What's New?

Did you know that the Sustainable Saybrook team meets monthly in the 2nd floor conference room at the Old Saybrook Town Hall and all are invited to participate?  Meetings take place on the third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm.  Please check our calendar to confirm dates, times, and specific locations and plan to join us!

Sustainable Saybrook 2014 Scholarship Essay


$500 towards college expenses


Any Old Saybrook Senior High School student graduating in 2014


Please address the topic below within 500 words:

When we speak of sustainability we mean leaving next generations with the same economic, environmental and social resources and opportunities that we have now. What do you think are the biggest barriers to that in this country?


All essays must be received or postmarked by May 12, 2014.

Please submit essays by mail or in person to Bob Fish, Town Hall, 302 Main Street.

The winner will be announced at Awards Night on May 29th.


Sustainable Saybrook and the Old Saybrook Conservation Commission would like to thank everyone who participated in our recent survey.  With your help we were able to meet our goal of over 200 responses.  We wanted to learn more about what residents thought would keep Old Saybrook a great place to live for years to come – and they were happy to tell us! 

Common Themes

We found widely diverse opinions about particulars, but many common themes on broader issues.  Most people hoped Old Saybrook could be kept much as it is today.  People recognized its historic charm and natural beauty and felt that a better informed public would better maintain those characteristics.  Citizens were realistic about their desires, often citing a need to balance environment, prosperity, taxes, school, social and recreational activities.  Those who participated indicated their desire to ‘go greener’ – either with community gardens, bike paths, and open spaces, energy conservation and reliability, or by meeting the challenges of climate change and severe weather. 

Needs and Improvements

Residents shared nuanced views on economic development, preferring to encourage businesses that provided career employment over retail development.  The strongest support was for both professional and light industrial companies that are technology based.  However, local retail along Main Street was overwhelmingly regarded as an asset to the community.  Safety for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians on Main Street, competition from big box stores on Route 1, and the number of vacant business properties were often named as areas of special concern. 

Respondents also listed affordability and livability, particularly for young families, as an issue that could impact Old Saybrook’s future. 

What we can do

                        The survey responses showed that Sustainable Saybrook and the Conservation Commission can do more in the following areas:  walking and biking, landscaping alternatives, energy conservation, open space acquisition, and, an emerging issue, sea level rise.

Sustainable Saybrook and the Conservation Commission are currently working on many of these issues.  We are currently seeking grants for a public lecture series to address those topics, among others.  We are in the process of entering the CT Solar Challenge, a program that will offer lower than market rates to residents and businesses that are interested in installing PV panels.   And we will be continuing an effort to improve energy use in municipal buildings.  The Conservation Commission is working on an initiative with the Board of Selectmen to address sea level rise.  And, amidst repeated concerns for ‘greenness’ and open space, the Conservation Commission’s determination of high priority parcels for acquisition includes ‘The Preserve’, which now the town has an opportunity to protect.

Finally, we learned that while many citizens are active in town issues, even more would like to get involved.  If you are one of those people, we would love to hear from you!  Please email us at: admin@sustainablesaybrook.org or call the town’s Land Use Department at (860) 395-3131 so we can work together to keep Old Saybrook such a wonderful place!

Congratulations to Jen Welsh, winner of the Connecticut Wine Gift Bag!  The raffle was sponsored by Sustainable Saybrook and took place at the 2013 Arts and Crafts Show on the Green.  The gift bag and wines were generously donated by Esty's and the Main Street Merchants.  Members of Sustainable Saybrook and the Conservation Commission were also on hand to promote their survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sustainablesaybrook .
Thank you to all who participated!!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Town Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Room
  • Conservation Commission Updates
  • Partner and Correspondent Updates - Art Costa
  • Wine Raffle Drawing
  • Email Tips
  • Family Day
  • Survey Updates
  • Other Business

Are you interested in keeping Old Saybrook a great place to live for years to come?

Please take a moment to share your ideas by completing our survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sustainablesaybrook

This survey is open to all residents and/or property owners in Old Saybrook. 

It is completely anonymous and should take only 5-10 minutes to complete.  All questions are optional.

Results will be published on the Sustainable Saybrook website.

Thanks for your input - it will help guide our future efforts!

COMMUNITY SURVEY: Natural Hazard Mitigation
A survey has been prepared by the Old Saybrook Planning Commission's NHMP Committee to obtain public comments and suggestions concerning this update to the Plan. The general purpose of the survey is to help measure public opinion and support for natural hazard mitigation actions and to collect comments and ideas on how we can better protect people and property from future hazards.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and provide the NHMP Committee with your inputs. Thanks in advance for your help!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Town Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Room
  • Partner and Correspondent Updates
  • Green Up Day Follow Up
  • Essay Scholarship Follow Up
  • Survey Publication
  • Budget
  • Non Profit Status
  • Lecture Series
  • Other Business


Sustainable Saybrook has sponsored its first Old Saybrook Senior High School Essay Scholarship.  This year, the scholarship was given to the graduating senior whose essay best answered the question, "What does Old Saybrook need to do to ensure a sustainable future?"  Nicholas Dibble submitted the winning essay, posted below.


 Sustainable Saybrook Scholarship

I have lived in Old Saybrook my entire life, and I have always loved all of the natural resources available to the public. Ever since I was a young child, I have enjoyed walking on the trails, swimming in the sound, skating on the ponds, along with many other activities that the town has to offer. Since I take advantage of these areas quite often, I feel it is important to give back and help keep them clean, so future generations can have the same great experiences that I have had.

There are many changes both big and small that we can make around town to improve our sustainability. One of the most obvious would be to invest in solar panels. Perhaps if solar panels were installed on top of the Old Saybrook shopping center, the energy created would be enough to power a portion of the stores there. The panels would be out of sight on top of the roof, but would significantly reduce the amount of nonrenewable energy required.

Going along with taking advantage of our sun's energy, enhanced window louvers would be another option. I recently visited a college where one wall facing south was comprised almost entirely of windows. Along the windows were horizontal louvers that were fixed at an exact angle so that they would direct the suns rays into the building. The use of this system reduced the need for heating and cooling systems, which in turn reduced the cost of operation.

Another option for a big improvement in our town's sustainability would be wind turbines. Being that we are a coastline town, we get our fair share of wind so why not harness this available energy. I have gone on several college trips throughout New England. While I was traveling, I noticed that in many of the other states that I drove through, wind turbines were much more prevalent than they are in CT. Renewable energy is the future and its time for Old Saybrook to take the first step.


 As a student at Old Saybrook High School, I have noticed that the use of plastic disposable water bottles among students is very prevalent. I think that if the school stopped selling these disposable bottles it would improve the sustainability of the town. Bottled water is approximately 1,000 times more expensive than tap water, and contrary to popular belief, it is significantly less regulated. Tap water is monitored multiple times each day. Whereas all of the bottled water in the U.S. is regulated by one person in the FDA. Not to mention the chemicals that leech into the water from the plastic as the bottles sit on the shelf. As an alternative, re-useable bottles could be sold and water bottle refilling stations could be put into place where average fountains are currently found. These filling stations have a spout that comes down from the top specifically for your water bottle, and records the amount of bottles that have been saved. This could also be implemented in office buildings around town.

Being that more and more town members are utilizing the soup kitchen, it is important that we make sure enough food gets to it. There are numerous restaurants in town, and inevitably, every one ends up throwing away food. Finding a way to get some of this food to the soup kitchen would definitely increase the town's sustainability. Making sure this food does not go to waste, and is put into the right hands, should be a priority.

Although Hydro Electric power for Old Saybrook may seem out of reach, we are in an ideal location for a system like that to be put in place. There is a very strong current on the river as the tide goes in and out. It would take a lot of funding, but if we could find a way to harness the energy of the tides, it would power a substantial number of homes and businesses around town.

There are many options both big and small to turn Saybrook into a more sustainable town. I can only hope that some day, at least a few of them can be put into place. I think right now the priority should be to educate the public about what they can do, and to show them how a little can go a long way when it comes to making our town better for future generations.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Town Hall, 2nd Floor Conference Room
  • Partner and Correspondent Updates
  • Green Up Day Follow Up
  • Essay Scholarship Follow Up
  • Survey Publication
  • Budget
  • Non Profit Status
  • Lecture Series
  • Other Business

  • Sustainable Saybrook sponsors Green Up Day!

    Join the first annual town wide Old Saybrook Green Up Day Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m. to noon. This is a great opportunity to get out and see friends and neighbors, help spruce up the town for the season, and remove the trash left by the recent storms and litterbugs.

    For added social networking, start your trash journey with the Green Up send-off celebration, 8 a.m. on the green and disperse from there to clean up the roadside litter. Whether starting from the green, or working in your own neighborhood, bring filled garbage bags to one of several designated drop-off locations: the Green, Clark Memorial Park (Town Park) or the Town Beach Parking Lot. Free garbage bags will be available at those locations as well. Public works will collect bags left by the side of the road on Monday, April 29, but to reduce their workload, bringing them to one of the designated areas is preferred.
    There are many community activities taking place April 27, why not bring along a bag or two and look for trash on your way to baseball, the fishing derby, the Seaside Shuffle or the Fire Department/SSKP food drive? Every can, bottle, bag and fast food container picked up is one less item that will end up in Long Island Sound, and eventually in the great floating plastic island in the middle of the ocean. 
    For more information about how and where you can help “green up” the town:
    Posted Apr 3, 2013, 11:27 AM by Sustainable Saybrook
  • Connecticut DEEP Announces Participation in Website to Promote Materials Reuse
    PRESS RELEASE: DEEP is pleased to announce our participation in the newly launched Reuse Marketplace - a web-based resource to Capture Value, Exchange Reusable Items, Save Money & Reduce Waste.  The Reuse Marketplace is a free regional website that businesses, municipalities, institutions and organizations can use for posting or obtaining reusable or surplus materials that would otherwise be disposed as trash.  It's is a quick and efficient way to manage surplus or gently used goods, which saves money and reduces waste disposal throughout Connecticut and the northeast region.   Anyone can browse the website and obtain materials, but only businesses, municipalities, institutions and organizations in the states of CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, RI, and VT can become members and offer items for reuse.  The Reuse Marketplace is being administered by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and sponsored by several government agencies and private companies doing business in Connecticut.  
    Questions can be directed to  K.C. Alexander of the Connecticut Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection at 860-424-3239 or Lynn Rubinstein of NERC at 802-254-3636.
    Posted Nov 28, 2012, 8:03 AM by Sustainable Saybrook
  • Old Saybrook Social Services Offers Programs and Events


    Several events are scheduled for December to help Old Saybrook residents with a variety of needs:

    * Employment Workshops and Job Networking
    * "Social Services Help Day" including Dental Clinic and Hearing Clinic
    * Connecticut Food Bank Truck
    * Warm the Children, Holiday Giving, Energy Assistance

    Employment Workshops and Job Networking

    With Acton Library and CT Works, Social Services has formed Shoreline Works providing free career counseling, placement and training opportunities at Acton Public Library on Mondays.

    This month's special events are:
    * December 10th workshop - Marketing Your Transferable Skill Sets, presented by Lew Slotnick 10:15 am - 12:15 pm
    * December 17th group - How to Present Your Skills on Your Resume and in an Interview 10:15 am - 12:15 pm


    Social Service Help Day
    December 20th at Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street

    Call or email Susan Consoli, MA, LPC for an appointment (see contact info at bottom):

    * CT Dept of Social Services will process applications for SNAP, HUSKY Insurance, and Medicaid, etc on site in the DSS Bus from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm
    * CHC Dental Clinic will provide cleanings and screenings from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.  There is a $30 co-pay but services will be free for those in need.
    * Hearing Clinic will provide free screenings from 9:30 am - 2:30 pm
    * Feed the Children replacement food for victims of Storm Sandy who applied for this assistance will be distributed from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


    Connecticut Food Bank Truck
    December 27th at Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street

    No applications needed, just bring your bags for the distribution from 1:30 - 2:30 pm


    Warm the Children, Holiday Giving, Energy Assistance
    Energy Assistance application appointments are ongoing. To schedule an appointment, contact Susan Consoli, MS, LPC (see contact info at bottom).
    Applications for help with children's clothing and gifts for the holidays are available at Youth and Family Services.


    Contact Susan Consoli, MA, LPC
    Social Service Coordinator
    sconsoli@town.old-saybrook.ct.us [mailto:sconsoli@town.old-saybrook.ct.us]

    Posted Nov 28, 2012, 7:19 AM by Sustainable Saybrook
  • OSLT Puts on Annual Thanksgiving Hike
    Please join the Old Saybrook Land Trust for their annual Old Saybrook Land Trust Thanksgiving Hike.  The hike will be held on Sunday, November 25, from 12:30 to 3:30.  This year the OSLT hikers will be visiting the Pleasant Valley Preserve, in the town of Lyme.  Managed by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust for The Nature Conservancy, this 235-acre site is wonderfully diverse, featuring a stretch of the Wild and Scenic Eightmile River, open fields, early successional woodland, and vernal pools.  This preserve was also inspiration for the work of 20th century impressionist painters Oscar Fehrer, Eugene Higgins and Robert Vonnoh.  

    Those interested should meet at the commuter lot off 95, Exit 70, in Old Lyme to carpool (parking is limited).  This is an easy walk over somewhat uneven terrain. Dress appropriately for protection against ticks (long pants). Please, no dogs.

    Posted Nov 12, 2012, 10:57 AM by Sustainable Saybrook
  • Community Workshop to be held on November 5
    Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services and Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth cordially invite town residents to a community workshop: "Building Developmental Assets in Our Community". 
    The workshop will be facilitated by Tim Duffey of Vision Training Associates. Tim is a nationally recognized expert on developmental assets and their practical applications for individuals and organizations working with and for youth. Tim is also very familiar with Old Saybrook having facilitated community workshops, professional development workshops and small group conversations for Old Saybrook Healthy Communities Healthy Youth in the past. Whether you are new to the concept of developmental assets and asset building for youth, or are very familiar with it - you will personally benefit from attending this Community Workshop...AND your community will too.
    Where: Old Saybrook Middle School, 60 Sheffield Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
    When: Monday, November 5, 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
    THERE IS NO COST TO ATTEND, but you do need to pre-register in order to maximize the experience and content for all. You may also reserve free on-site child care if needed when you register. To register, please follow this link.
    If you have any questions about the workshop or how to register, please don't hesitate to contact Youth and Family Services.
    Phone: 860-395-3190
    Fax: 860-395-3189
    Posted Oct 25, 2012, 8:06 AM by Sustainable Saybrook
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