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Wilton Go Green keeps pushing forward

by Tony Spinelli

Reporter

The sign on the table that Wilton Go Green board member Patrice Gillespie was standing next to said it all: No Idling.

“People can ask me anything about energy, including gasoline,” Gillespie said, explaining how the sign pertained to automobile idling, which is not fuel efficient and pollutes the air.

But no idling, in another sense, also reflects the can-do and must-do attitude of Wilton Go Green, which drew 80 people to Wilton Library Feb. 23 for a discussion of how green Wilton can become.

The discussion was based on the daylong symposium conducted by Wilton Go Green last November.

“Wilton will be the most environmentally sustainable town in Connecticut,” the organization wrote as its vision statement, which was the first of many slides to be shown in a presentation in the library’s Brubeck Room.

The goal of making Wilton the leading green town in Connecticut is not farfetched, according to Gary Cuneen, executive director of Seven Generations Ahead, who spoke about eliminating food waste.

“I am impressed by the commitment and passion of the people of Wilton,” Cuneen said of the town.

Jeff Yates, national director of volunteer operations for Trout Unlimited, Michael Rubbo, executive director of the Woodcock Nature Center, and Louise Washer, of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, talked about water issues and efforts to prevent pollution from storm water runoff.

Donna Merrill, executive director of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, spoke about land issues.

Richard Creeth, co-chair of the Wilton Energy Commission, spoke about energy issues.

Ted Stonbely, director of admissions for The Montessori School, spoke about food.

Tina Duncan of Wilton Go Green talked about recycling.

One of the high points of the evening came when Daphne Dixon, executive director of Wilton Go Green, asked the audience to close their eyes and remember a time in their lives when they felt close to nature, to be energized by it and carry it forward.

“You may have been in the woods, or you may have seen some birds,” Dixon said. “What are you able to contribute?”

The nonprofit Wilton Go Green was founded by a group of citizens to engage the community in conservation and sustainability practices. It complements the work of the Wilton Energy Commission, in collaboration with town officials and schools, and also with kindred nonprofits across the state.

“We want to engage all sectors of the community and highlight all the great programs and initiatives that existing organizations currently have and make all the good work that’s going on in Wilton transparent, so we can leverage everything we’re doing, and work toward Wilton Go Green’s vision of having Wilton become the greenest community in Connecticut,” Dixon said in a recent interview. “There’s a lot of passionate people in Wilton who are dedicated to doing what’s right for everybody.”

Wilton Go Green board member Patrice Gillespie with her No Idling sign.

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