The Greenwich Sustainability Committee has announced that it is now accepting nominations for its newly established Sustainability Award, which will be presented in conjunction with the Town’s Earth Day Proclamation. The award has been created to recognize Greenwich residents who embody the principles of the committee. The principles include acknowledging our place as participants within living and interdependent ecosystems, committing to sustaining, improving and restoring our natural resources, landscape and watershed, and encouraging the growth and development that attends a healthy economy to be rooted in the health of our natural systems.
The committee also looks to honor the natural function and beauty of our landscape as integral to building community and serving well-being, envision collaboration among all members of the Greenwich community to forward responsible and enduring stewardship of water, air, land, and shore, recognize a changing natural environment, and seek resilient strategies to meet and adapt to inevitable challenges. Additionally, the committee recognizes diversity in all its forms, including biodiversity in our landscapes, watershed, and shore, which makes them resilient, and diversity of representation in our process, which makes for successful outcomes.
Residents of Greenwich are encouraged to send in nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than March 17 based on the following criteria for a person who:
- ACKNOWLEDGES our place as participants within living and interdependent ecosystems.
- COMMITS to sustaining, improving and restoring our natural resources, landscape and watershed on which future generations will depend.
- ENCOURAGES the growth and development that attends a healthy economy to be rooted in the health of our natural systems.
- HONORS the natural function and beauty of our landscape as integral to building community and serving wellbeing.
- ENVISIONS collaboration among all members of our Greenwich community to forward responsible and enduring stewardship of water, air, land and shore.
- RECOGNIZES a changing natural environment and seek resilient strategies to meet and adapt to inevitable challenges.
- RESPECTS diversity in all its forms: biodiversity in our landscapes, watershed and shore is what makes them resilient and diversity of representation in our process is what makes for successful outcomes.
The co-chairs of the committee are Select-person Janet Stone McGuigan and Environmental Affairs Director Elizabeth Evans. There are also sector chairs that represent business, community culture, climate resiliency, food systems, land and water, legislative and advocacy, transportation and air quality, and waste reduction.
McGuigan enthusiasm for the committee is clear. She said, “The Town of Greenwich runs on volunteer power. The Greenwich Sustainability Committee in particular is a network of close to forty local non profits and individuals who all share a sustainability-centered purpose. The Town of Greenwich is working to serve as a role model for sustainable practices, but it is clear that if we are going to move the needle we need the support of our entire community. What better way, then, to celebrate Earth Day than by highlighting the contributions of community members who embody the spirit of sustainability!”
In addition to the announcement of the Sustainability Award, the committee also recently declared Greenwich’s commitment to advance sustainability and climate resiliency. The resolution recognizes that the town has experienced extreme weather events, including severe storms, drought, and intense heat, which have resulted in increased risks to public health, loss of power and basic utilities, high riverine floodwaters, inland and coastal flooding. The resolution also acknowledges that the state of Connecticut’s average annual air temperature has warmed 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, which may have a direct impact on air quality and people’s health.
The resolution encourages the Town of Greenwich to prioritize ways to advance sustainability and climate resiliency whenever Town departments develop future departmental priorities, policies, plans, budgets, and actions.
The Greenwich Sustainability Committee is committed to promoting responsible environmental practices for:
- businesses to thrive
- taking steps to slow global warming and being better prepared to withstand and cope with its effects
- saving trees, supporting public education and promoting walkability
- building community and connection around food
- serving open space, clean waters, and biodiversity
- advocating for passage of state laws and local ordinances to protect the environment
- promoting emission-free transportation, clean air, and the slowdown of global warming
- promoting and supporting responsible waste management and stewardship of natural resources
To read more about the committee, see Anne W. Semmes article from our February 10, 2023 issue found here: https://www.greenwichsentinel.com/2023/02/10/how-the-greenwich-sustainability-committee-is-on-the-frontlines-dealing-with-climate-change/