DEEP: 2005 Government/Institutional GreenCircle Award Recipients

GreenCircle Award Recipients
2005 Government / Institutional Related

Name of Government or
Institutional Entity

Category/Activity

Description of Activity

East Haddam Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission
East Haddam, CT

Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats

The Town of East Haddam and James Ventres, the wetlands enforcement officer, recently prevailed in a high profile wetlands enforcement action against the Goodspeed Airport, LLC et al. The State Supreme Court in a decision dated August 30, 2005, upheld a lower court decision and ruled in favor of the town. The violation involved the destruction of floodplain forest along the Connecticut River in East Haddam. The decision of the State Supreme Court is significant not only because it upheld the monetary penalty imposed by the lower court but also because the State Supreme Court recognized the importance of wetlands and the critical plant and animal habitats such wetlands provide. In a press release dated August 19, 2005, Attorney General Blumenthal said "This State Supreme Court decision is a critical victory-preserving state power to protect environmental resources. With reckless disregard, Goodspeed Airport owner Timothy Mellon brazenly clear-cut 340 trees on a protected floodplain near the Connecticut River. DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy said in a press release dated August 19, 2005 "This judicial victory demonstrates our high court's understanding of the importance of our state's inland wetlands and watercourses, and the commitment of our towns and the DEP to enforce our laws that protect Connecticut's water and wetlands.

Eastern Connecticut State University
Willimantic, CT

Designing and developing building projects that fulfill Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements; joining EPA's Energy Star program and actively participating in DEP's Connecticut partnership; promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats; implementing habitat enhancements for fish or wildlife on public or private property; voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river, or watershed associations; donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations; and implementing recycling specifications for construction and demolition waste in state or municipally funded building projects

Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) has aggressively pursued actions to address the issue of climate change and environmental sustainability by incorporating concern for the environment into campus life. ECSU is expanding the role universities have in influencing sustainable decisions through its Green Campus Initiative. ECSU is taking direct action as it seeks to realize the vision of a green campus. The university hopes its efforts will provide a model campus and aid in establishing a network of Connecticut universities and communities that can work together toward the common goal of sustainability. The Talloires Declaration was signed on June 2004 and outlines the necessary steps for environmental and energy sustainability on college and university campuses. The Sustainable Energy Studies Program was designed to prepare undergraduate students through the study of the scientific, environmental, economic and social implications of energy technology and energy policy. In 2001, Facilities Management & Planning secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund the heating and cooling system in Eastern's on-campus High Rise Apartments. The obsolete heating system in a 72,000 square foot building was replaced with a geothermal system that now heats and cools the building. The University created a 19 acre Arboretum maintained for educational purposes and public access by the Biology, EES and Facility Management departments. The Institute for Sustainable Energy at ECSU was established in 2001 to identify, develop, and implement the means for achieving a sustainable energy future. In the fall of 2004, Facilities Management & Planning installed five grid-independent photovoltaic solar panels on the bus stops around campus. The Institute is the recipient of the 2004 Energy Star Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award from the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Excellence in Energy Education and Environmental Merit Awards from EPA Region I in both 2004 and 2005.

Eastern Connecticut State University
Roots & Shoots Club
Willimantic, CT

Donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations

The Eastern Connecticut State University Roots & Shoots Club was established January 28, 2005, which is the Jan Goodall Institute's International environmental and humanitarian program for young people. Its mission is to foster respect and compassion for all living things; to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs; and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for the environment, animals, and the human community. Earth Day was held on April 20, 2005 with a commentary from environmental speakers on a solar-powered stage. Environmental groups from the surrounding area and student clubs had displays where students and the community could learn more about these organizations' efforts to foster an eco-friendly society. Roots & Shoots members presented the 10% Challenge, which is a voluntary program that encourages participants to reduce their ecological footprint by lowering their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10 percent. Root & Shoots students are conducting ongoing reminders to participants and encouraging their contined actions to reduce emissions.

Greenwich Hospital
Greenwich, CT

Executing an innovative purchasing program which promotes the procurement of recycled and environmentally preferable products

Aiming to create a healthier environment, Greenwich Hospital replaced cleaning products that have toxic chemical ingredients with cleaners that are environmentally friendly. The hospital only purchases general purpose cleaners that meet hospital requirements and the specifications of Green Seal, an independent body that certifies and recommends environmentally responsible products and services. The Environmental Services Department, which includes 52 employees, did away with products whose effectiveness relies on toxic chemicals in October 2003. The crew uses an arsenal of "green" products to clean area (bathrooms, lobbies, waiting rooms, kitchens, windows, furniture) that do not involve direct patient care. Settings where acute patient care takes place, such as the operating room, are cleaned with a hospital-certified germicide to eliminate disease-producing micoorganisms. Greenwich Hospital embraces the "principle of precautionary action" laid out by the Science and Environmental Health Network, a consoritium of North American environmental organizations that calls for taking preventive action when there is reasonable suspicion that a product may cause harm. The hospital works to identify and avoid ingredients known or susupected of being carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and toxic to humans and wildlife.

New Haven Land Trust
New Haven, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year; donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations; and opening large tracts of private property for public recreation

The New Haven Land Trust has seven preserves totalling almost 60 acres of wetlands, upland and shoreline habitats. The Land Trust has established close to 50 community gardens throughout the neighborhoods of New Haven. Some garden lots are vacant city lots and have been turned into productive agriculture parcels. Other gardens are located at senior housing, public housing or insitutional settings.

Senior Sunshine Center of New Fairfield
New Fairfield, CT

Voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, DEP fish and wildlife projects, water quality monitoring programs, or lake, river, or watershed associations and donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations

Beginning in May, 2005, members of the New Fairfield Senior Center formed a Senior's Environmental Corporation (SEC) to assist in local environmental projects and education. Their first project was to undertake the bacteria monitoring program conducted on Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) from June 21st to September 6th. Participating Seniors received training for sample collections from the New Fairfield Health Department and the CLA. Each Tuesday morning for twelve weeks, one or two teams of the SEC drove to eighteen sites along the 65 miles of shoreline on Candlewood Lake to collect water samples. Teams then drove to a state-certified commercial lab, where samples were analyzed for E. coli. Results of the analysis were faxed to the CLA and then forwared to the Senior Center. The SEC then entered the data into a spreadsheet.

Simsbury Land Trust
Simsbury, CT

Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats

The Simsbury Land Trust's mission is to protect scenic vistas, geological features and farmland that visually define Simsbury's character and provide healthy habitats for local wildlife and plants. The Land Trust recently celebrated the signing of a landmark agreement with the Tuller family, owners of Tulmeadow Farm since 1768, to protect 165 of its acres. Since the Land Trust was founded in 1976, they have aquired 19 parcels of land valued at $1,900,000, representing over 300 acres of permanently protected land. With the help of volunteers, they have built "The Bog Walk" off of North Saddle Ridge Drive which allows an up close view of the 40 acres of plants and wildlife found on that unique wetland property without damage to the fragile surface vegetation. They also published the Simsbury Walkbook: A Guide to Local Hiking.

Thompson Together Environment Committee
Thompson, CT

Sponsoring a river, beach or neighborhood clean up day

The Thompson Together Environment Committee (Committee) has several sub-committes that work to increase environmental awareness and action in their community. Its Community Art Show is an annual event that showcases environmental artwork created by citizens who live or work in Thompson. The Committee also assisted in the organization of local school art shows. The Committee coordinated Community Service Days with Marianapolis Prep School. On May 31, 2005, projects included painting the Merrill Seney Community Room at the Thompson Town Hall, washing town trucks and busses, and working in town parks and on trails. The Committee organized four annual town-wide Roadside Clean-ups, with more than 450 volunteers servicing over 110 miles of local and state roads. In 2005, volunteers helped clean the French and Quinebaug Rivers on Earth Day collecting over 200 tires, thirteen propane tanks, three batteries, three televisions, two major appliances, almost three tons of metal and eight tons of rubbish.

Town of Plainville
Plainville, CT

Donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations and implementing a facility-wide integrated pest management program

The Town of Plainville passed a resolution on September of 2004 to participate with the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, an International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives program. As of March 21, 2005 the Plainville Government Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollutant Emissions Report was completed. Currently the town is working on measures and actions that would reduce it's greenhouse gases. As of April 26, 2005 the Town of Plainville joined ENERGY STAR making a fundamental commitment to protect the environment through the continous improvement of it's energy performance. The Plainville Conservation Commission has invested time and energy in the Freedom Lawn Inititative Program. This program educates the general public, through literature and seminars, of the risks and hazards associated with pesticide applications. As of May 18, 2005, 30 properties in town totaling 11 acres are pesticide free. The Town of Plainville currently uses an Integrated Pest Management program administered by licensed town employees. Plainville's Director of Physical Services is drafting a report on implementing an organic turf program for town owned properties. Funding needed for such a program will be incorporated into the Director's budget for the next fiscal year.

Waterbury Litter Control and Beautification Commission c/o City Hall
Waterbury, CT

Sponsoring a river, beach or neighborhood clean up day; voluntarily contributing significant time or resources to environmental instructional programs, and donating significant time or resources to assist with environmental projects sponsored by youth groups, or community or conservation organizations

For the past several years, the Waterbury Litter Control Commission has been organizing a clean-up day for all city neighborhoods. The two newspapers, the Waterbury Republican and the weekly, The Waterbury Observer publicize the events. It is one of the few cities in CT that has such an active anti-litter campaign with a quality educational component. For example in 2005, the Commission sponsored a poster contest, as well as an educational program for grades K-5. The commission received a grant from Yankee Gas of $5,000 that will go towards the development of educational and informational material to be mailed out to households, including recycling information over the next three years.

James Ventres

East Haddam Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission
East Haddam, CT

Promoting conservation and preservation of critical plant or animal habitats

Mr. Ventres, the wetlands enforcement officer and the Town of East Haddam, recently prevailed in a high profile wetlands enforcement action against the Goodspeed Airport, LLC et al. The State Supreme Court in a decision dated August 30, 2005, upheld a lower court decision and ruled in favor of the town. The violation involved the destruction of floodplain forest along the Connecticut River in East Haddam. The decision of the State Supreme Court is significant not only because it upheld the monetary penalty imposed by the lower court but also because the State Supreme Court recognized the importance of wetlands and the critical plant and animal habitats such wetlands provide. In a press release dated August 19, 2005, Attorney General Blumenthal said "This State Supreme Court decision is a critical victory-preserving state power to protect environmental resources. With reckless disregard, Goodspeed Airport owner Timothy Mellon brazenly clear-cut 340 trees on a protected floodplain near the Connecticut River. DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy said in a press release dated August 19, 2005 "This judicial victory demonstrates our high court's understanding of the importance of our state's inland wetlands and watercourses, and the commitment of our towns and the DEP to enforce our laws that protect Connecticut's water and wetlands.

Virginia Walton, Recycling Coordinator

Town of Mansfield, Public Works Department
Mansfield, CT

Adopting a vacant lot, park, community garden, stretch of highway or beach for a year

Virginia Walton's principle vehicle is the composting program she has installed in Mansfield's schools. Ginnie teaches composting and a raft of related subjects in the K through 12 classes in Mansfield's three primary and two middle schools. Her approach begins with actual composting of school lunch wastes. This leads to a wonderful array of related subjects: Friend of Fungi, the Green Thumbs garden (fertilized with the compost of the school lunches) in the Southeast School's greenhouse. Plants grown there are sold at a school year-end public plant sale. Because recycling is the base of her programs, she has fostered a high level of environmental awareness throughout the Town. For example, she has worked with vendors and attendees at Mansfield's annual Festival on the Green, now in its third year, towards waste reduction. She achieved a 55% reduction in solid wastes generated at the Fair last year through emphasis on recycling and through her introduction of corn-based, compostable utensils. She has organized, with student help, skits and fashion shows utilizing recycled clothing. She is present at fairs and other gatherings with brochures, demonstration materials and displays. She seeks and obtains grants to further promote recycling projects. One such grant enabled the Town to initiate a recycling program for computers, televisions and other electronics. It is still going today.

GreenCircle Award Recipients | GreenCircle Award Program

Content Last Updated on September 6, 2007