Last year, a group focused on making Cheshire an eco-friendly community was created.
Called the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire, its first mission was to register Cheshire on the sustainable cities list, which was done once approval from the Cheshire Town Council was received. Now, one year in, the group is ready to continue promoting projects for Cheshire residents and keep the town ecologically safe for years to come.
“Our first major project is to get Cheshire certified, which we have been working diligently on since we were created last year,” said Coalition leader Fiona Pearson. “We have been going through town and documenting what we have already done that falls in the sustainability umbrella, such as our Pollinator Pathway and our Cheshire West Community Butterfly Garden, which have both been a great success in our community.”
The deadline for their certification was April 6, after which Pearson and her sustainability team will be notified if Cheshire made the cut.
“It’s a lot more work than we thought it would be, but it’s absolutely worth it to make sure that Cheshire gets the recognition it deserves for being as green as it is,” Pearson added. “We also have been working on a lot of things for the town that qualify as ‘action items’ on the sustainable CT website.”
Over the summer, the team launched a town-wide composting project and were able to raise approximately $3,000 to purchase 82 composters for local residents and businesses to use.
“The project went extremely well,” Pearson explained. “We were able to get composters for the farm at Boulder Knoll, the Cheshire West Butterfly Gardens, and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The town really rallied behind us and helped us out, which we are so grateful for. We were able to give a composter to everyone who wanted one, which was really fantastic.”
The Sustainable CT website also lists many art projects for Towns to work on to promote the importance of the arts in local communities, one of which is appointing a Poet Laureate for the Town.
“Last year, we offered Pat Mottola to be our Town’s Poet Laureate,” said Pearson. “We are hoping the Council will make a decision on that soon, but we would love for her to be named as the Town’s Poet Laureate, and maybe we could even appoint a Youth Poet Laureate after all the (attention) Amanda Gorman, who read her poem at the Presidential inauguration, (received).”
Pearson has not heard from the Council as to the status of Mottola’s nomination, but her team and several members of the community have written letters to the Council voicing their support for Mottola’s appointment.
“We hope they will make a decision soon. We would really love to get this done because we know it’s something that both the community and, obviously, our team really want,” Pearson added.
While COVID-19 has made it hard for the coalition to hold large events and fundraisers, Pearson is excited for a event the group plans to hold this month — one centered around a day that fits in perfectly with the Coalition’s mission.
“We really want Cheshire residents to just take a look at the community around them and help clean up as much as possible,” she said. “Just take a few minutes out of the day to pick up litter around your house or neighborhood, that can really do so much and make a difference.”
This year, Earth Day is on Thursday, April 22.