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11/1/2018 - Fairfield Earns Top Honors as “Sustainable CT” Community: Residents Invited to Attend November 10th Forum on Town’s Sustainability Planning

First Selectman Mike Tetreau and the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) are very pleased to announce that the Town of Fairfield has earned top honors as a “Sustainable CT” community under a new statewide program that recognizes Connecticut’s most thriving and resilient municipalities.

The Sustainable CT initiative, which awards certifications to Connecticut communities that voluntarily meet high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments, was launched last year and announced its first group of certified towns in early October.

Fairfield is one of just five towns statewide to receive a Silver certification, the program’s highest designation. The other Silver-certified municipalities are Glastonbury, Greenwich, Hartford and Stamford. Seventeen other Connecticut communities received the next highest designation, Bronze.

Additionally, Fairfield earned another high distinction: With towns achieving their certification on the basis of points awarded for specific sustainability actions, Fairfield’s record of activities garnered more points than any other community in the state.

Following “Best Practices” for Sustainability:
Fairfield’s application for Sustainable CT certification was compiled by SFTF members Mary Hogue and Bob Wall, along with extensive cooperation and input from numerous Town officials, departments and volunteer bodies. The application detailed significant, voluntary actions in nine sustainable impact areas representing “best practices” identified by Sustainable CT, ranging from the health of the local economy and vibrant arts and culture to clean transportation and diverse housing.

“Sustainable CT communities strive to be thriving, resilient, collaborative, and forward-looking,” according to the initiative’s 'Vision' statement. “They build community and local economy. They equitably promote the health and well-being of current and future residents, and they respect the finite capacity of the natural environment.”

First Selectman Tetreau stated, “Thanks to dedicated citizens, volunteers, Town employees and officials who work together to build our community’s common good, Fairfield is an extraordinarily vibrant, caring and civic-minded community that both respects its past and values its future. This certification recognizes and honors all of their efforts—and reminds us that our shared commitment to sustainability is critical to the well-being and future of our community. I especially want to thank residents Mary Hogue and Bob Wall for spearheading this important initiative.”

Many of Fairfield’s ongoing and planned sustainability projects are reflected in the Town’s master Sustainability Plan, now under development, which details specific initiatives for safeguarding Fairfield’s natural and built environments, natural resources, and quality of life. The plan can be viewed here. Residents are invited to attend an upcoming public forum on the Sustainability Plan, to be held Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m., at the Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Avenue, Southport.

Activities Town-Wide Drive Fairfield’s Sustainability:

Fairfield’s successful Sustainable CT application details a broad spectrum of town-wide activities now underway to enhance community quality and viability. The application can be viewed here.

Among the accomplishments cited:

Building awareness of Fairfield’s rich history, cultural and recreation resources, and vibrant business centers, including the Town’s readily walkable downtown;

Assessing the potential Town-wide impacts of climate change;

Facilitating the greater use of home solar energy systems Town-wide via the Solarize Fairfield campaigns; supporting efforts by local businesses and nonprofits to tap state financing for energy efficiency improvements, and increasing use of renewable energy, including solar, in Town buildings;

Enhancing the preservation of the Town’s green spaces and beaches, and maintaining efforts to safeguard the health of Fairfield’s key waterways and watershed areas, including Mill River, Rooster River and Sasco Brook;

Sustaining and expanding Fairfield’s vital “tree canopy” and guarding against invasive species, both plant and insect;

Supporting the viability and use of local food sources, including community gardens;

Implementing “complete streets” policies to ensure and maintain Town roadways that offer safe and comfortable access for all users; promoting public transportation and greater use of electric vehicles by both the Town and its residents;

Supporting recycling and composting by both the Town and residents;

Assessing Fairfield’s housing needs, including the need for more affordable housing;

Maintaining a robust communications infrastructure to keep Town residents informed and engaged regarding Town news and developments.

About Sustainable CT:

With input from municipal leaders, non-profits, state agencies, businesses and academia across the state, Sustainable CT was developed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. In addition to certifying municipalities for ongoing sustainability, Sustainable CT provides guidance, resources and tools to assist municipalities in implementing sustainability actions and advancing their programs for the benefit of all residents. For more information, please visit www.sustainablect.org.

About the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force:

The Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF), formerly the Clean Energy Task Force, provides support for Town practices and projects that can help Fairfield manage its growth to safeguard the health of its environment, ensure the reliability and economical use of its natural resources, and preserve the quality of life of its residents – today and for the future. 

For further information, please contact SFTF Member Mary Hogue at 203-256-9802.

The photo shows Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart, SFTF member Mary Hogue, First Selectman Mike Tetreau, SFTF member Bob Wall, and Allison Brown, intern for the Connecticut Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG) which First Selectman Tetreau chairs.

The logo for the Sustainable CT silver-level certification is owned by Eastern Connecticut State University which manages the Sustainable CT program through its Institute for Sustainable Energy with Cooperation from Sustainable CT, Inc.