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Monday, February 5, 2024

volume iv, number 2

Sustainable CT Opens Applications for 2024 Fellowship Program

An exceptional opportunity for Connecticut students,

a great benefit to Connecticut towns

STORRS, CT, January 29, 2024 – Sustainable CT, a prominent statewide initiative dedicated to fostering sustainable communities, is now accepting applications for its highly esteemed 2024 Fellowship Program.

The Sustainable CT Fellowship Program recognizes and honors individuals who display extraordinary dedication and commitment to advancing sustainability practices throughout the state. It offers a unique opportunity for highly qualified college students to collaborate closely with municipalities and regional organizations on a range of sustainability projects. Placing fellows within the state's Councils of Governments (COGs), Connecticut's regional planning organizations, the program facilitates collaboration between fellows and cities and towns, leveraging Sustainable CT's no-cost resources for the implementation of sustainable initiatives.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on February 19, 2024, and Sustainable CT will notify selected candidates by early April 2024.


Sustainable CT is independently funded.

Discover how you can become a Sustainable CT sponsor.

The Next Sustainable CT Coffee Hour:

February 16 at 10 a.m.

A Pathway to Gold


Join us for the first in our “Pathway to Gold” webinar series: Action 8.6, Collaborating with Other Municipalities on Sustainability Actions. Learn about this required step for Gold certification, hear from municipalities that have completed this action, share your experiences with municipal collaboration, and have your questions answered by Sustainable CT staff.


Join Sustainable CT for virtual, informal, discussions most third Fridays of each month. We share program updates and resources, explore your questions, and strengthen the network of Sustainable CT champions. These sessions are free and open to all.

February's IMPACT: Michael Purcaro, Town Administrator of Vernon

A Sustainable CT Success Story

A recent addition to the Sustainable CT Board of Directors, Mike has been working with the Town of Vernon in one capacity or another for almost 20 years and as Town Administrator for the last seven years. Vernon is truly a Sustainable CT "success story" - over-achieving in nearly every action area since their registration in 2018. Join us to discover how they did it and what lies ahead for the Silver certified Town of Vernon.

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

The Community Match Fund

Support the 2024 CT Compost Conference

The CT Compost Alliance is a group of aerobic composting enthusiasts representing a diverse group of stakeholders working together to coordinate opportunities that focus on supporting and educating current and future composters to learn, network and engage by enhancing and improving our soils.

Your support will enable the CT Compost Alliance to continue statewide compost education by offering an in-person 2024 CT Compost Conference to be hosted at Connecticut College located in New London, CT. Donate to this Community Match Fund project.

You can learn more about the CT Compost Alliance here: www.ctcompostalliance.org.

To REGISTER for the 2024 CT Compost Conference visit: www.ctcompostalliance.org/2024conference.

LEARN MORE about the Sustainable CT Community Match Fund

Optimizing for Equity

A Comprehensive Framework of Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Our winter three-part virtual equity workshop for 2024 has begun, but don't let that keep you from optimizing for equity. The spring workshop series takes place April 10, May 15 and June 12. All sessions are from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

These no-cost, virtual events provide a comprehensive framework of racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Who should attend? Sustainability Team members (elected officials, municipal staff, commissioners, volunteers) in registered Sustainable CT communities. This will be a live training series and will not be recorded.

Attendance at all three sessions is required to complete the series, and you should only sign up if you intend to participate for the duration of each session. Attendance for our virtual equity workshops is capped at 35, and spaces fill up quickly, so please register without delay.

LEARN MORE about Sustainable CT Equity Coaches

Lynn Stoddard on "A Slice of Life"

Our intrepid executive director, Lynn Stoddard appeared on Valley Shore Community Television's "A Slice of Life" hosted by Jim Therrien. VSCTV is a local non-profit organization responsible for providing public, educational, and government access to the towns of Durham, Haddam, Killingworth, Chester, Deep River, Essex, Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Clinton. They discussed all things Sustainable CT, especially relating to our friends in the Valley Shore area.

CT Mirror: What CT Could Learn From Other States’ Climate Change Policies (hint: it has a lot to do with communities)

Jan Ellen Spiegel continued her two-part CT Mirror series examining how Connecticut stacks up against neighboring states on climate policy and what we could be doing differently. (Read Part 1 here.) "There are lessons for Connecticut in the region and elsewhere for innovative ways to tackle climate change from energy and emissions standpoints," and many of those lessons have to do with working at the community and municipal level. We couldn't agree more. Read the entire article.

Black Wealth Data Center

Access national and county-level data, including Connecticut, that compares how race influences education, employment, asset ownership, and other indicators that contribute to wealth.

Voices: Sustainable CT Supports Building Pedestrian Bridge Over Little River

A nice piece in Voices about the Oxford Main Street Project and its partners supporting the construction of a pedestrian bridge within Little River Nature Preserve. A Sustainable CT Community Match Fund project!

DEEP Newsletter: Environmental Justice

The second edition of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) newsletter is available - chock-a-block full of news, events, jobs and funding opportunities, with an emphasis this month on environmental justice.  

Governor Announces $9M Investment in Rural Transportation

Governor Lamont and Transportation Commissioner Eucalitto announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is awarding more than $9 million in state grants for transportation infrastructure and safety upgrades in ten rural communities throughout Connecticut.   


Governor Announces Connecticut Awarded $14.6 Million Federal Grant To Expand Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Seven Communities

Governor Lamont announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection with a $14.6 million grant through its Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program. Connecticut’s grant will be used to increase access to electric vehicle chargers in seven communities: Barkhamsted, Bridgeport, East Hartford, Groton, Hartford, New Haven and Stamford. This will make these towns eligible for certification points under Action 6.4.5, Support Zero Emission Vehicle Deployment.

CT Insider: Gov. Lamont Urges Climate Groups to Pressure CT Lawmakers

Speaking to an environmental summit hosted by the League of Conservation Voters (and attended by Sustainable CT), Governor Ned Lamont urged environmental activists to strike a more assertive tone with state lawmakers, after, as John Moritz put it in CT Insider, "a year in which his administration witnessed several of its top climate priorities go down in flames." Read the article.  

West Hartford Celebrate Black History: Moving Forward and Reaching Back

The City of West Hartford will host a virtual panel discussion to celebrate Black History Month by honoring the contributions of black leaders in municipal government. They'll bring together a diverse group of esteemed panelists who have made significant impacts in their respective roles within the town's governance. February 8 at 11:30 a.m.


2024 Energy & Environmental Legislative Insights

Gain insight to this year's legislative priorities at the Annual Legislative Preview at UConn School of Law. Hear from the leadership of both the Energy & Technology Committee and the Environment Committee. UConn students and faculty may attend free; otherwise, there is a fee to for this in-person event: UConn School of Law, 55 Elizabeth St., Hartford; February 13, 5-8:30 p.m.


DEEP Seeks Director for New Office of Planning and Resilience 

The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is establishing a new Office of Planning and Resilience in the agency’s water bureau. This office will manage DEEP’s climate resilience grant program. The posting for this new office’s director is now open. Application deadline is February 20.


Social Justice & Equity Author to Speak at the American Mural Project 

The American Mural Project (AMP) will host critically acclaimed author Edwin Raymond, former NYPD lieutenant, for a discussion and book signing. Raymond is the author of An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight to Change Policing in America. He is depicted prominently in his former role as a police officer in AMP’s mural of workers, on permanent exhibit in Winsted, CT. During the evening’s presentation, he will be joined by the mural artist, Ellen Griesedieck. This in-person event is free, but pre-registration required. February 24, 7 p.m.


A Reminder: Partners for Places Matching Grants Available

The Funders Network, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, announced the opening of the latest round of the Partners for Places grant program, connecting community groups, place-based funders and local governments. Matching awards provide partnership investments between $45,000 and $150,000 for one-year projects, or between $75,000 and $180,000 for two-year projects. The deadline to submit proposals is February 27, 2024.

Invitation to Apply

Application Form 

Budget Form

Fairfield County's Community Foundation Hosts "In Community: A Conversation on Racism in Medicine" 

To shed light on the history and magnitude of racial health inequities in the US – including Connecticut – Fairfield County's Community Foundation will host Dr. Uché Blackstock, physician, advocate and author of the new memoir LEGACY: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine. This is an in-person, ticketed event (no-cost options available): February 29, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Co-sponsored by Connecticut Public. 


The Jonah Center is Hiring 

The Jonah Center of Middletown, CT is seeking to fill 4 part-time seasonal (May – August) field work positions, one Field Work Coordinator and three Field Workers, to remove invasive water chestnut plants in the the lower Mattabesset River between Middletown and Cromwell.


For more fun and informative February events,

check out the Sustainable CT Trainings & Events Calendar.

Join us for the COST Town Meeting on February 8

We'll be at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 8, to network with municipal leaders, including many newly elected first selectpeople and mayors, and to learn about the issues and challenges facing municipalities. We'll be hearing from the state's legislative leaders about the 2024 legislative session, state officials speaking about the budget and policy priorities, and agency staff with insight on infrastructure and transportation funding. It promises to be a very interesting and informative day, and we hope to see you there!

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