Ridgefield, Roxbury and New Milford are among the first towns to receive bronze certifications in the new Sustainable CT program.

The program started last year as a way to support and recognize localities’ economic development and sustainable practices. The first certifications were announced earlier this month, awarding 17 bronze certifications and five silver certifications.

Towns earn points based on their actions in nine areas, including thriving local economies, vibrant arts-and-culture, clean transportation and diverse housing.

“New Milford is a forward-thinking community,” Mayor Pete Bass said in a news release. “We are committed to promoting the economic well-being of our town and residents while respecting the environment and our natural resources.”

Some of New Milford’s highlights included its farmland preservation efforts, the electric vehicle charging station on the green, incorporating sustainability into the zoning regulations, hosting a household hazardous waste day and recycling a wide range of materials. The town was recognized for supporting the arts, as well as various groups that preserve and protect open space.

Bass and Roxbury First Selectwoman Barbara Henry said they look forward to expanding their efforts so they can achieve the silver ranking next year.

“Improving on our recycling efforts and raising awareness on how we can all use less plastic bags, straws, pesticides, etc. is one of the next steps we’d like to build on,” Henry said.

Bass and Henry said they hope to use the grant money to achieve some of their goals.

Sustainable CT was developed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University with advice from municipal leaders across the state. It’s independently funded, largely by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund.

Roxbury earned points for collaborating with the Roxbury Land Trust, as well as supporting the arts and conservation commission. The commission recently completed Joey’s Trail, which was dedicated to Joey Awlasewicz who died in 2014 and loved the outdoors.

The town was recognized for its electric vehicle charging station and partnering with various organizations to promote local businesses and recycling.

Some of Ridgefiled’s recent efforts include the remediation and redevelopment of the former Schlumberger property, the conservation commission’s work, increased marketing and promotion of cultural events and businesses, hosting sustainable events and collecting food waste.

kkoerting@newstimes.com; 203-731-3345