Press Release from the Town of Chester • 10/13/2023
Chester is among the Connecticut municipalities to be recognized this year for achieving Sustainable CT certification. Sustainable CT is a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities to become more efficient, resilient, and inclusive. Chester met high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for the prestigious Silver-level certification.
“Hats off to Cindy Lignar and the Sustainable Chester Team for achieving this prestigious milestone for our small but mighty town! The certification recognizes the inclusive, resilient, and vibrant community of Chester and provides more opportunities for current and future grant funding,” said Pat Bandzes, Chester’s Economic Development Commission Chairwoman.
In its application, Chester demonstrated achievement in 12 sustainable impact areas ranging from inclusive community building and thriving local economies to vibrant arts and culture and well-stewarded lands. Chester was able to successfully document actions related to its historical, cultural, natural, and business assets with the assistance of many organizations and their efforts, including Chester Historical Society events; Chester Merchants and Tourism Liaison collaboration; Chester Public Library programs; Chester Land Trust and Conservation Commission invasive species education and mitigation; Cedar Lake benthic barriers to control aquatic weeds; Town pollinator gardens and education; and Chester Rotary’s activities and financial support of efforts. Additionally, Chester documented fifteen sustainability events, including the first town-wide Earth Month & Day celebration; new opportunities for residents to recycle; initiation of the Region 4 Food Scraps program; Chester Land Trust town-wide clean up, Chester Fair’s Zero Waste Efforts, and the Sunday Farmers’ Market.
“The silver certification process was extensive and extremely detailed, but it was well worth the effort! It required collaboration between town officials, departments, boards and commissions, and the Chester community. We came together to demonstrate Chester’s “can do” attitude and to showcase the many accomplishments that make Chester a healthy and forward-looking community,” said Cindy Lignar, Chester’s Sustainability Team Lead.
“Congratulations to our certified communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of Sustainable CT. “We are inspired by the leadership and commitment of these communities. From elected officials and town staff to resident volunteers, these certified towns are improving opportunities and the quality of life for all.”
The Sustainable CT program includes actions that help municipalities build community connection, social equity, and long-term resilience. It includes an action roadmap and support tools that are especially relevant as towns seek practices and resources to promote social justice and respond to the ongoing challenges of climate change and economic uncertainty. Sustainable CT is independently funded, with strong multi-year support from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Hampshire Foundation, Connecticut Green Bank, Common Sense Fund, and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
Chester and all of this year’s certified communities will be recognized at the Sustainable CT’s Awards Celebration. For more information about this event and to register to attend, visit sustainablect.org/celebration