Newtown was the scene of many environmental events in 2021. These events highlighted local achievements and changed.
Since more than 15 year, the Town has been actively generating and receiving more of its electricity through Newtown. Solar-powered technology.
Newtown’s Sustainable Energy Commission (SEC), whose mission it is to identify, implement and support renewable energy use and energy efficiency programs and strategies for sustainable materials use, has collaborated with agencies in Newtown, such as Public Works, to help increase the number of solar energy options at town-owned buildings.
The town has been a leader in the municipal solar energy movement through its many initiatives. Plans are to expand its reach.
The commission also contributed to school projects by providing insightful inputs, such as supporting the installation light-emitting diodes. SEC was able provide information and resources to the Board of Finance. cost-efficient methodsDifferent lighting projects can be funded.
Kathy Quinn, SEC Chair, explained that there are programs for utilities in the state that can make it cheaper.
The year saw about as a common topic. Recycling.
Residents received a crash course on recycling from Arlene Miles (Public Works Administrator), Fred Hurley (Public Works Director) and Jennifer Heaton-Jones (Executive Director, Housatonic Resource Recovery Authority, HRRA).
HRRA held a press conferee later in the year to share news about its achievements Glass recycling programOfficially, that piloted in Newtown had begun.
The new system will allow residents to bring their glass recyclables to the Newtown Transfer Station or continue to recycle qualified glass recyclables at their curbside containers. The Town of Newtown also unveiled the new system. recycling surveyThis month was only available for submission until October 1.
Mixed reactions and many comments were received from the public when the Town of Newtowns posted the recycling survey on Facebook. Many expressed a desire to see feedback and not just multiple-choice responses.
Trent McCann, the first ever salaried director of Newtown Forest Association, was another environmental story that attracted a lot attention from residents. McCann was named the NFA’s first executive Director. The NFA was a volunteer-run organization for nearly 100 years.
Private nonprofit land trusts are not only the oldest in the state but also manage more than 1,400 acres of land.
Another article covered McCann’s official December meet and greet.
You may have noticed lots of activity on the High Meadow’s trails if you were walking along the Fairfield Hill Campus Campus trails.
October Newtown BeeReaders were informed about the Conservation Commissions Vegetative Study Area High Meadow Restoration ProjectIt will take place on five acres of land.
Holly Kocet is the chair of the Conservation Commission. She explained that the idea was for scientists to compare meadows to managed areas and to give guidance on possible future meadow projects.
Botanist Bryan A. Connolly, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Eastern Connecticut State University has been visiting the site and collecting plant samples. He also documented his observations. He presented a detailed report of his findings to the Conservation Commission. Connolly was concerned by the amount ofMugwort invasiveThis had to be removed.
It was urgent that Kocet and Protect Our Pollinators member Christine St Georges, along with her sister Laura Mitchell, attended a High Meadow walk-through on November 18. Kocet and her crew have been working to stop the spread. They have cut seed heads at the crossing of the meadow trails.
Another section of Fairfield Hills Campus was also renovated this year. Tammys GardenLocated in the Newtown Municipal Centers courtyard.
Tammy’s Garden was created by Sarah Middeleer, a member of POP. It was installed in 2019 in tribute to Tammy Hazen (Newtown resident), who died in December 2015.
Mary Wilson, a member of the POP, told The Newtown BeeHazen was a long-time employee at the Land Use Department. Her big smile, loving heart, and caring spirit touched everyone who knew her. Tammy loved pollinators and gardens, and she had always wanted to be a part of POP.
A July 30 article featured how Wilson, Middeleer and Joan Cominski, a member of POP, visited the garden to see the new markers for each plant.
Since then, a permanent sign has been placed in the garden. A formal dedication ceremony for Hazens’ relatives and friends is being planned for spring 2022.
Reporter Alissa Silver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan A. Connolly, Botanist, points out a place to walk next while evaluating five acres worth of meadows on Sunday, October 3. He has a clear plastic ziplock bag with plant samples that he had collected in his hand. Bee Photos, Silber
Fred Hurley, Newtown Public Works Director, is joined by Jennifer A. Heaton Jones, Executive Director of Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority, (HRRA), 4th from right. They were joined by partners and local municipal leaders, who attended the Brookfield Town Hall press conference on August 26 to show support for the new program in glass recycling that took effect September 1. Bee Photos, Silber
Newtown’s new police headquarters, 191 South Main Street was opened last January and has solar panels installed on the roof. Lieutenant David Kullgren, Newtown Police Department photo