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Haddam’s Community Sustainability Event

Submitted by Ed Munster.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019 there were about 50 people at the Haddam Firehouse to hear Jessica LeClair who is the program manager for the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern CT State University. The meeting was organized by Robin Munster and Kristin Battistoni who are members of Haddam’s Sustainability Committee appointed by First Selectman Lizz Milardo. In attendance were Milardo who opened the meeting, and members of almost every town board and commission including the Board of Finance, Board of Education, P&Z, ZBA, Inland Wetlands Commission, Economic Development Commission, Girl Scouts, Committee on Aging, and the Haddam Land Trust. It was impressive to see that so many town officials and citizens turned out to learn about this program.

Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program which is set up to recognize the efforts of communities which do the right things for the environment. The most visible project of Haddam’s Sustainability Committee has been the collection of certain kinds of plastic bags which has removed almost a ton of this plastic from our waste stream and resulted in the town earning a bench made from recycled materials which is now in the business district of Higganum Center.

A surprise presenter at the meeting was 10 year Amelia Riggs, a student at HK Middle School, who prepared a display intended to encourage residents to bring their own bags to stores instead of using the infamous plastic bags used to bag groceries and purchases from almost every store in the country.

There were many ideas on how to take action and make an impact:

  • adapt permitting process to promote sustainable development
  • develop agricultural friendly practices
  • inventory and assess historic resources
  • promote effective parking management
  • reduce energy use across all municipal buildings
  • install efficient street lights
  • provide effective community communications
  •  recycle additional materials and compost organics
  • develop a food waste reduction campaign
  • design and implement a housing needs assessment
  • support redevelopment of brownfield sites
  • inventory and promote local retail options
  • develop an open space plan
  • facilitate invasive species education and management
  • map tourism and cultural assets

A video from the meeting will be available on demand at VSCTV Channel 19 and by a link on the town website. For additional information, visit www.sustainablect.org

Photo by Robin Munster.

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