Westport, CT – In support of this year’s Westport Greenday and its theme --Water Conservation, Quality, Health, Security and Resiliency—Earthplace (10 Woodside Lane, Westport) will be the site for a mini symposium starting at 10:30am, April 28th. Keynote speaker, Dr. Andrew Hudson, Head of Water and Ocean Governance at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will address water related issues on a global scale as well as at the local level and assess progress being made. He will also discuss how, through global cooperation, the world can achieve critical water, ocean, and related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Twig Holland from Aquarion Water will explain the challenges of meeting drinking water demand and new local restrictions on water use. After the program, attendees will be invited to tour the Harbor Watch water quality testing lab at Earthplace. The symposium is co-sponsored by Earthplace, Westport Green Task Force, and the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut.
Westport Greenday is a community wide event that celebrates sustainability across the town—from plant tours, to clean-ups, to fun for families at multiple locations. Children and families are invited to explore water from many dimensions at Earthplace from 10am-1pm, including activities such as a pond springing to life, a Long Island Sound touch tank and water flow in an Enviro-scape. Other activities around town include a guided tour of the Westport waste water treatment plant, volunteer clean-ups, a tour of the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum, and numerous family-friendly activities at Wakeman Town Farm (from 12-3pm). Visit www.westportgreenday.com for a full schedule.
Dr. Andrew Hudson
Andrew Hudson is Head of the Water & Ocean Governance Programme in UNDP’s Bureau of Policy and Programme Support. He oversees and provides strategic, policy and technical guidance on all aspects of the development, implementation and evaluation of UNDP’s work in water and ocean governance in over 100 countries. Serving as the “Green Team Leader” at UNDP, he leads efforts to move the organization towards environmental sustainability in its operations, including minimizing the organization’s carbon footprint.
Dr. Hudson received his BS and MS in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT, was a doctoral student in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and received his PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, specializing in Environmental Economics and Policy.
Twig Holland is the Program Coordinator for Aquarion Water Company. A graduate of Fairfield University, Holland’s career spans 20 years working in the public domain, including service as former director of purchasing for the town of Fairfield. For Aquarion, during the 2016 drought, Holland undertook drought education for schools and local community groups, a role she continues to fill today.
Westport Green Task Force
Established in 2006, the Green Task Force developed a Clean Energy Action Plan for the town which included recommendations to the First Selectman on measures Westport could take to reduce its usage of fossil fuels. Since then, the Task Force has launched the Westport Home Energy Challenge, the ban on single-use plastic bags, and Solarize Westport, providing money saving ways for Westporters to “go green.” Today the Task Force assists the town in implementing actions to meet its long-term goal of becoming Net Zero by 2050 covering sustainability issues related to energy, waste, and water. Task Force members include private citizens, students, and representatives from the town. Members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the First Selectman.
Founded in 1958, Earthplace has been providing nature discovery and environmental learning to families in Westport and surrounding towns for 50 years. Its mission is to build a passion for nature and the environment through education, experience, and action. With 62 acres of trails, more than 50 animal exhibits, and a state certified water quality lab, Earthplace provides diverse hands-on, nature-based learning experiences for children, and environmental education programs for teens and adults.
United Nations Association of Southwestern CT (UNA of SWCT)
The UNA seeks to promote support for the United Nations and its global efforts to further peace and security, human rights and democracy, and economic and social development. The UN Association organizes educational programs with noted figures from the United Nations, government, journalism and academia to shed light on key national and international issues. In cooperation with the Town of Westport it organizes the annual jUNe Day event, hosting over 300 UN staff, delegates and their families.