From the Norwalk Hour- Stephanie Kim.
WILTON — More than 60 community leaders gathered at Wilton Go Green’s first town symposium at the library on Tuesday.
The all-day event, “How Green Could Wilton Be,” brought together community members involved in town government, business, faith, educational and environmental affairs.
Daphne Dixon, Wilton Go Green’s newly hired executive director, welcomed those attending with opening remarks.
“Our mission is to promote sustainable living in all areas across all sectors. It’s a pretty big job,” she said. “And our vision is to be the most environmentally friendly sustainable town in Connecticut.”
Building on that sentiment, Wilton Go Green President Peg Koellmer applauded the community for being a leader in advancing the culture of conservation and education, both locally and statewide. She also emphasized the importance of having an event like the symposium to make continued strides in the four focus areas of energy, food, recycling, and land and water.
“We’re moving from visions to actions, but we need to move more quickly,” she said. “So let’s roll up our sleeves and join in this effort.”
Before the group separated into facilitated breakout sessions, keynote speaker Gary Cuneen offered insights from his 15 years as the founder and executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, a nonprofit based in Oak Park, Ill., with the mission of promoting ecologically sustainable and healthy communities.
He was invited by Wilton Go Green Symposium Chairperson Tina Duncan, who came up with the idea of hosting the symposium. They know each other from her other role as president of the Lumpkin Family Foundation, a nonprofit in east central Illinois that was the first funder of Seven Generations Ahead.
“It’s very encouraging what you all are doing here through Wilton Go Green in really trying to make sustainability happen and have it ripple out and impact the other communities,” Cuneen said. “Like what you’re doing here today, (communication) is a vehicle. You have to bring people together, you have to provide learning, networking, sharing and collaboration opportunities.”
The morning and afternoon breakout sessions were 90 minutes each, during which people discussed and analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relevant to the focus areas.
At the end of the symposium, each group presented their top three initiatives.
The food group identified increasing food production and structure, increasing awareness about local and seasonal eating, and protecting resources. The recycling group prioritized engaging town agencies, improving effective communication to the public, and reducing food waste. The land and water group focused on addressing the storm water issue, improving land use and the overall connectivity of open spaces, and refining property management and maintenance. And the energy group zeroed in on investing in community energy, improving town ordinances and implementing home energy efficiency more effectively.
Overall, each group praised the town for its progressive, collaborative nature but suggested improvement in education, awareness, and implementation of such initiatives at the individual level.
In his final remarks, Cuneen challenged the room of town leaders to build off of the momentum that was generated at the symposium.
“Sustainability is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. But it has to be a marathon that’s got logical steps and structures and is thinking long-term about how to move these things forward,” he said. “The easiest way to get derailed is to not put those things in place.”
Similarly, Duncan closed the symposium with words of encouragement.
“Even with our best intentions and all these thoughts, it’s hard work and we all have to just keep trying and understand that change is hard but it does pay off,” she said.
Wilton Go Green plans to hold a community-wide forum in January 2017, with a recap of the symposium, a facilitated feedback session and dates for four follow-up workshops in the same focus areas to establish action plans and milestones for the developed initiatives.
- Wilton Go Green president Peg Koellmer recently announced the appointment of Daphne Dixon to the newly created position of Executive Director.
“Wilton Go Green” has grown steadily since its founding in 2009,” said Koellmer. “Bringing Daphne on board reflects the organization’s continued commitment to help Wilton become the most environmentally sustainable town in Connecticut.”
Over the past ... (read more)
Carly Lovallo, Riley Nichols, and Kelly Rafferty installing a “NO IDLING” sign at the Wilton Congregational Church
Wilton Go Green had three Wilton High School students work for us for their internship this past Spring for 4 weeks. Carly Lovallo, Riley Nichols, and Kelly Rafferty, 2016 WHS graduates, installed “NO IDLING” signs, and immersed themselves in emissions ... (read more)
Festival Photos from: 2016 WGGF
2016 SPONSORS and DONORS
Click here to volunteer for next year’s Festival! May 7, 2017
- With an Energize CT check for $2,200 to Wilton Go Green are, from left in front, Alison Reznik, Wilton Go Green, Vivian Perez, HE-Energy Solutions, Stephanie Weiner, New England Smart Energy Group, Dana Gips, Wilton Go Green, Natalia Sudyka, Eversource, and Tracy Allston, Eversource. In back are, Jana Bertkau, left, and Daphne Dixon, both of ... (read more)
Did you know that Wilton is officially an idle-free town?
The Board of Selectmen, at a regular meeting on July 6, 2015, unanimously approved a “no idling” resolution for the town, following a state regulation that is already in effect. By law, vehicles cannot idle for more than three minutes, except when the temperature falls below 20 degrees or ... (read more)
- CT Green LEAF Schools Program
UPDATE: We are pleased to report 3 of our 4 public schools are now officially CT Green Leaf Schools- Middlebrook, Wilton High School and Miller-Driscoll!
Connecticut is launching a new program, Connecticut Green LEAF Schools, which has been created to promote green and healthy schools for all. It is a collaborative effort ... (read more)
Wilton former First Selectman Bill Brennan on behalf of the town accepts the Clean Energy Communities silver award at the 2015 Energize Connecticut municipal awards ceremony. Brennan stands in the center holding the award. On the far right stands Richard Creeth, co-chair of Wilton’s Energy Commission. The woman on the left is Patrice Gillespie of ... (read more)
- WGG Vice President Jana Bertkau, Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan and WGG President Peg Koellmer announcing the WGG Green Business Designation Program
- Wilton Go Green and the Wilton Energy Commission continue the Wilton Energy Challenge – a community-based program for Wilton residents to reduce energy consumption at home. This program is designed to help residents access utility sponsored programs that complete an energy audit of your home, and identify opportunities to make your home more comfortable while ... (read more)
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