Vernon Again Attains Sustainable CT Silver Certification
VERNON, CT — The town of Vernon is among five Connecticut municipalities to be recognized this spring for achieving Sustainable CT certification. Vernon attained high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for the prestigious silver level, the highest certification available.
Vernon first achieved Silver Certification in November 2019 and earlier this year completed the process to continue that certification through 2025.
Sustainable CT is a voluntary program through which municipalities work to build community connections, social equity and long-term resilience. The program and its action tools are useful to cities and towns as they work to build vibrant and healthy communities, thriving local economies, engaging arts and culture, diverse housing and enhance transportation.
Vernon and Coventry achieved silver certification from Sustainable CT. Guilford, Lyme and Southbury attained bronze certification.
Sustainable CT’s evaluators recognized Vernon for its efforts at brownfield redevelopment, which addresses a variety of equity issues; the ongoing “Buy Local Vernon” campaign to assist local businesses; a health impact assessment related to the creation of an arts and culture district in downtown Rockville; creation of an open space plan; and continued support for the arts and creative culture. The broad goals are promoting the health and well-being of the community and protecting natural and cultural resources.
“Earning the Silver Certification again is evidence of our commitment to ensure Vernon is a forward-thinking community where people want to live, work, play and establish businesses,” Vernon Mayor Daniel Champagne said. “We continue to work on projects that will keep Vernon moving forward and benefit our residents.”
“There’s a finite amount of land, economic resources and human capital, and carefully managing those resources is the very essence of sustainability,” Town Administrator Michael Purcaro said. “Sustainable CT applies that concept across the board to all facets of government operations. It also provides a good framework of best practices to tackle countless issues that municipalities deal with on a day to day basis.”
“While it is town staff who put together the submission to Sustainable CT, it’s a team effort and town residents play a crucial role,” said Shaun Gately, Vernon’s Economic Development Coordinator, Acting Town Planner and Vernon’s Sustainable CT Coordinator. “It’s residents who drove these topics and kept them in the forefront. It’s volunteers and commission members that have woven sustainability into the fabric of the community.”
Certified communities demonstrated significant achievements in at least eleven sustainability impact areas, ranging from community building, thriving local economies and vibrant arts and culture to enhancing transportation and diverse housing. In addition, certified municipalities addressed issues of belonging, equity, diversity, and inclusion when implementing sustainability actions.
Sustainable CT submissions are rigorously evaluated by independent experts and other Sustainable CT partners. Across Connecticut, 129 municipalities have registered for the program and 64 have earned Sustainable CT certification, which lasts for three years.
“Congratulations to our newest Sustainable CT certified communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of the program. “They join a growing number of certified towns and cities that are demonstrating municipal practices that make our communities more inclusive, healthy, connected, and strong.”
Vernon and all 2022 certified communities will be recognized later this year at Sustainable CT’s annual certification awards ceremony and celebration scheduled for November. For more information, visit www.sustainablect.org.