Sustainability efforts earn town recognition

With a broad array of actions to foster an environmentally sustainable way of life, Ridgefield was one of 17 Connecticut towns to earn a bronze certification from Sustainable CT.

Steps ranging from cleanup of the Schlumberger property, to having an active plan to acquire and preserve open spaces, to the effort to promote local retail shopping, to a variety of energy-conservation efforts helped earn the town the recognition.

“Ridgefield is proud to be one of 17 towns to get a bronze recognition from Sustainable CT,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Oct. 22.

Other practices that earned Ridgefield the recognition include the Conservation Commission’s natural resource inventory, it’s woodlands and forest stewardship program, invasive species education and management, having an inventory of historical resources to help guide planning decisions, a food waste reduction program in the schools and business community, an active recycling program that promotes reuse of “non-mandated” materials, efforts to”grow sustainable and affordable housing options.”

Of Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities, 65 registered for the program and 22 were awarded certification — 17 as bronze and five as silver. They will be recognized Oct. 30 at the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities annual conference.

Ben Oko and Tiffany Carleson of the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE) led the effort to gain the sustainability certification.

“It is exciting to see how much Ridgefield has accomplished in terms of sustainability and even more exciting to see what we can do,” Oko said. “I would like to thank the many people who helped us in the submission process. It couldn’t have been done without them.

“Equally exciting is the opportunity to do more,” he added. “RACE invites all who are interested to join us in this effort. In today’s world, sustainability takes on a special urgency.”