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Green Group Traces Roots to Bag Ban

The story of the Westport Green Village Initiative begins with Westport's ban on plastic bags, co-founder Dan Levinson says. He'll be telling the story of the birth of the environmentally conscious group at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at Sherwood Island State Park.

"It was the ban on bags that really woke us up," Levinson said as he took a walk with his dog Luke. Westport's ban on plastic bags from grocery stores and retailers wasn't the doing of the group, but it was the inspiration. "We thought, maybe Westport is ready to get back to its liberal roots," he said.

In the year and a half it has been together, the group has planted gardens at Staples High School as well as in Ridgefield and Fairfield and is pushing toward Bridgeport. It also is a driving force behind making Westport's Wakeman Town Farm a reality.

Many people around the world need help, Levinson said, but he believes it is important to fix the local community first. "One of my biggest things is being local. You don't pollute your own water supply," he said.

Levinson said the world has gotten away from doing the right thing and started doing what was just barely legal. As more towns and people join the green village initiative, he hopes to gain the strength as an organization to influence the state government to make what he calls the right decisions.

But first Levinson needs to finish walking his dog, who has run off to investigate a neighbor's yard despite being called by his master.

Entry to the Sherwood Island will be free after 6 p.m. Aug. 19, and lemonade and cookies will be provided at Levinson's talk.

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