Sustainable CT Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable CT Certification Report of Ridgefield, a Sustainable CT bronze certified applicant.

Ridgefield was certified on November 01, 2021 with 230 points. Listed below is information regarding Ridgefield’s Sustainable CT efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable CT contact for Ridgefield is:

Name:Benjamin Oko
Title/Position:Liaison to Sustainable ct. / Ridgefield Action for the Environment

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Ridgefield was approved for in 2021 appears below. Please enjoy this opportunity to view and learn from the information and materials provided.

Notes: Submission content was created by Ridgefield, and Sustainable CT makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the submission, beyond that an individual reviewer approved at least some elements of the action for certification. Further, standards for actions below may have changed, and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action. Finally, approved actions here may include some documents and descriptions in support of action elements that were not approved, in addition to elements that were approved. In preparing your own application, please rely only on the action write-ups for the current certification year to guide your submission. Please contact [email protected] with specific questions.

  • 1. Inclusive and Equitable Community Impacts

    1.1 Optimize for Equity — REQUIRED for All Certification Levels

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 1.1 Optimize for Equity (10pts)

    Documentation Details: The narrative document is the primary part of the submission. All other supporting documents submitted in their entirety are the work papers which resulted in the final 2020 Plan of Conservation and Development for the Town of Ridgefield. As advised, specific examples from these work papers were included in the narrative document. The work done to compile the information in the briefing documents, solicitation flyer sample, kickoff meeting materials, demographic profiles and survey results are what was distilled down to the final production of the Town of Ridgefield 2020 Plan of Conservation and Development.

    Partners: 1.1. The Town engaged the professional services of Planimetrics, Cameoin Associates and New England Geosystems under the supervision of Town Planner, Richard Baldelli, to help develop the 2020 POCD document.

    Additional Information: none

  • 2. Thriving Local Economies

    2.3 Inventory and Promote Local Products and Services

    10 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 2.3.2 Develop, implement and maintain an ongoing “buy local” campaign. (10 pts)

    Documentation Details: 2.3.2 Ridgefield's Economic Community and Development Commission (RECDC) is the primary driver of Buy and Dine Local efforts, 3 documents, including the worksheet show that work. In addition, Ridgefield residents and business owners have a strong commitment to buying local, as evidenced in the pdf of images from different organizations promoting local buying.

    Partners: 2.3.2 Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce works with Ridgefield Economic Development Council in promoting downtown events focused on buy local

    2.4 Provide Resources and Supports to Local Businesses

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 2.4.1 business roundtables (5pts)

    Documentation Details: 2.4.1 ECDC Minutes June 2020, 1st page references webinar on needs to open businesses after 1st lockdown - Contact was Bob Knight, Commissioner, [email protected] 2.4.1 ECDC Minutes October 2020, 2nd page, half way down discussion of content for upcoming webinar on selling online - Contact was Geoffry Morris, Commissioner, [email protected]

    Partners: 2.4.3 local performance and arts venues agreed to host music for the Jazz and Blues weekend which encouraged people to visit Ridgefield and stay to shop and dine.

  • 3. Well-Stewarded Land and Natural Resources

    3.3 Engage in Watershed Protection and Restoration

    15 Points

    Approved Information: 3.3.2 Adopt wetlands protections (15 pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: Wetlands Regulation document details how it increases the area within which any significant development activity would be considered a ‘regulated activity’, specifically by increasing the area of ‘upland review’ from 50 feet to 100 feet from a wetland or 150 feet from a the spring high water mark of a vernal pool or significant river (Norwalk, Titicus, Saugatuck River and Silvermine rivers).

    Partners: 3.3.2 none

    Additional Information: none

    3.4 Develop an Open Space Plan

    30 Points

    Approved Information: 3.4.3 Maintain a plan that prioritizes acquisitions, enhances ecosystem, connects open space parcels, offers recreational benefits (10pts) 3.4.4b Protect open space - acquired land November 2020 (5pts) 3.4.4c Conservation rangers and trail created on above land (5pts) 3.4.4.d Maintain Acquisition Fund (10pts)

    Documentation Details: 3.4.3 The Open Space preservation plan can be found in Chapter 7, p48 3.4.4b Last paragraph on first page of Bear Mountain document details acquisition in 2020 3.4.4c Provided an overview document and 2 supporting materials showing communications about the program 3.4.4d Details of the fund are in the document along with the most recent annual appeal letter

    Partners: none

    Additional Information: Links and details to information on all our conservation programs and policies can be found on Ridgefield town website

    3.5 Create a Natural Resource and Wildlife Inventory

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 3.5.1 Natural Resources Inventory (10pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: 3.5.1 2012 Inventory in full- introduction and context also found on town's website

    Partners: 3.5.1 Ridgefield Conservation Commission partnered with the Metropolitan Conservation Alliance, a program of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies,

    Additional Information: none

    3.10 Facilitate Invasive Species Education and Management

    5 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 3.10.2 Municipal Removal of Invasive Species (5 points)

    Documentation Details: 3.10.2 Description and photos of removal project 3.10.3 Public Education - screenshot of town website with educational information

    Partners: 3.10.2 Ridgefield Conservation Commission and Ridgefield Parks & Recreation 3.10.3 Webinar program part of Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway series presented by Ridgefield Library, The Norwalk River Watershed Association, and the Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway

    Additional Information: 3.10.3 Public Education - most recent event by Ridgefield Pollinator Pathways and presented by Ridgefield Town Library: “Welcoming Spring Flowers - Yikes! - Where Did All Those Invasive Plants Come From?” March 11, 2021 The webinar focused on the reasons invasives interfere in the environment, methods of eradicating them, and an introduction to some of the most commonly seen invasive plants in Fairfield County.

  • 4. Vibrant and Creative Cultural Ecosystems

    4.1 Map Tourism and Cultural Assets

    5 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 4.1.2 CT Visits Website profile (5pts)

    Documentation Details: 4.1.2 1 page description of how information is maintained

    Partners: 4.1.2 none

    Additional Information: none

    4.2 Support Arts and Creative Culture

    20 Points

    Approved Information: 4.2.1 Poet Laureate 4.2.3 Dedicated funding for the arts 4.2.5 Establish an arts council 4.2.8 Establish an arts district / cultural district 4.2.11d Develop artists network (10 pts. for 1st 3 and 5 each for additional 2)

    Documentation Details: 4.2 Document has information on 4.2.3, 4.2.8 and 4.2.11d 4.2.1 -BOS special meeting minutes has approval of Poet Laureate for 3 year term on p1 4.2.8 - Detailed article announcing Ridgefield's Cultural District designation- highlighted text on p 2 and 3 describe process for designation, what's included and what happens next.

    Partners: 4.2.1 None 4.2.3 None 4.2.5 None 4.2.8 Economic and Community Development Commission coordinated the extensive application submission with all the various arts and cultural organizations and worked with the CT State Office of the Arts for this first application of their new program. 4.2.11d the many arts organizations in town

    Additional Information: For sect 4.2.8. - Ridgefield’s Cultural District was created to be a walkable area of town that features myriad cultural attractions that will serve as a hub for residents to congregate and interact, as well as draw visitors from other locations. It was selected to include downtown Ridgefield and surrounding areas that stretch from Keeler Tavern in the south portion through Ballard Park and the Ridgefield Library in the north, and a half mile east to the Ridgefield Theater Barn and Guild of Artists. The district encompasses other cultural assets such as the Pride Arts Center, Conservatory of Dance, Prospector Theater, Scott House, ACT of CT and the Ridgefield Playhouse.

  • 5. Dynamic and Resilient Planning

    5.1 Integrate Sustainability into Plan of Conservation and Development

    40 Points

    Approved Information: 5.1.1.b Integrate Sustainability Concepts into POCD (40 points)

    Documentation Details: The 5.1 worksheet identifies exact pages in our POCD that relate to different actions. Pages cited in the worksheet as evidence for credit refer to the list of Sustainable CT sustainability concepts included as information (but not policy) in the POCD (pages 26-33). But all of those concepts were included elsewhere in the document as either adopted policy or proposed action steps. Here are the citations for the language in support each concept: 1 Land Use Patterns. Pg 35 1A2 and Chapter 12. 2 Compatible Physical Development and Stewarship. Pg 46 policy 2, pg 47 policy 3. 3 Municipal Programs and Operations. Pg 36 Goal 2. 4 Community Character and Livability. Chapter 5 goals. 5. Economic Vitality & Resilience. Chapter 8-11. 6. Resilient Infrastructure. Pg 37 goal 5, 121 policy 3, 120 policy 2. 7. Other- awarded for energy reduction policies discussed on page 36.

    Partners: 5.1.1b participating citizens who provided feedback in developing the plan

    Additional Information: none

    5.5 Inventory and Assess Historic Resources

    5 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 5.5.4 Certified Local Government (5pts)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: The document is from National Parks Cultural Resources website with information from 2009-2019

    Partners: 5.5.4 none

    Additional Information: none

  • 6. Clean and Diverse Transportation Systems and Choices

    6.4 Support Zero Emission Vehicle Deployment

    10 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 6.4.1 Host EV education seminar sponsored by Ridgefield Library adult programs (5pts) 6.4.4 EV charging infrastructure assessment for Ridgefield CT (5 points)

    Documentation Details: 6.4.1 powerpoint for training 6.4.2 Certificate for EV school bus 6 week training for a member of RACE and the Energy 6.4.4 is the Energy Task Force's analysis and recommendations for increasing Ridgefield's EV use by citizens and town operations.

    Partners: 6.4.1 seminar in partnership with Ridgefield Library 6.4.2 offered by Live Green CT 6.4.4 none

    Additional Information: none

  • 7. Renewable and Efficient Energy Infrastructure and Operations

    7.1 Benchmark and Track Energy Use

    5 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 7.1 Track Energy Use in Municipal and Board of Education Buildings (5 points)

    Documentation Details: We worked with Amy Thompson to update the manager. She said she would submit the report. If that is not how this works we will try and figure out how to submit.

    Partners: 7.1 various city departments and UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering (UTC-IASE) of University of Connecticut to update the ENERGYSTAR manager portfolio

    Additional Information: Attached is the spreadsheet result of the Data Request made thru Energy Star Portfolio Manager and copy of email confirmation of data request.

    7.3 Achieve High Energy Performance for Individual Buildings

    5 Points

    Approved Information: 7.3.2 Achieve LEED certified for a municipal building, 5 points

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: Link to LEED Silver certification in document

    Partners: 7.3.2 The Town helped the Library raise the funds to build a LEED certified building and continues to give some funding to its annual budget.

    Additional Information: none

  • 8. Inclusive Engagement, Communication and Education

    8.1 Hold a Sustainability Event

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 8.1.1 Support and hold a sustainability event (10 points)

    Supporting Documentation:

    Documentation Details: Worksheet 8.1 lists the unique sustainability events we hosted this year.

    Partners: 8.1 Ridgefield town library and downtown business association for one of the events

    Additional Information: none

  • 9. Strategic Materials Management

    9.4 Reduce and Compost Organic Waste

    10 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 9.4.2 Develop A Food Waste Prevention or Food Scraps Recovery Program (10 pts)

    Documentation Details:

    Partners: 9.4.2 Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority - governmental authority

    Additional Information: Town of Ridgefield also has a local business Curbside Composting that provides services to both residential and commercial business. This business is collaborating with the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (a town commission) to gain entry into the schools to reignite the zero cafeteria waste program. We are earnest in our belief to reach the state designated 60% diversion goal by 2024, we must grow food waste reduction efforts. We try to keep in mind the US EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy model in our brainstorming for public education actions.

  • 10. Optimal Health and Wellness Opportunities

    10.4 Develop and Promote Community Growing Spaces

    15 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 10.4.1 Develop and promote inclusive spaces and programs that provide opportunities for residents to engage in local farming, gardening, or other forms of horticulture or plant cultivation. (15 points)

    Documentation Details: McKeon Farm Description - pdf available on Town Open Space website references Cornerstone Gardens in 3rd paragraph of the Features section Screenshot 'What's New' shows highlight of Cornerstone Gardens on Town website

    Partners: Cornerstone Gardens coordinates the program and volunteers from Boy Scouts, Lions Heart Club, Ridgefield Public Schools in growing food.

    Additional Information: none

  • 11. Healthy, Efficient and Diverse Housing

    11.1 Implement an Affordable Housing Plan

    10 Points

    CT Success Story

    Approved Information: 11.1.1 Have an affordable housing commission (10 pts)

    Documentation Details: 11.1 describes current status of the affordable housing commission and its members for action 11.1.1

    Partners: 11.1.1 the Housing Authority manages affordable housing units.

    Additional Information: none

  • 12. Effective, Compassionate Homelessness Prevention

    12.4 Provide or Mobilize Resources to Address Homelessness

    10 Points

    Approved Information: 12.5.3 Coordinate funds to prevent homelessness (10pts)

    Documentation Details: Ridgefield Social Services Update describes on page 1 a variety of programs designed to lessen the strain on household budgets by providing food, so remaining household funds can go to housing and other needs. An additional program listed on the worksheet is described midway on p2 - Feed our Tigers.

    Partners: 12.5.3 Social Services coordinated some volunteers and distribution for programs while a private grocery store raised funds to donate food, a local nonprofit Compassionate Ridgefield solicited volunteers, Tiger Hollow recruited donors in school community for summer food donations, through out the year many civic groups including Rotary Club, Churches and many, many individual donors gave money to the emergency fund.