Wilton Go Green gears up for symposium

Front row: Patrice Gillespie, Energy Commission, and Tina Duncan, Wilton Go Green, symposium chair; second row: Jackie Algon, Wilton Garden Club, and Sara Curtis; third row: Mike Murray, New England Smart Energy, Daphne Dixon, Wilton Go Green, and Lynn Stack, Wilton Go Green; fourth row: Joe Cea, Bay State Textiles, Peg Koellmer, Wilton Go Green, and Donna Merrill, Wilton Land Conservation Trust; fifth row: Dan Delventhal, MowGreen, and Ted Stonbely, The Montessori School.

Front row: Patrice Gillespie, Energy Commission, and Tina Duncan, Wilton Go Green, symposium chair; second row: Jackie Algon, Wilton Garden Club, and Sara Curtis; third row: Mike Murray, New England Smart Energy, Daphne Dixon, Wilton Go Green, and Lynn Stack, Wilton Go Green; fourth row: Joe Cea, Bay State Textiles, Peg Koellmer, Wilton Go Green, and Donna Merrill, Wilton Land Conservation Trust; fifth row: Dan Delventhal, MowGreen, and Ted Stonbely, The Montessori School.

Wilton is no rank beginner when it comes to going green. The town has several arrays of solar panels to produce electricity, has energy-efficient public buildings and lighting, and is ahead of the curve on community gardens.

But there is always room for improvement. That’s the theme for Tuesday, Nov. 29, when Wilton’s educational, municipal, faith, business, thought, and community leaders are invited to gather at the How Green Could Wilton Be symposium at Wilton Library.

They will identify priorities, brainstorm solutions, and share best practices that will help move Wilton closer to becoming more sustainable.

“We have so much going on in town already, school gardens, green leaf schools, a no-idling program, and we have Trout Unlimited and the Norwalk River Watershed Association,” said Tina Duncan, Wilton Go Green’s event chairman for the symposium. Green leaf schools is a reference to how the schools teach environmental sustainability, practice healthful eating and recycle.

“The idea of the symposium was to get a number of people in the room and find what everybody is doing, and to get a number of different voices in the room so we can hopefully come up with a few measures and a few initiatives people in town can support,” Duncan said.

The symposium will feature insights from keynote speaker Gary Cuneen, founder and executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, followed by lunch and breakout sessions. Cuneen’s experience is in Illinois, in the somewhat larger community of Oak Park, home of famed landscape architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

“They worked to reduce their energy use. They developed a scorecard that a lot of people from the community came together on and the scorecard is very basic but it gets a thumbs-up. It’s a simple graphic, but tells you you’re headed in the right direction,” Duncan said. “I think there’s a lot of potential here, and getting people together will come up with good ideas,” she said.

There are two break-out sessions scheduled. During the first session, participants may attend a discussion of recycling and waste management or land and water.

During the second session, the tracks are energy and food. The program will wind up with a roundtable where participants will express their opinions on how they envision the future.

Daphne Dixon, executive director of Wilton Go Green, said in a statement that the goals of the symposium are threefold:

  • Identify and share strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the areas of land/water, recycling, energy, and food.
  • Serve as a catalyst for impactful, townwide sustainability initiatives.
  • Spark community interest and active engagement in specific, measurable goals.

Green mission

Wilton Go Green’s mission is to promote sustainable living in energy, food, waste and recycling, transportation, land and water. The group works with all sectors of the community to             trigger more ideas and engagement to help support sustainability efforts.

Municipal leaders, businesses, board and commission members, educators, faith-based organizations, thought leaders, nonprofits, and community leaders are invited to RSVP for the symposium to Dixon at 203-536-4695. Space is limited.

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