To promote livable, sustainable communities through partnerships that maintain and enhance the
unique quality of life and environment found in Eastern Connecticut communities.
To promote regional cooperation in economic development and resource conservation to preserve
the unique quality of life that makes Eastern Connecticut a place where people want to live and work.
Assist in creating healthy, attractive and ecological landscapes at the regional, municipal and
landowner scale. Ecological landscaping practices can help to conserve water quality and quantity,
provide habitat for birds and other animals, increase porous surfaces for rainwater infiltration, create
functional and attractive landscapes and require fewer fossil fuels and less energy for maintenance.
Objective 1: Educate citizens, town commissions, landscape professionals and others on the
importance of installing ecological landscaping practices.
1. Place information on the ecological landscaping initiative on the RC& D website.
2. Work with the Tolland Agricultural Center (TAC) Grounds Management Committee to
obtain funding for ecological landscaping projects at the TAC.
3. Provide outreach support for ecological landscaping workshops.
Objective 2: Help educate the public on home-scale organic vegetable production and support
the production and donation of organic vegetables to local communities in need.
1. Support organic gardening initiatives in Eastern Connecticut.
Objective 3: Assist with outreach and education pertaining to the distribution of the CT Lakes
Shoreline Protection Manual.
1. Post information on the RC&D website about the new guide.
2. Work with DEEP, UCONN Extension and the CT Federation of Lakes to educate municipalities
and lake shore owners.
Objective 4: Assist in the improvement of impaired waterways in Eastern CT on a project basis.
1. Pursue independently or with partners 319 funding.
Farm to School
Assist the CT Department of Agriculture Farm‐to‐School Program (FTS) in growing and reenergizing
respect and interest in farming support the resurgence in buying local and the reinvestments of good
fresh food for kids at their schools and to grow and expand the markets for farmers in Connecticut.
Objective 1: Assist the CT Department of Agriculture Farm to School Program.
1. Post the Farm to School Baseline data report on the RC&D website.
2. Work with the Governor’s Council on Agricultural Development to increase spending on
CT grown in schools and institutions.
3. Investigate ways to promote CT ground beef and other proteins for use in CT schools and
4. Investigate ways to encourage
farmers to bring more land into
5. Assist the CT Department of
Agriculture, CT Department of
Education and UCONN Extension
with nutrition and agriculture
education relating to FTS.
To assist the communities of Eastern Connecticut in understanding the challenges and opportunities
with remediating and redeveloping environmentally impacted sites.
Objective 1: Foster intermunicipal brownfields initiatives involving multiple communities.
1. Continue coordination efforts with BANC (Brownfields Alliance of Northeast
Connecticut) to seek joint project funding and promote revitalization of mill properties.
Objective 2: Conduct outreach and education to brownfields property owners and municipalities.
1. Convene one informational workshop on changes to CT regulations on brownfields
2. Assist municipal economic/
staff with informational
mailings to property owners.
Support urban forestry initiatives
that include community tree
inventories, educational programs,
rain water management programs,
tree warden programs, and tree
Objective 1: Promote successful
America the Beautiful grant recipient’s projects.
1. Highlight with stories and photos successful projects in Eastern CT on the RC&D website.
Objective 2: Support and promote the CT Tree Warden’s Association and their training.
1. Provide funding and/or support for scholarships for tree warden certification training to
the CT Tree Warden’s Association for municipalities in Eastern CT.
Objective 3: Educate municipal agencies on the importance of including tree review in the site
review and permitting process as part of any Connecticut land use training program.
1. Partner with UCONN Community and Natural Resource Planning Program to incorporate
tree review during site reviews and BMP standards during construction phase of
Objective 4: Promote and support municipal tree planting and inventory programs and projects.
1. Annually support or fund (1) municipal tree planting project or inventory.
Objective 5: Support the State Vegetation Management Task Force.
1. Keep track of recommendations as they emerge.
2. Help disseminate the recommendations throughout the Eastern CT RC&D Area.
Sustainable Communities Updates: News & Events
Eagle Scout builds new Kiosk at TAC
The Eastern Connecticut RC&D Sustainable Communities Subcommittee provided the funds for an Eagle Scout to construct an information kiosk at the Tolland Agricultural Center (TAC) in Vernon, CT. The scout worked with the TAC building committee and Vivian Felten of the USDA-NRCS for the design. The scout is a senior at South Windsor High School and hopes to be attending college in Vermont after graduation as an Army ROTC cadet.
Connecticut Project Receives USDA Grant
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced grants for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program.
"In rural and urban communities across the country, farm to school programs teach students where food comes from, while providing healthy foods that are grown locally on farms and ranches across the nation," said Vilsack. "These programs also create new market opportunities for local farmers and ranchers interested in partnering with nearby school districts - and by helping to create an even more diverse and thriving agriculture sector, farm to school efforts hold potential to create new jobs in rural areas."
Ledge Light Health District New London, CT
Grant Type: Support Service; $100,000
Ledge Light Health District, FRESH New London, and community partners will implement the
"Farm Fresh New London County Schools" to increase the consumption of locally grown fresh
food in the twenty school districts in New London County, Connecticut. By building the
capacity of the 75 farmers in the county to participate in farm to school programming, and by
connecting farmers and school food service directors, Ledge Light Health District and partners
will support farms and schools in overcoming existing barriers. The parties will work together
to develop an electronic purchasing portal to facilitate farm to school purchases in the county.
Ledge Light Health District will also build demand for fresh local food among school children
and parents through a social marketing campaign, presentations to the Board of Education,
town councils, and parent and community groups, and by conducting experiential learning activities.
2012 CT Farm to School Survey Results are now available. The Eastern Connecticut RC&D Area and the CT Department of Agriculture Farm to School (FTS) Program Baseline Survey Report 2012 is now available. Three surveys were developed and sent to farmers, school food service directors and wholesalers/distributors to better understand participation and interest in Farm to School and to identify the best opportunities to increase sales of CT Grown products to K-12 schools. The project was funded through a grant from the USDA and the regional group Farm to Institution New England (FINE). Survey Results (pdf)
ELN: Vivian Felton from NRCS created a flyer for a recent tree and shrub identification workshop held at TAC. One of the pages listed the practices on the ground and the other page describes the shrub rain garden at the main building. Brochure (pdf)
New projects may include the creation of a website that would help to increase the education value of the existing demonstration sites and place to consolidate historical and current information about TAC. The Tolland Ag Board of Trustees is committed to supporting the development and maintenance of a website.
The ELN did not receive the grant for an ethno-botanical buffer, but they plan on reapplying.
The organic vegetable garden will get a re-design this coming year. The entire TAC parcel is considered a People’s Garden and the produce that was grown was donated to a local food bank. They plan on promoting the People’s Garden Initiative in the coming year through video and the website.