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Requests for press assistance should be directed to the Sustainable CT communications manager, Jim Hunt, via email or by calling 860-259-4732.


 

For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

 

Five Communities Achieve Prestigious Sustainable CT Certification


STORRS, CT, May 31, 2022 - Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more resilient, inclusive and efficient, announced its 2022 spring certified communities this week.

In all, five towns qualified for certification during the 2022 spring submission cycle.

Guilford, Lyme and Southbury all met high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for bronze-level certification. Coventry and Vernon achieved silver-level certification, the highest level of certification currently offered.

Sustainable CT includes actions that help towns and cities build community connection, social equity, and long-term resilience. The program’s action roadmap and support tools are especially relevant as towns seek practices and resources to address climate change, promote racial justice, and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Seventeen municipalities submitted paperwork for the Spring 2022 certification cycle; of those, four towns submitted only for review. According to Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Sustainable CT, it’s common for municipalities involved in the program to do a significant amount of prep work in the spring with the goal of formal certification in the fall.

“Congratulations to our newest Sustainable CT certified communities,” said Stoddard. “It’s particularly gratifying to see so many municipalities doing the work now that lays the groundwork for certification in the fall. A growing number of Connecticut towns and cities are demonstrating practices that make our communities more inclusive, healthy, connected, and strong, and that bodes well for the entire state.”

Certified communities demonstrated significant achievements in at least twelve sustainability impact areas, ranging from community building, thriving local economies and vibrant arts and culture to clean transportation and diverse housing. In addition, certified municipalities addressed issues of belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion when implementing sustainability actions. Sustainable CT provides free coaching and a virtual equity classroom to help municipalities with issues related to equity and racial justice.

“We are thrilled to recognize additional communities that are using the Sustainable CT framework to recover from the pandemic and build long-term resilience,” said Laura Francis, first selectman of Durham and co-chair of the Sustainable CT Board of Directors. “Supporting local businesses, strengthening food networks, and safeguarding natural spaces for our residents have always been important, but the pandemic further illuminated their importance.”

Sustainable CT has seen strong momentum and growth as a valuable, high-impact program. As of this certification cycle, one-hundred thirty municipalities have registered for the program. Collectively, sixty-six municipalities, nearly 40% of the state’s communities, have earned Sustainable CT certification. Certification lasts for three years, with submissions rigorously evaluated by independent experts and other Sustainable CT partners.

“Sustainable CT Certified communities are models for all forward-looking local governments,” said Joe DeLong, executive director and CEO of Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM). “These municipalities have shown great leadership in completing many actions that increase sustainability while also saving money, promoting health, and deepening residents’ connection to community.”

Sustainable CT is independently funded, with strong multi-year support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Hampshire Foundation, Connecticut Green Bank, Common Sense Fund, and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org.

 

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About Sustainable CT

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program to recognize thriving and resilient Connecticut municipalities. An independently funded, grassroots, municipal effort, Sustainable CT provides a wide‐ranging menu of best practices. Municipalities choose Sustainable CT actions, implement them, and earn points toward certification.

Sustainable CT also provides opportunities for grant funding through its Community Match Fund program to help communities promote economic well‐being and enhance equity, all while respecting the finite capacity of the natural environment. The program is designed to support all Connecticut municipalities, regardless of size, geography, or resources. Sustainable CT empowers municipalities to create high collective impact for current and future residents.


For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

 

Sustainable CT Appoints New Certification Program Manager, Mary Dickerson


STORRS, CONN., April 4, 2021 – Sustainable CT is pleased to welcome Mary Dickerson onto its team as Certification Program Manager.

Ms. Dickerson will manage and further develop Sustainable CT’s certification program. The certification program provides a wide-ranging menu of best practices which municipalities may choose to implement to earn points toward certification and recognition.

Ms. Dickerson earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Saint Joseph and received her International MBA from Central Connecticut State University. Her experience spans from Wall Street to Main Street, having worked as a Policy and Research Associate for an investment bank in Manhattan and later establishing Dickerson Development Consulting, LLC, providing economic development and strategic planning services to small municipalities and rural communities.

“I’m excited to become a member of the Sustainable CT staff!” said Ms. Dickerson. “Coming from municipal government, where I served as a Sustainable CT team member, I understand the rigorous work that goes into a successful certification process, and the rewards that result from creating a more sustainable community.”

“I’m particularly looking forward to developing the newest elements of Sustainable CT’s certification program – the Climate Leadership Designation pilot this year, and our Gold level standards due for rollout in 2023,” added Dickerson. “This is an exciting time to be a part of this highly-effective statewide organization.”

“Our certification program is at the heart of what we do,” said Lynn Stoddard, Sustainable CT executive director. “Participating towns are making a real difference in the quality of life for all their residents, and our certification roadmap helps guide them in creating thriving, resilient and sustainable communities.”

“We’re thrilled to have Mary join our team,” added Stoddard. “She has worked extensively with Connecticut towns and is well known and highly respected by municipal leaders. She understands the needs of towns and will provide strong leadership for our certification program and excellent support to our team, elected officials, town staff, residents, and our partners.”

Ms. Dickerson worked in a variety of roles for the Town of Portland, including Economic Development Coordinator and Planner. She has a passion for adaptive reuse, brownfield redevelopment, and open space preservation. Ms. Dickerson has served on the Board of Directors of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, was a member of The Lower Connecticut River Valley Regional Planning Committee, and is a Trustee of the University of Saint Joseph, where she is also President of the Alumni Council. When not working, she can be found hiking and kayaking in New Hampshire’s lakes region.

Sustainable CT is an independently funded, grassroots, municipal effort. With over 129 Connecticut cities and towns registered, 38 bronze certified and 26 silver certified so far, the Sustainable CT certification program is the most comprehensive and wide-ranging sustainability program in the state. Sustainable CT urges those interested in registering their communities or achieving certification to reach out to Ms. Dickerson for more information.

Mary Dickerson
Sustainable CT – Certification Program Manager
[email protected]

 

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About Sustainable CT

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program to recognize thriving and resilient Connecticut municipalities. An independently funded, grassroots, municipal effort, Sustainable CT provides a wide‐ranging menu of best practices. Municipalities choose Sustainable CT actions, implement them, and earn points toward certification.

Sustainable CT also provides opportunities for grant funding through its Community Match Fund program to help communities promote economic well‐being and enhance equity, all while respecting the finite capacity of the natural environment. The program is designed to support all Connecticut municipalities, regardless of size, geography, or resources. Sustainable CT empowers municipalities to create high collective impact for current and future residents.


For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

New Funding Opportunity for Community Organizers

Sustainable CT and Supporting Organizing Work‐CT  announce the creation of the Social Change Amplifier Fund

WILLIMANTIC, CT, March 10, 2022 – Supporting Organizing Work‐CT (SOW‐CT) has established the Social Change Amplifier Fund within Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund to dedicate matching funds to projects led by Black, Latinx, Multiracial, Indigenous and other POC community organizers and organizations.

The Sustainable CT Community Match Fund is an established program that provides a dollar‐for‐dollar match for community‐initiated projects that align with Sustainable CT’s action roadmap to build inclusive, resilient, and thriving communities across Connecticut. Since its launch in late 2019, the Community Match Fund has invested over $1.1 million in two hundred community‐led projects throughout Connecticut, highly leveraging an additional $1.3 million of crowdfunding donations from residents, local businesses, towns, and others.

“Thanks to Supporting Organizing Work‐CT, we’ll be able to focus much needed attention on traditionally marginalized and underrepresented populations in Connecticut,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of Sustainable CT. “Organizers in communities of color will be better able to build collective power and leadership to affect positive change where it’s needed and wanted most.”

Sustainable CT will match up to $7,500 in one‐to‐one dollars from the Social Change Amplifier Match Fund. Unlike traditional grant programs, Sustainable CT offers a quick, simple application process (starting with a conversation) with no deadlines, no lengthy review period, and minimal reporting requirements. Sustainable CT helps applicants create a project description on their crowdfunding platform, provides a crowdfunding coach, and spreads the word about active projects to help bring in support.

In order to qualify for the Social Change Amplifier Match Fund, community projects should: be organized by Black, Latinx, Multiracial, Indigenous and POC leaders (grassroots groups, individual resident or nonprofit organization); provide broad public benefits to the community (not to support private businesses or individuals through such methods as bail funds or rental assistance); align with Sustainable CT’s action roadmap; and be planned for one or more of Sustainable CT’s registered towns.

Projects can include, but are not limited to: events, campaigns or community activities that promote public awareness and education; community canvasing, surveys, forums and meetings; vision sessions, and focus groups; community leadership training; murals and other public art; and restorative justice projects.

Supporting Organizing Work‐CT is supported by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy through a funders collaborative that includes: Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Connecticut Community Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Leever Foundation, Melville Charitable Trust, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Perrin Family Foundation, The Tow Foundation, Universal Healthcare Foundation, and William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund.

Interested parties should contact [email protected] to schedule a call to discuss a project idea.

 

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About Sustainable CT

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program to recognize thriving and resilient Connecticut municipalities. An independently funded, grassroots, municipal effort, Sustainable CT provides a wide‐ranging menu of best practices. Municipalities choose Sustainable CT actions, implement them, and earn points toward certification.

Sustainable CT also provides opportunities for grant funding through its Community Match Fund program to help communities promote economic well‐being and enhance equity, all while respecting the finite capacity of the natural environment. The program is designed to support all Connecticut municipalities, regardless of size, geography, or resources. Sustainable CT empowers municipalities to create high collective impact for current and future residents.


For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 465-0254
[email protected]

 

Twenty-three Communities Achieve Prestigious Sustainable CT Certification


WILLIMANTIC, CT, November 1, 2021 – Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more resilient, inclusive and efficient, announced its 2021 fall certified communities this week.

In all, the twenty-three towns qualified for certification during the 2021 fall submission cycle.

Canaan (Falls Village), Chester, Essex, the Town of Groton, North Stonington, Pomfret, Ridgefield, Suffield, Washington, West Haven, and Weston all met high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for bronze-level certification. Towns that achieved silver-level certification, the highest level of certification currently offered, include Fairfield, Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford, Litchfield, Milford, New Milford, Old Lyme, Portland, Trumbull, West Hartford, and Westport.

Sustainable CT, managed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, includes actions that help towns and cities build community connection, social equity, and long-term resilience. The program’s action roadmap and support tools are especially relevant as towns seek practices and resources to address climate change, promote racial justice, and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“Congratulations to our newest Sustainable CT certified communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of the program. “It’s particularly gratifying to see so many municipalities achieving certification this year. A growing number of Connecticut towns and cities are demonstrating practices that make our communities more inclusive, healthy, connected, and strong, and that bodes well for the entire state.”

Certified communities demonstrated significant achievements in at least eleven sustainability impact areas, ranging from community building, thriving local economies and vibrant arts and culture to clean transportation and diverse housing. In addition, certified municipalities addressed issues of belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion when implementing sustainability actions. Sustainable CT provides free coaching and a virtual equity classroom to help municipalities with issues related to equity and racial justice.

“We are thrilled to recognize additional communities that are using the Sustainable CT framework to recover from the pandemic and build long-term resilience,” said Laura Francis, first selectman of Durham and co-chair of the Sustainable CT Board of Directors. “Supporting local businesses, strengthening food networks, and safeguarding natural spaces for our residents have always been important, but the pandemic further illuminated their importance.”

Sustainable CT has seen strong momentum and growth as a valuable, high-impact program. One-hundred twenty-five municipalities have registered for the program, representing 86% of the state’s population. Collectively, sixty-four municipalities, 60% of the state’s communities, have earned Sustainable CT certification. Certification lasts for 3 years, with submissions rigorously evaluated by independent experts and other Sustainable CT partners.

“Sustainable CT Certified communities are models for all forward-looking local governments,” said Joe DeLong, executive director and CEO of Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM). “These municipalities have shown great leadership in completing many actions that increase sustainability while also saving money, promoting health, and deepening residents’ connection to community.” CCM will hold an awards ceremony to recognize Sustainable CT certified towns at their annual convention on November 30.

Sustainable CT is independently funded, with strong support from its three founding funders: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Smart Seed Fund. Additional support is provided by the Connecticut Green Bank and many community foundations.

For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org.
 

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For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

 

Sustainable CT Welcomes New Community Organizer and Partnership Manager, Joseph Dickerson


WILLIMANTIC, CT, November 1, 2021 – As Sustainable CT grows to fund new projects that advance equity and opportunity, we are excited to welcome Joseph Dickerson onto the team as the Community Organizer and Partnership Manager. 

Joseph will oversee the ongoing development and expansion of the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund. While he is stepping into a successful system formerly headed by Abe Hilding-Salorio, we are looking forward to Joseph drawing on his experience with city, state, and federal government programs, community development, and entrepreneurship. He will help guide leaders and community teams as they innovate and grow diverse, inclusive sustainability projects across Connecticut. 

In his former role as the BiCi Co Community Bike Shop program manager, Joseph oversaw the start-up and growth of a full-service, non-profit bike shop in a low-income neighborhood. The shop serves a community of youth and adult riders of Spanish and African descent, outside the lines of the stereotypical rider. He balanced the mission of educating youth and adults about bicycle maintenance and safe riding with the profit-driven imperative to reinvest in the community.

“Joining the Sustainable CT team is awesome,” Joseph said. “As the leader of BiCi Co’s successful community match funded project, I understand how much heart goes into every project. Each project represents the best of what community leaders know will positively and meaningfully impact the lives of their friends, family and neighbors.”

“We designed the Community Match Fund as a unique and exciting innovation on grant funding,” said Lynn Stoddard, Sustainable CT executive director.  “We believe people know best what their communities need to thrive so we empower them to identify and champion local sustainability projects rather than prescribing how the dollars should be used.” 

“We’re thrilled to bring Joseph onto our team,” added Lynn. “His community-based entrepreneurial background, and desire to connect people, will benefit towns and project leaders statewide and amplify the initial success of Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund.” 

Joseph is the owner and operator of Inspired Adventurist, supporting individuals and teams to plan, execute, and thrive in fulfilling their bucket-list outdoor adventures, and a board member of the Connecticut Outdoor Recreation Alliance (CORA).  He is an avid fly-fisher, mountain biker, and happy dog dad.  He received a bachelor’s degree with a major in educational psychology from Swarthmore College, and a master’s degree in public finance and community economic development from the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College of Public Policy.

Sustainable CT serves as a catalyst for ideas that foster inclusive, resilient, and vibrant communities. With over $2.2 million in local investments, represented by 193 projects, the Community Match Fund has inspired nearly 10,000 individuals to invest dollars and time into community-led projects that improve the quality of life in Connecticut towns and cities. Sustainable CT urges interested parties to reach out to Joseph for more information.

Joseph Dickerson
Sustainable CT - Community Organizer and Partnership Manager
860-465-0256
[email protected]
 

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For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

 

Sustainable CT Community Match Fund Supports Branford’s Net-zero Animal Shelter


WILLIMANTIC, CT, October 12, 2021 – Sustainable CT, a statewide program that supports voluntary municipal initiatives to protect the environment and improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents, has announced its support for the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.
 
The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter is a municipal animal shelter and animal control department serving Branford, North Branford and Northford. The shelter is known statewide for organizing programming for both children and adults, including those with special needs, to encourage socialization and early bonding with animals.  

Sustainable CT, through its Community Match Fund program, is supporting the shelter’s goal of becoming the first net-zero animal shelter in the country. The shelter is currently raising money to build a permanent facility that will incorporate solar, thermal and high-performance building standards to achieve net-zero energy consumption.  

In collaboration with the Branford Engineering Department, the Branford Office of Sustainability, and local green building experts, the shelter has designed a building that will utilize natural resources in a sustainable manner to reduce human – and animal – impact on the environment. 

“We have amazing support from our residents and followers in Branford, North Branford and beyond,” said Laura Burban, the shelter’s director. “We have been working diligently for the last 18 months, during the pandemic, to raise money for our new building and are excited to make energy efficiency a defining component of our unique ‘state of the animal’ building.”

The Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter has been helping homeless animals along the Connecticut shoreline and vicinity since April 2003. Its mission is to protect the public, provide excellent animal care, find good homes for our animal guests, promote responsible pet guardianship, work to end the overpopulation of feral cats in in the Branford area, and to run a well-organized, efficient shelter.

Hundreds of displaced animals come through the shelter’s doors each year. In addition to dogs and cats, Branford’s animal shelter serves as the temporary home for less common animals, too, including guinea pigs, chinchillas, rabbits, and even the occasional owl and deer.

Anyone wishing to support the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter’s net-zero building campaign can do so by visiting its Patronicity crowdfunding page. Every dollar donated through the site will be matched by Sustainable CT up $15,000.00, for a potential combined total of $30,000.00.

Sustainable CT has dedicated matching funds available to support public energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the state of Connecticut. Anyone with an idea for a public, sustainability-related initiative is encouraged to send inquiries to [email protected]

Sustainable CT is independently funded, and the Community Match Fund is supported by the Smart Seed Fund, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and the Connecticut Green Bank.

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For Immediate Release

 

 

Contact:

Jim Hunt, Communications Manager
Sustainable CT
(860) 259-4732
[email protected]

Sustainable CT Community Match Fund Surpasses $2 Million Investment in Connecticut Communities


WILLIMANTIC, CT, August 2, 2021 – Sustainable CT, a statewide program that supports municipal initiatives to protect the environment and improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents, has surpassed the $2 million mark in investment in local projects through its Community Match Fund.

Since its inception in September of 2019, the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund has invested in over 170 local projects in more than 70 Connecticut towns.

The Community Match Fund leverages institutional funding alongside community investment in the form of individual, small-dollar donations to hyper-local projects. Each project runs a public crowdfunding campaign to engage the community and secure half the funding needed to complete its work. Sustainable CT then matches every dollar raised. To date, Sustainable CT has committed $930,000 as a match to more than $1.1 million collected from over eight thousand individual donations.

The unique method of funding demonstrates grassroots support for a project, according to Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Sustainable CT. “The most impactful aspect of this program is that each donation represents a person who is now involved with and committed to the project,” said Stoddard. “When neighbors vote with their dollars in support of these projects they are literally buying in, which creates a sense of community ownership that wouldn’t otherwise exist.”

“Residents are inspired to take action and they lead the way in improving their communities one block, one neighborhood, and one town at a time,” added Abe Hilding-Salorio, Sustainable CT’s outreach coordinator. “They demonstrate the power of neighbors, friends, colleagues, and local businesses working together to support change right in their own backyards.”

Across the state, these projects are making towns and cities more inclusive, resilient, and vibrant for all residents. Community members are working together to bring main streets to life with pocket parks, murals, and tree plantings; create green jobs for low-income residents; recycle bikes for people in need of safe, affordable transportation; make public lands productive and beautiful by planting pollinator pathways; educate neighbors on climate solutions; clean up rivers and protect habitats; and create vibrant spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Unlike most traditional grant programs, the Community Match Fund is open to anyone. Project leaders don’t need the backing of a formal organization, there is no application to submit, no deadlines, and no subjective review and scoring process. Anyone who has an idea for a public project is welcome to reach out to Sustainable CT at any time, and if their work aligns with that of Sustainable CT, they will quickly be approved and moved forward.

“What’s so exciting about this program is how it puts decision-making in the hands of the people who will be most impacted by the project,” said Hilding-Salorio. “Rather than Sustainable CT deciding what work has value and deserves to be funded, we’re asking the local community to make that determination.”

The Community Match Fund continues to accept and support new projects on a rolling basis. Anyone with an idea for a public, sustainability-related initiative is encouraged to contact Abe Hilding-Salorio at Sustainable CT.

Sustainable CT is independently funded, and the Community Match Fund is supported by the Smart Seed Fund, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and the Connecticut Green Bank.

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