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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

volume iv, number 7

Our Own Summer Olympics

The push to Fall certification is on!

Our French is a little rusty, and our synchronized swimming could use some work, but our very own Olympic games are taking place this summer - guiding Sustainable CT-registered towns toward achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold in 2024.

Our Fellows are in top form. Our Equity Coaches are bringing years of experience and winning strategies to bear. And this is the time of year when cities and towns across Connecticut can take full advantage of our no cost assistance programs to ensure certification success.

Whether it's engineering support to verify Energy Star certification, technical support for homelessness prevention, streamlining solar permitting in your community, hosting a community resilience building workshop, bench-marking municipal energy use, technical assistance for brownfield reclamation, smart commuting assistance, or strategic energy management guidance, we have the programs and people in place to enhance municipal performance.

Start with our Municipal Energy Bench-marking and Tracking webinar on July 10; don't miss the UCONN Technical Assistance for Brownfields webinars on July 10 and 19; and this month's Coffee Hour covering All Things Certification on July 18 is main event.

So, leave the synchronized swimming to others and medal in something truly impactful this summer. We'll recognize your achievements at our Annual Awards Celebration in the fall. We'll even sing an anthem for you.

If you have questions about our Fellows, Equity Coaches, or any of our no-cost assistance programs, don't hesitate to ask: info@sustainablect.org.

Sustainable CT is independently funded.

Discover how you can become a Sustainable CT sponsor.

The Next Sustainable CT Coffee Hour:

THURSDAY, July 18 at 10 a.m.

We create some certification fireworks


The Coffee Hour is back from hiatus to discuss all things certification. Yes, before you know it, the fall certification deadline (August 20) will be upon us, so please plan to join our July Coffee Hour when we'll be answering any and all questions about the certification process.

AND please note: the Coffee Hour has now officially moved from Friday to Thursday.


Join Sustainable CT for virtual, informal, discussions most third THURSDAYS 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.

July's IMPACT: Campus Sustainability & Activism in CT

Our Fellows explore the grassroots work being done at Connecticut colleges and universities

Sustainable CT Fellows Adrian Huq and Jackie Flaherty will be taking over the big microphone this month to interview collegiate movers-and-shakers in the sustainability movement. Their guests will include: Dylan Steer, President of EcoHusky, lead organizer with Fossil Fuel Free UConn, and UConn Office of Sustainability intern; Amelia Kearney, Founder and Former President of Tunxis Sustainability Club, and Communications Lead at Sunrise Movement Connecticut; and Derek Faulkner from Southern CT State's Office of Sustainability. This promises to be a lively and informative conversation that you won't want to miss!

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

The Community Match Fund

Help provide accessible events for children with special needs

For most families, opportunities for recreation and socialization are all around. But imagine that you have a child who uses a wheel chair, or a child who is nonverbal and uses a communication device, or a child who really struggles with new places, loud noises, or bright lights. In that case, it is much harder to participate in many activities. So, here comes a series of events! Lead by a team of special education and related professionals, "A Series of Accessible Events" is collaborating with local businesses to provide a 12-month series of events that are welcoming and accessible to all children. Show 'em some luv!

LEARN MORE about the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund

Make the Equity Connection

The Groundwater Approach: A Racial Equity Workshop

As part of its ongoing work to advance racial equity throughout the region, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven is offering free community access to The Groundwater Approach, a racial equity workshop that builds an understanding of systemic racism and racial disparities through data and historical analysis. The Groundwater metaphor is designed to help people internalize the reality that we live in a racially-structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity. The metaphor is based on three observations:

  • racial inequity looks the same across systems;
  • socio-economic difference does not explain the racial inequity;
  • inequities are caused by systems, regardless of people’s culture or behavior.

This virtual workshop is being held July 10, 9 a.m. to noon. Note: the workshop will NOT be recorded. Register today!

Jessica LeClair takes charge at Sustainable CT

After an extensive search, and following a heartfelt celebration of the retiring Lynn Stoddard at our Spring into Summer event last month, Jessica LeClair has officially assumed the mantle of Sustainable CT’s Executive Director. (You can read the full announcement here.) We're all very excited and optimistic about our "new beginning" under Jess' leadership, so please wish her well!

CCM's 2024 Business-to-Government Guidebook is Now Available

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) Directory of Products & Services is an annual purchasing guide for Connecticut's municipal officials. The directory features company contact information and product and service descriptions to help you spend less time searching and more time getting things done in your municipality. Read the Directory on your desktop or mobile device, or you can download a printable PDF.

New Canaan Community Foundation Announces New Board Members and a Development Director

The New Canaan Community Foundation (NCCF) welcomed four new members to its Board of Directors. The NCCF board is led by more than 20 volunteers and civic leaders, who seek to understand and represent a wide variety of issues impacting the local community. In addition, NCCF announced it has also hired a new Development Director, Carrie KurtzRead all about it.

Patronicity Publishes Case Study on the Hartford Tree Project

Patronicity, the crowd-funding partner of Sustainable CT Community Match Fund (CMF), released a case study on the Hartford Tree Project, a CMF-supported project. The West Hartford Tree Project, launched in 2020 by Ted and Carolyn Goerner, is on a mission to preserve and restore the Hartford area's tree canopy. Their efforts have already made a significant impact, helping to plant and distribute 3,855 trees!

Governor Lamont Announces State Grants to Remediate 22 Blighted Properties

Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has approved a series of state grants totaling $26.3 million that will be used to support the remediation and redevelopment of 130 acres of contaminated land throughout Connecticut, consisting of 22 properties located in 17 towns and cities.

Bench-marking and Tracking Your Municipality's Energy Use

Save energy and earn points!

Sustainable CT is pleased to partner with Eversource Energy, United Illuminating, and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology’s SmartBuildings CT program to provide energy benchmarking and tracking support to registered Sustainable CT communities within the utility company service territories. Learn more about the SmartBuildings CT program and how it might help your municipality earn points towards actions 7.1 Benchmark and Track Energy Use7.2 Reduce Energy Use Across All Municipal Buildings, and 7.4 Increase Use of Renewable Energy in Municipal Buildings.

This webinar is also eligible for Certified Connecticut Municipal Official (CCMO) professional development credit from the CT Conference of Municipalities.

July 10, 1 - 2 p.m.


DOJ Office of Environmental Justice to Host Environmental Justice Strategic Plan Community Meeting

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Environmental Justice is hosting an Environmental Justice Strategic Plan Community Meeting on July 9, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Headquarters, Gina McCarthy Auditorium, 5th Floor, 79 Elm Street, Hartford. An in-person event.


UCONN Technical Assistance for Brownfields: Prepping for a Cleanup Grant

Looking to apply for an EPA Brownfields Coalition Grant? Don't wait until the Fall to get started! Join the UConn Technical Assistance for Brownfields Program for a webinar to help you prep. July 10, 10 a.m.



UCONN Technical Assistance for Brownfields: Redevelopment - Brownfields to Healthfields

Join the UCONN Assistance for Brownfields Program for a webinar with Miles Ballogg from EnSafe discussing brownfields to "healthfields," July 19 at 10 a.m.


Town of Groton is Hiring a Sustainability and Resilience Specialist

The Town of Groton seeks a Sustainability and Resilience Specialist to assist in the development and implementation of the Town's Climate Action Plan and other greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies, flooding and hazard plans, and climate and resilience projects. This position supports activities that have a direct and positive effect on town-wide sustainability and resilience efforts, including proposing and managing projects and grants, and conducting community outreach and engagement. This is a full-time position. Apply by July 12.


Kate Schapira: Lessons from the Climate Anxiety Counseling Booth

Kate Schapira's book on transforming our climate emotions into connection and action, Lessons from the Climate Anxiety Counseling Boothjust came out, and she'll be talking about it at the David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village, at 1pm on July 13. She'll also be holding a climate anxiety counseling booth session earlier in the day, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., at the same site. An in-person event; free and open to the public.


CT Main Street Center: Main Street Management 101

Gain an understanding of what is main street management and why it is so important, get familiar with the Main Street Management Four Point Approach, and receive some ideas on how you can start implementing the approach into your Main Street. Webinar July 18 at 11 a.m.


For more fun and informative July events,

check out the Sustainable CT Trainings & Events Calendar.

Congratulations and Farewell

Thank you for helping us spring into summer!

It was a bitter-sweet moment. It had to be. Our "Spring into Summer" event this year included a lot of sweet - a beautiful day at Wickham Park, attended by so many of our friends, colleagues and supporters, and congratulating the many accomplishments of our sustainable communities. Old Saybrook certified GOLD; East Haddam achieved SILVER; and eight towns qualified BRONZE status - Barkhamsted, Colchester, Durham, Ellington, Groton, Haddam, Marlborough and Thomaston. We designated two new Climate Leaders as well: Branford and Old Saybrook. A lot to celebrate, indeed. But we also took the opportunity to bid farewell to the retiring, Lynn Stoddard - leader, mentor, friend. Not an entirely sad occasion by any means, because we know she's embarking on a wonderful new chapter in her life and that she'll always be in touch, but it was a meaningful and poignant event nonetheless. And we want to thank all of you who came and participated and shared in this milestone with us. It's one for the memory book, for sure. And special thanks to the generous sponsors of the event - Envest Asset Management, Casella Waste Systems, and SLR Consulting. We can't do what we do without all of you.

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