Just how sustainable and environmentally conscious should Wilton be? That’s a question that really can only be answered by its residents and town leaders together. Now Wilton Go Green is hosting the first ever “How Green Could Wilton Be” Symposium and the group is asking everyone to attend to determine Wilton’s green future.

The meeting will be the first of its kind in Wilton, and will be held Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Wilton LibraryWilton’s municipal, environmental, business, faith, education, non-profit and community leaders are invited to gather and discover sustainability priorities, brainstorm solutions, and share best practices. In doing so, Wilton Go Green hopes to reveal what is possible for Wilton in the area of environmental stewardship and care.

The Symposium will feature insights from keynote speaker Gary Cuneen, founder and executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. Cuneen consults directly with municipal, business, and community decisionmakers on creating and implementing sustainability programs that appeal to the wider community.

He says that it’s crucial that residents get involved early, for example by attending the symposium.

“The opportunity here is to convene leaders and practitioners to network, learn, plan and act together in collaborative ways that break through silos, establish common goals and drive toward actionable strategies and measurable outcomes. Residents are an important part of this equation, as they will drive day to day behavior and consumer choices that lead to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diverting more material from landfills, protecting potable water supplies, enhancing ecosystems, reducing pollution, and ultimately ushering in a new sustainable economy and way of life.”

Through breakout sessions, the symposium will help participants to identify Wilton’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the areas of land/water, food, recycling (materials management) and energy. Cuneen will facilitate getting the attendees focused on how Wilton can work together–across silos–to create a stronger sustainability infrastructure, and identify how each one adds value, plays a special role, and is vital to the sustainability conversation. The symposium is also meant to serve as a catalyst and spark community interest for impactful, town-wide engagement around sustainability initiatives that are action oriented.

Organizers say they hope the symposium, “…will trigger ideas, a true sense of cooperation and help launch community passion around specific energy, land/water, food and recycling (materials management) initiatives and projects with specific timelines.”

Next Steps

In early 2017, Wilton Go Green will host a community-wide event and present a symposium recap to share information and priority initiatives, request feedback from the audience, and announce dates for four follow-up workshops in the areas of Energy, Land/Water, Food and Recycling (Materials Management). The purpose of the workshops are to engage the community at large, develop action plans, and define milestones that will drive successful completion of initiatives.

There is no charge to attend, but space is limited; interested attendees need to register online before the event. Lunch is complimentary.