The WestCOG Foundation has been formed as a shared resource for the communities in Western Connecticut, at the request of municipal chief elected officials to have an ambitious coordinating entity that can address issues affecting the governments and populations of the Western CT Region, including protecting and improving the environment, social, health, and economic vitality and sustainability through regional cooperation and collaboration. By bringing diverse communities together, the WestCOG Foundation is helping to create a bright future for our Region through regional solutions. The WestCOG Foundation positions itself as a leader in Western CT through the execution of projects and plans on local and regional scales that will reduce the burden on governments and improve the quality of life of for the populations.
Initiatives ranging from, but not limited to, long and short-term planning, organizational and programmatic development, and strategic goal setting with municipalities, municipal agencies, and partner organizations aims to create more efficient and effective service providing agencies. Foundation members, volunteers, staff, partners, and contractors, as applicable, will contribute technical assistance, subject matter expertise, research, and analytics to advance organizational capacity and coordination. Activities will be completed through the donated time, in kind work, and pro bono work of volunteers, members of the Board of Directors, Foundation partners, non-profits, governments agencies, and, Foundation staff and contractors, as applicable.
The Foundation will also develop projects that benefit the Region and reduce the burden on state and local governments; including projects that will advance mobility and access to transportation, generate educational opportunities, enhance public health and wellbeing, and support the economic strength of the diverse communities of Western CT. Activities will be conducted throughout the Western CT Region; which includes the municipalities of Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton. Work on these projects will take place year-round, with an annual meeting held each Winter.
Projects that are consistent with, and promote the Foundation’s mission include the stewardship, protection, and conservation of the land, air, and water. Efforts to ameliorate threats to the environment include coordinating and aiding those who work closely with it: local farmers, agricultural institutions, and the regional food systems. This work will aim to reduce the burden on municipal and state governments and their agricultural assistance programs, and will foster sustainable and thriving communities. The Foundation recognizes natural hazard mitigation as an integral part of natural and agricultural viability, and will support projects that improve resiliency and adaptation in the face of climate change and increasing storm devastation.
To ensure the WestCOG Foundation is able sustain for years to come, members of the Board, volunteers, and staff may solicit donations. Project based grants will be a main source of income; The Foundation volunteers and members will search for relevant grant opportunities to apply to and execute.
In sum, the main foci of the WestCOG Foundation are the following:
- Providing technical assistance to member governments within the region;
- Developing projects that are consistent with, and promote the Foundation’s mission;
- Economic development;
- Environmental protection, stewardship, conservation of land, water, air;
- Public health;
- Support of local agricultural vitality and food systems;
- Education and enhancing educational opportunities;
- Fostering sustainable and vibrant communities;
- Building civic society and social capital; and
- Improving access and mobility (i.e. Transportation).
The activities that will be taken on by the WestCOG Foundation are:
- Planning, developing plans to achieve short and long-term goals;
- Developing, managing, implementing, and funding projects consistent with the organization’s mission;
- Capacity building in local and regional community groups, municipal agencies, local officials, other nonprofits;
- Forming community groups and associations with stakeholders, government agencies, volunteers;
- Providing subject matter expertise, technical assistance, research, and analysis
The Board will meet on a regular basis. Activity will be conducted throughout the year as needed and interest and funding permit.
The timeline for each activity is dependent on the parameters of the individual scope of work. Timeline will be in each scope of each planning project process, tech assistance offering, and capacity building programs.
Board of Directors
Chariman – Jayme Stevenson
Vice Chairman – Rudolph Marconi
Secretary – Julia Pemberton
Treasurer – Lynne Vanderslice