Have you noticed the green lights in the windows of the Webster Town Hall or the string of green lights at the Dudley Municipal Center? They are there for a reason.
The towns are helping celebrate The Last Green Valley’s second annual Green Light Celebration, taking place between January 14 and February 12. They are lighting up green to show support for the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers National Heritage Corridor, popularly know as The Last Green Valley (TLGV). The corridor includes 35 towns in northeastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts, including Webster, Dudley and Oxford.
Michelle Bourgeois, tourism coordinator for TLGV, told us that the purpose of the celebration is to promote tourism for the region and to provide local businesses an opportunity to promote themselves as well. Town halls and businesses were asked to change out at least one light bulb with a green-colored, energy-efficient bulb.
Some of the towns in Connecticut are a little farther along in their activities than we in Massachusetts. Michelle said that 85 percent of downtown Danielson businesses are lit up.
Businesses were also asked to come up with creative ideas using a “green” theme to promote their product or service. Some examples: Bella’s Bistro in Putnam is offering discounted $5 Green martinis, and fried Green tomatoes with lobster sauce. Java Jive in Woodstock has a Green Happy Hour every day from 3 -4 p.m. Deb’s Place in Danielson gives customers a chance to win a $5 Green plate coupon.
Michelle said Citizens National Bank in Woodstock created a special window display with green lights and hay bales. The fire marshal took exception to the hay bales, and so they’ve been swapped out for apples.
Closer to home, the Webster Lake Association, a member of TLGV, asked all its members to change an outside light or a window light to a green bulb. WLA president Gloria Ricker told us that the Association is a huge supporter of TLGV. “They’ve provided training for Ernie Benoit and our water quality team for the last five years. They are, in fact, the main reason we have a water quality team.”
Ms. Ricker also talked about the courses TLGV has provided for town employees in map overlaying and watershed management. She elaborated a bit on the green valley aspect of the National Corridor. In satellite photos, at night we show up dark, she said. The area is not polluted with lots of lights. In the day time we show up rural and green, the last remaining green space in this part of the country. That’s one of the reasons that people objected to the billboard on I-395, she said. It throws off a great deal of light.
In Dudley, town planner and selectman Nancy Runkle is also a big supporter of TLGV projects. “We were a bit slow catching on this year,” she said, but “I’ve made a note in my calendar to get on it in November for next year.” She thinks the green celebration could be a boost for local businesses. Ms. Runkle was impressed with the TLGV electronic Christmas catalog, which featured locally made products, such as honey made from “Dudley bees.” “We need to get the word out about locally produced goods,” she said.
The most difficult part of joining the celebration may be finding green lights. Stores in CT seem to be better stocked than those in Massachusetts. Michele lists Benny’s and True Value, as well as Target, Home Deport and Lowe’s. In Webster, Aubuchon’s has several strings of green lights in stock, but no green bulbs. Michele said that green ribbons or flags are OK to use too.
You can also support TLGV and our National Heritage Corridor with a poster. We have some available here at The Patriot office.
- Thursday, 02 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Letter From the Editor