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Monday, April 1, 2024

volume iv, number 4

All 169 Connecticut Towns

Certify GOLD

Sustainable CT: 'Mission Accomplished'

STORRS, CT, April 1, 2024 – Sustainable CT, a statewide, voluntary certification program that supports sustainability best practices in Connecticut municipalities, announced that all 169 Connecticut towns have met the requirements for Gold level certification.

Until the most recent certification cycle, only the City of New Haven had qualified for Gold in September of last year; 33 towns were certified Bronze; 24 had achieved Silver status; and 36 towns were as yet unregistered for the program. A late surge in both registrations and applications, however, along with a tremendous amount of work accomplished by hundreds of volunteers and municipal officials alike, produced an outcome that astonished even Lynn Stoddard, Sustainable CT’s executive director and veteran of the certification process.

“I didn’t think it was possible,” said Stoddard. “All of these towns put on their big pants and got the job done. Now there’s nothing left to do but close up shop. Mission accomplished!”

Lorenzo Tinderhook, town manager of East New Hamsfieldbury, disagreed. “Well, first we want to go to a big party where we’ll get to eat hors d'oeuvres,” Tinderhook said. “And now that we’ve seen all the benefits of Gold certification,” he added, “we have our sights set on Platinum. I don’t think Sustainable CT will be going away any time soon.”


Sustainable CT is independently funded.

Discover how you can become a Sustainable CT sponsor.

We're making Earth Day last.

Join us for a special webinar on April 30 featuring Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


Who says Earth Day begins and ends on April 22? We're officially extending it - at least on our little corner of the earth - to include April 30. That's when Brenda Mallory, Waterbury native and Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, will join us with an inspiring Earth Day message and the opportunity to ask her questions about the Biden-Harris administration's approach to improving, preserving, and protecting America’s public health and environment.

Please register to join us for this special event on Tuesday, April 30, at noon. While registering, be sure to let us know what questions you would ask Chair Mallory.

And Happy Earth Day - everyday!

The Next Sustainable CT Coffee Hour:

April 19 at 10 a.m.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Fund: building resilience in Connecticut communities


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) supports initiatives to improve water quality and foster resilient communities, all with the ultimate goal of supporting the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. Our next Coffee Hour will explore the LISFF funding program and provide guidance on how you can collaborate with the LISFF Field Liaison team to develop proposals and access technical assistance.

REGISTER for April 19>

Join Sustainable CT for virtual, informal, discussions most third Fridays of each month. We share program updates and resources, explore your questions, and strengthen the network of Sustainable CT champions. These sessions are free and open to all.

April's IMPACT: Weston High School

April isn't the cruelest month for pollinators

Weston High School teacher Michael Aitkenhead and a few of his industrious students will be joining us to discuss their pollinator garden project - an interactive ecosystem where students can get hands-on experience with wildlife and problem-solving. Good things happen in the spring at Weston HS, so join us to hear the buzz. A Community Match Fund project!

This month's episode of the IMPACT will be available on April 15 at sustainablect.org and wherever you get your podcasts.

The Community Match Fund

Supporting Earth Day(s)

Our Community Match Fund is supporting two great Earth Day events: Earth Day in Blue Back Square in West Hartford on April 20 and On Earth Hartford 2024 on April 27Great for families, great for the earth!

LEARN MORE about the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund

Make the Equity Connection

Join our special guests from the Indaba Action Team

Please join us for Sustainable CT's next Equity Connections with the Indaba Action Team on April 5 from 11:30 - 12:30 on Zoom. In addition to our Equity Coaches, our special guests will be the Indaba Action Team - concerned, committed, and curious CT Shoreline community members who are exploring, learning about, and becoming more aware of their own implicit bias, as well as how racism is practiced in our culture and communities. They will share their story and what they are doing to build deeper understanding to address racism, including an upcoming Indaba Action Team event supported by Sustainable CT's Community Match Fund.



Our spring Virtual Equity Training series takes place April 10, May 15 and June 12. All sessions are from 1 to 3 p.m.

These no-cost, virtual events provide a comprehensive framework of racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Who should attend? Sustainability Team members (elected officials, municipal staff, commissioners, volunteers) in registered Sustainable CT communities. This will be a live training series and will not be recorded.

Attendance at all three sessions is required to complete the series, and you should only sign up if you intend to participate for the duration of each session. Attendance for our virtual equity workshops is capped at 35, and spaces fill up quickly, so please register without delay.

LEARN MORE about Sustainable CT Equity Coaches

Newly Registered Towns in March

And you thought 'March Madness' was only about basketball

Three towns became newly registered with Sustainable CT in March: Colebrook, Danbury and Sharon. A hearty hail and welcome to all three - we're excited to work with all your dedicated residents to achieve certification. And, for those keeping score, that means 134 of Connecticut's 169 municipalities - nearly 80% - are registered with Sustainable CT. Now that's a winning team!

Is your town still on the sidelines? Contact us, and we'll provide all the information you need to get in the game.

DEEP Newsletter Highlights Sustainable CT/National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System

The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) newsletter, The Torrent, highlights Sustainable CT's Action 5.9, Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS). New Action 5.9 provides 20 points under the Sustainable CT program for communities that participate in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS). CRS communities can apply for these additional 20 points during the Sustainable CT spring cycle certification (deadline April 10, 2024, 12:00pm).


Yale Program on Climate Change Communication's Newest Report: "International Public Opinion on Climate Change - Extreme Weather and Vulnerability, 2023"

In partnership with Data for Good at Meta and Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) recently conducted a study investigating public experiences with and preparedness for extreme weather and climate-related hazards in 73 areas that are classified as “low-emissions.” The study uses a subset of a major survey in which they investigated climate change attitudes and behaviors in nearly 190 countries and territories. The survey was fielded from August 3 – September 3, 2023.


Energize Connecticut Earns 2024 Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award

The sponsors of Energize Connecticut, Eversource and Avangrid, announced that they have received the 2024 Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. This is the ninth time the sponsors have been recognized for their joint efforts, continued leadership and commitment to providing robust energy efficiency programs for customers in Connecticut.


Governor Lamont Announces Launch of Microtransit Services

Governor Ned Lamont and Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto today announced that new microtransit services will begin in various communities throughout Connecticut between March 26, 2024, and July 30, 2024. Microtransit service is an accessible, on-demand mode of transportation that allows customers to use a smartphone app or telephone number to request and schedule a ride within designated service areas.


The deadline for Spring certification submissions is April 10 at noon.

Questions? Contact us at info@sustainablect.org. We can help.

A Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut Earth Day Event

Environmental Justice and Climate Resiliency

Hear from nonprofit, municipal and tribal advocates who are implementing conservation strategies while increasing equitable decision making and access to nature. Learn from local experts how you can take steps to support regional efforts to mitigate the challenges presented by climate change. Sustainable CT's Lynn Stoddard will be facilitating the conversation at this in-person event - Monday, April 22, 4-6 p.m., at the Mystic Aquarium/Milne Center, 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic.


April 1-7 is Food Waste Prevention Week!

More than 600 partners across 48 states have joined together to educate and inspire real cultural change on food waste. Be a part of something that is truly moving the needle on reducing food waste, supporting a healthier environment, saving families money, and addressing food insecurity in our communities. 


CT Power & Energy Society Hosts Thermal Resources Webinar

Interested in thermal loops? Join the CT Power & Energy Society for their webinar "Full Steam Ahead: The Future of District Energy & Municipal Thermal Resources", which will explore how thermal loops can power major cities. This is a paid, virtual event with member and non-member pricing: April 9, 12-1 p.m.


Fairfield County's Community Foundation Hosts The Fund for Women & Girls Annual Celebration

Don't miss out on the chance to be a part of something extraordinary. You'll hear from legendary broadcast journalist and health advocate, Jane Pauley, keynote speaker, along with the insightful words of guest speaker Dr. Katherine Golar. FCCF's special guest is comedian Jane Condon, whose humor promises to add an extra sparkle to the evening. A paid in-person event: April 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Greenwich Country Club, 19 Doubling Road, Greenwich.



The FCCF Hosts "In Community: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones"

Produced in partnership with The Equity Lab and Connecticut Public, the program will explore many of the themes Hannah-Jones explores in her work for The New York Times Magazine, creator of The 1619 Project, and as the Knight Chair of Race and Journalism at Howard University. An in-person event; general admission $20. May 2, 5:30 p.m., at the District Music Hall, Norwalk.


"Death by a Thousand Cuts" at the Andrews Memorial Hall, Clinton

Indaba and M.A.D. Content, Clinton Arts Council, Clinton Human Rights Committee, and Henry Carter Hull Library are presenting a critically acclaimed one-act play written and directed by award-winning screenwriter, Steve Driffin, called Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Requiem for Black and Brown Men. This full theatrical production depicts the life encounters, trauma and microaggressions of Black and Brown men who have been historically and culturally silent about the pain they endure living in their skin in America. Performance followed by a Q&A and panel discussion. A free event: Saturday, April 13, 7 p.m., at the Andrews Memorial Town Hall, Clinton.


Connecticut Green Bank Holds Spring 2024 Update Webinar

The Green Bank will provide an update on programs and solutions for homes, buildings, and investments. Topics will include energy storage solutions, news on C-PACE, Smart-E, Green Liberty Notes and more. A virtual event: Wednesday, April 23, 12-1 p.m.


The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Hosts "The Groundwater Approach: Building a Practical Understanding of Cultural Racism"

The Groundwater Approach is a framework that helps us understand how racial inequities are embedded in our systems and institutions. How can we work together to address them? The workshop will provide data, stories and analysis that challenge assumptions and inspire action. A virtual event: April 24, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


For more fun and informative April events,

check out the Sustainable CT Trainings & Events Calendar.

We're going back to where it began to bid farewell to Lynn!

Our Spring into Summer 2024 event will take place at Wickham Park in Manchester on June 11 from 4 to 7 p.m.

We're coming full circle - back to the place where we celebrated those who participated in creating Sustainable CT with a "party in the park" in July, 2017. This year, in addition to celebrating the progress Connecticut communities have made over the years, we'll also be bidding farewell to our retiring executive director and founder, Lynn Stoddard. We’ll provide light fare and good cheer, and beautiful Wickham Park will provide the ambiance. Please join us.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event. Call 860-259-4729 to discuss options.

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