Volunteers help Trumbull earn sustainable community certification
TRUMBULL — Years of hard work by a group of community volunteers recently paid off with the town being one of 17 state municipalities to achieve Sustainable CT certification. Trumbull qualified for bronze level certification, the second highest.
“This certification acknowledges the forward-thinking work the town has done and continues to do,” First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said. “It is a true team effort and I thank the members of the Sustainable Trumbull Team for all their hard work.”
Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more efficient, resilient, and inclusive, announced its 2020 fall certified communities last week.
The effort has been led locally by Sustainable Trumbull, a group of volunteers who have held online and in-person composting classes and instructional sessions in things like green energy financing, invasive plant identification and removal, and making private yards more friendly to pollinators like bees, birds and butterflies.
Last weekend, the group organized a virtual town-wide cleanup that resulted in the removal of 246 pounds of trash, according to committee member Mari Jackson. On Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving, members are planning a second cleanup focused on the Twin Brooks and Daniels Farm Road areas. The goal for the second cleanup is 350 pounds.
Sustainable Trumbull also has recently begun collecting non-traditional recyclable materials like denim, plastic bags and packaging material. The collection drive takes place the second Saturday of each month at Trumbull High School between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
In its application for Sustainable CT certification, Trumbull demonstrated significant achievements in actions in nine sustainable impact areas ranging from inclusive community building, thriving local economies, and vibrant arts and culture to clean transportation and diverse housing. Trumbull successfully completed actions including sustainable land use practices, recycling and solar initiatives, and economic assistance.
Town Planner Rob Librandi said achieving bronze-level certification demonstrated the town’s commitment to maintaining a sustainable community. He said the town would continue to build sustainability by working with all town departments, boards and commissions to achieve silver certification, the highest level.
“We will also bring other members of our community to help with our efforts including our schools, local businesses and volunteer organizations,” he said. “Together we can showcase Trumbull as a model of sustainability, cooperation and success.”
So far, 112 municipalities have registered for the Sustainable CT program, representing 80 percent of the state’s population. And 61 municipalities, over 36 percent of the state’s communities, have earned Sustainable CT certification. Certification lasts for three years, with submissions evaluated by independent experts and other Sustainable CT partners.
Lynn Stoddard, the program’s executive director, congratulated the communities that had achieved certification.
“They join a growing number of certified towns and cities that are demonstrating municipal practices that make our communities more inclusive, healthy, connected, and strong,” she said.
The program is managed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and funded by its three founding funders: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Smart Seed Fund, and support from other groups including the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, and other sponsors.
Trumbull and all spring and fall 2020 certified communities will be recognized later this year at the Annual Convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities in December. For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org.