The Town of Southbury recently enhanced its pursuit of sustainability by launching its participation in a voluntary certification program called Sustainable CT. An independently funded, grassroots, municipal effort, Sustainable CT provides a wide-ranging menu of best practices. Southbury will choose from this array of actions, implement them, and earn points toward certification.
“It’s more than just checking the boxes,” says Chuck Litty, founder of Sustainable Southbury, a local, grassroots effort developed on the framework of the larger state program. “Sustainable CT provides a roadmap, resources, and guidance to achieve a more sustainable community. This allows us to engage the community on sustainability projects and initiatives. We’re doing this for lasting impact; for the betterment and future of Southbury”.
Sustainable CT also provides opportunities for grant funding to help communities promote economic well-being and enhance equity. “Many elements of the program intersect economic development,” says Kevin Bielmeier, Southbury’s economic development director, who is serving as the Town’s liaison for the certification process. “As we delve into the proposed actions we are discovering that we are already doing many of them. Participation in the program allows us to highlight our accomplishments and encourages us to go farther.”
The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) has supplied the Town with a Sustainable CT fellow this summer, named Adrian Huq. A sophomore at Tufts University, majoring in Applied Environmental Studies, Adrian is helping guide the Town through the application process, while providing advice on actions and connection to resources, like the Community Match fund and sessions with equity coaches.
Pursuing sustainability takes a village. To help get the word out and build a volunteer base, Sustainable Southbury has a dedicated booth each week at this season’s Farmers’ Market from 3:00pm – 6:00pm every Thursday on the Town Hall green. Joined by other nonprofits whose missions align with aspects of the program, they are educating the community and increasing interest in being a part of this collective movement towards sustainability. If you would like to volunteer to join the effort to make Southbury more sustainable send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you would like more information on Sustainable CT visit www.sustainablect.org and for more info on Sustainable Southbury you can go to its website at sustainablesouthbury.wixsite.com/green.
Economic Development Director
Town of Southbury
[This article first appeared in Southbury Neighbors magazine.]