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Weston's Sustainability Team Sets Ambitious Goals

The natural environment maintains a special place in the hearts of Weston residents. And the Sustainability Committee is looking to build on that respect with an assortment of innovative strategies.

"Things are just popping in Weston," committee Chairman Dierdre Doran said. "We now have a full seven-member committee. Everyone is so dedicated to really making a difference."

In 2007, Weston joined the Connecticut Neighbor-to-Neighbor Challenge , committing itself to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent over three years. According to the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund , 5.8 percent of Weston households signed up for the program. Doran said this initiative is just the tip of the green iceberg in Weston.

Member Lou Dempsey is concentrating on energy conservation and is working on a degree in conservation, Doran said.

The committee's agenda also includes tackling storm water management, a concept headed by Clement Butt, a landscape architect and owner of Classic Garden Designs in Weston. Doran said her interest is also in water safety, focusing on limiting the effects and use of pesticides and herbicides.

Pheobe Cole-Smith's contribution will be developing a community garden, and Eileen Kaufman's work is with transportation. Kaufman's ideas contributed to the establishment of the newly formed Pedestrian and Bicycling Committee, Doran added.

Garbage composting and trash recycling is also on the list, and newly appointed member Don Kendell will work with the schools to incorporate local sustainability issues into the curriculum. Member David Wilke is organizing a speaker series to motivate the town to get involved in all projects moving forward.

Although longtime committee chairman and founder Martin Strasmore stepped down earlier this year, Doran's team seems committed to taking Strasmore's vision to the next level.

What environmental issues are you concerned about? What can we do to pitch in and help?

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