, the initiative includes a wide-ranging menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning and recognition.

“Sustainable CT provides support to help the City of Hartford and all of our communities achieve the shared values of improved well-being, economic vitality, and environmental stewardship,” said Shubhada Kambli, sustainability coordinator of the City of Hartford, who will also serve on Sustainable CT’s newly formed board of directors.

Many Hartford-area municipal leaders, experts and community members have worked together for the past 18 months to develop Sustainable CT, including Khara Dodds, director of Land Use Planning and Services for Glastonbury, who will also serve on Sustainable CT’s newly formed board of directors; Matthew Hart, town manager of the Town of West Hartford and co-chair of the Cultural Ecosystems Working Group; Mark Moriarty, director of Public Works of the City of New Britain and co-chair of the Sustainable CT Transportation Working Group; and Jennifer Kertanis, director of Health of the Farmington Valley Health District and co-Chair of the Sustainable CT Public Services Working Group.

The Sustainable CT platform supports a broad 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.

“We are excited to register and become a Sustainable CT certified community,” said Ted Shafer, first selectman of Burlington and officer of Sustainable CT’s pending board of directors. “The program provides an engaging opportunity to be recognized for our sustainability successes and to access new opportunities for funding to become an even more sustainable community.”

The 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 Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund-have supported the program’s development and launch.

The Hartford area regional launch event is for anyone interested in learning more about Sustainable CT and how to get involved in supporting implementation of Sustainable CT actions. Event attendees will include municipal elected officials and staff, residents, nonprofits, businesses, college and universities. Tabling organizations will be present to highlight existing sustainability initiatives and successes in the Greater Hartford region.

Regional launch events will be held throughout the state in January. For more information and to register for any regional launch event, visit www.sustainablect.org.