Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  YouTube  Instagram



Monday, August 7, 2023

volume 3, number 9

Sustainable CT Fellows Collaborate to Drive Climate Action Planning Statewide

STORRS, CT, July 20, 2023 – Sustainable CT, a statewide program that supports municipal sustainability initiatives, announced that its 2023 cohort of Sustainable CT Fellows are currently working on developing strategies and materials for an extensive outreach campaign to support the implementation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded Climate Action Plans across the state. 

The State of Connecticut and Councils of Governments (COGs) are in the early planning stages of developing Climate Action Plans for the state and four metropolitan areas, including the Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford area, as well as the Worcester, Massachusetts area, which covers portions of northeastern Connecticut. The Sustainable CT Fellows are working with the COGs in support of the metropolitan area plans. 

Morgan Casey, a fellow at the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, is working to develop content for different social media platforms. "Social media is an important part of climate outreach, as it brings together young and diverse audiences with different interests,” says Casey. “Information can circulate faster, and more voices can be heard, which is something the COGs want to focus on with the EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants outreach."

Michael Towle, Deputy Director for the Western Connecticut Council of Governments, anticipates valuable results from the Sustainable CT Fellows, stating, “The COGs are looking forward to utilizing the resources developed this summer through Sustainable CT for their Climate Action Plans.”

The Sustainable CT Fellowship Program is made possible by the generous support of the Hampshire Foundation, Connecticut Green Bank, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, the Valley Community Foundation, and the New Canaan Community Foundation. The commitment of these organizations to sustainability and community empowerment is instrumental in driving positive change across Connecticut.


Join the conversation: you can now find us on Instagram and Threads!

Fall Certification Deadline:


Our fall certification is fast approaching! All submissions are due Tuesday, August 15th, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Review the steps on how to submit an application here. Have questions? Need help? Contact us.

The Next Sustainable CT Coffee Hour:

September 15 at 10 a.m.

Communications support for certified communities


Even the Coffee Hour deserves a break, and its taking August off to unwind and decaffeinate. The Coffee Hour will return - tanned, rested, and full o' the beans - on SEPTEMBER 15th. We'll be discussing communications - the tools, methods, strategies and support that certified towns need to engage with their communities, stakeholders, and partners about their sustainability successes and aspirations. After a little R&R, we hope you'll help us renew the conversation!


August's IMPACT: the CT Data Collaborative

Proof isn't in the pudding, it's in the data!

We had an opportunity to sit down with Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens, director of data strategic planning with CT Data Collaborative. "Finn," as we affectionately know her, was joined by our own Lynn Stoddard to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing the non-profit community when it comes to data management. Crunch those numbers!

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

The Community Match Fund

Enhanced $1.5-to-$1 boost in CMF funding for food waste diversion/composting projects is ending on August 13th

Don't wait to take advantage of the enhanced $1.5-to-$1 boost in CMF funding for food waste diversion/composting projects that is scheduled to end on August 13th. You don't want to miss out on the additional leverage this kind of funding can provide. Contact our Community Match Fund manager, Joseph Dickerson, today to get your project started!

Learn more about the Sustainable CT

Community Match Fund

Register for Community Match Fund

Office Hours: August 16, 12-1pm

Sustainable CT is independently funded.

Discover how you can become a Sustainable CT sponsor.

Stonington Awarded SolSmart Silver

Three cheers for Stonington for achieving Silver designation in the SolSmart program! SolSmart is a national program that helps cities, towns, counties, and regional organizations become solar energy leaders. Sustainable CT is pleased to partner with two organizations, Great Plains Institute and Cadmus, to bring the national SolSmart designation program to Connecticut communities through our no-cost assistance program. Check it out.

Heidi Wallace: Serving Her Community

Eric O'Connell at Zip06 has a nice write-up on Heidi Wallace of Westbrook: "For the past 28 years, the person most concerned with protecting Westbrook’s natural resources has been Heidi Wallace, Westbrook’s Environmental Planner... One project Heidi is currently working on is getting a Sustainable CT committee working in Westbrook. Sustainable CT is a nonprofit that is a voluntary certification program that encourages towns to improve best practices and seek grant opportunities that help promote the quality of life of the town and its citizens. The program rewards towns that accomplish tasks ranging from categories like protecting the environment, improving planning, improving transportation, and improving infrastructure, among others." Bravo, Heidi!


Project Drawdown Roadmap Video Series

As Project Drawdown puts it: "Our Drawdown Roadmap video series has not yet outpaced Barbie or Oppenheimer at the box office, but it’s definitely getting traction in the climate solutions universe as an actionable, science-based approach to halting climate change in one generation." Grab the popcorn and save me a seat!


Yale Program on Climate Change Communication: Climate Change is Increasingly Harming Mental Health

YPCCC has the statistics on climate change anxiety and depression by race/ethnicity, gender and generation. This is maddening.


CT Mirror: CT Mapping Tool to Bring Visibility to Environmental Justice Communities

Lisa Prevost of the Energy News Network writes in the CT Mirror: "Connecticut is about to adopt a new environmental justice mapping tool designed to infuse equity into policy-making and empower residents of overburdened communities in their efforts to prevent exposure to additional hazards and improve overall quality of life. The mapping tool incorporates more than 50 different data sets to show which census tracts in the state are most at risk from pollution exposure, socioeconomic impacts and health disparities." Yep, your town is on there, too. 


DEEP Introduces Municipal News Bulletin

Our friends at the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) have launched a new newsletter full of useful and interesting information: the Municipal News Bulletin - "a place where you can find curated information relevant to local government and a way for DEEP to connect with our municipal partners." Don't miss out - sign up to receive yours.

CT Insider: New Milford Named CT's First Bee City USA Affiliate

Kaitlin Lyle at CT Insider has a story about New Milford's efforts to protect and expand bee habitat. "The town has become the first municipality in Connecticut to be certified as a Bee City, a designation that means New Milford is dedicated to protecting pollinators." Bee-utaful, New Milford!


Patch: Bridgeport Public Schools Receives Federal Energy Efficiency Grant

Alfred Branch's report in Patch details a federal energy grant received by the City of Bridgeport. Said Mayor Ganim, “It’s an honor to receive funding to help provide our students with infrastructure improvements that can not only benefit our sustainability initiatives but will also be a great addition to the learning environments to our students.”


Connecticut Green Bank Welcomes EPA Notice of Funding Opportunities for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

Connecticut Green Bank is excited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement regarding the launch of two Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) under the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: the $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and the $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA).



CT Mirror: Is the Connecticut Green Bank Still Green?

One of our favorite energy and environment reporters, Jan Ellen Spiegel, had an interesting piece in one of our favorite news outlets, the CT Mirror, about one of our favorite organizations, the Connecticut Green Bank. How could we resist? Jan explores the possible ramifications of an obscure change in the final revision of the legislature's waste bill that could fundamentally alter the Green Bank's mission.


CT Land Conservation Council Discusses Land Conservation and Grant Funding

The kick-off discussion was held on August 3rd, but there are plenty of follow-on sessions every Thursday, 12:15 - 1:15 p.m., throughout the month of August:

  • August 10 - Appraisals for your OSWA grant application
  • August 17 - Overview of federal match dollars for your OSWA grant
  • August 24 - OSWA grant program open Q&A
  • August 31 - UGCG grant program open Q&A

Learn more about the series, or register here.

Supporting Arts Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of The Arts Supporting Arts grant program is accepting applications until Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. The Supporting Arts program provides general operating support to help Connecticut’s arts organizations and municipal arts departments cover programmatic costs associated with their mission-related work. This type of grant is flexible and gives the grantee the ability to use the funds where they are most needed. More Information:


Artists Respond Grant Program Provides Support for Community-Based Art Projects

The Office of The Arts Artists Respond grant program is accepting applications until October 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Artists may apply for a grant of $3,000 to support artist fees and project-related expenses. Learn more and apply.

BUT WAIT, there's more...

Artists' "Financial Well-being for Interdependence" with Amy Smith and Makini

The Office of The Arts is sponsoring online workshops to explore how artists can build and strengthen relationships to move toward healthier arts ecosystems as well as more individual well-being. Dance artists Amy Smith and Makini will lead these workshop to provide case studies. Sessions will be recorded, but only 30 live participants will be allowed on the Zoom. 6 - 8 p.m. on August 30 and September 6.


CCM Accepting Submissions for 8th Annual Municipal Excellence Awards

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) will once again recognize innovative projects and individuals that have significantly improved the quality of life for citizens, established partnerships, and built community support. The competition applauds the achievements of leaders and municipalities and encourages others to strive for excellence. Submission deadline: August 25, 2023.


Southeastern Council of Governments Seeks Interns

The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) seeks one or more student interns to assist staff with a research project regarding management of municipal solid waste (garbage). Interns will work 2-3 days per week in a hybrid work environment, with at least one day per week spent at SCCOG’s office in Norwich. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in urban planning, public administration, or environmental science. The application deadline is August 31, 2023.


For more fun and informative August events,

check out the Sustainable CT Trainings & Events Calendar.

This is huge.

And powerful. And compelling. The American Mural Project is engrossing, expressive, relevant - all the adjectives. It's also where we'll be hosting the Sustainable CT 2023 Awards Celebration. We like to think that's pretty special, too.

Please save the date to join us at 90 Whiting Street in Winsted, at the site of the American Mural Project, on Tuesday, October 17, from 4-7 p.m. Better yet, REGISTER TODAY, as space will be limited. We'll share music and light fare, appreciation for all of our 2023 certified communities and Climate Leaders, and lots of really good adjectives.

Sponsorship opportunities are available: call 860-259-4729.

Actions & Impact is 100% chatbot-free. We think.


[email protected]


Sponsor Us


Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  YouTube  Instagram

Now on Threads!