Town Actions



Welcome to our Sustainable Town Actions page! Click through the topics of Energy, Housing, Environmental Conservation, Transportation, Waste, and Water to see what the Town has been doing to promote sustainability in Manchester. 


The Town has accomplished the following to promote renewable energy and reduce energy consumption:

  • Reduced energy consumption by 15% since 2013 in municipal and Board of Education buildings.
  • Achieved verification for Buckley Elementary School as the State of Connecticut's first Net Zero Energy K-12 school and the first publicly funded net zero K-12 project in New England (certified by the New Building Institute).
  • Attained Bronze status in the national SolSmart community designation program by using zoning codes to reduce barriers to solar implementation in town. 
  • Installed multiple Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs) powered by solar energy.
  • Converted municipally-owned streetlights to energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Installed solar panels on the water treatment plant, as well as on 6 school facilities (Waddell Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Verplanck Elementary, Manchester Regional Academy, Martin Elementary, Manchester High School). Check out the photo gallery below!

 Solar panels on Buckley Elementary   Solar panels on Highland Park Elementary

Solar panels on Martin Elementary   Solar panels on Verplank Elementary


Ongoing efforts of the Town include the following:

  • Tracking energy use in municipal and Board of Education buildings.
  • Working to achieve net-zero energy with other elementary school renovation projects at Bowers and Keeney. 



The Town has accomplished the following to combat homelessness and diversify housing:

  • Created a housing committee: The Manchester Housing and Fair Rent Commission.
  • Increased Manchester’s affordable housing.
  • Developed a municipal task force to address homelessness.
  • Passed a municipal resolution issuing a call-to-action to Increase public awareness and support for efforts to end homelessness.

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Ongoing efforts of the Town include the following:

  • Expanding and maintaining our community's housing data profile while identifying the current percentage of affordable housing in our community.
  • Allowing, without requiring a special permit or public hearing, for housing arrangements that include architecturally compatible accessory dwelling units (ADUs), tiny homes, carriage house conversions, and/or micro-efficiency units.
  • Officially designating an individual to serve as the liaison for homelessness services in our town.
  • Developing and posting information on our website that includes guidance and resources for individuals or families experiencing homelessness and/or housing instability. Find that information here.
  • Organizing community conversations annually with a broad group of stakeholders to discuss homelessness in our community.
  • Committing dedicated funding to directly address and prevent homelessness.
  • Ensuring that individuals experiencing homelessness in Manchester have locations where they can safely access services and stay 24 hours a day.

Environmental Conservation

The Town has accomplished the following to preserve and enhance the environment:

  • Completed an open space inventory and prioritized resources for protection. 
  • Developed an open space plan.
  • Increased preserved open space in town and improved open space parcels.
  • Created and enhanced existing gardens for pollinator habitat and promoted pollinator health and awareness. 
  • Completed a Parks & Facilities Master Plan and a Trails & Connectivity Plan, which together provide a detailed and well-informed series of steps to prioritize open space and recreation investments. Click here(PDF, 644KB) to open a PDF of Manchester's Recreational Assets, including protected open space, parks, and trails.

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Ongoing efforts of the Town include the following:

  • Utilizing an Integrated Pest Management standard to ensure balanced and sustainable environmental stewardship.  
  • Maintaining an average Tree Equity Score of 81 out of 100. This tool, developed by American Forests, obtains population data (% unemployed, % people of color, % children, % seniors, % people in poverty, health index) and environmental indicators (such as temperature), to calculate an equity score for every Census block group in cities around the country.
  • Partnering with Manchester Land Conservation Trust, Inc. (MLCT), who has preserved over 350 acres in Manchester, which are maintained for passive recreation and open for public use.
  • Hosting an annual litter clean up in the spring, with our first annual FALL clean up happening on September 30, 2023. Click here(PDF, 516KB) for more information and check out some pictures from past clean-up events below. 

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The Town has accomplished the following to promote safe, connective, sustainable transportation networks and options:

  • Created a Complete Streets policy.
  • Built a Complete Streets team who attend Complete Streets trainings and also meet regularly to review and ensure complete street concepts are considered in all projects.



Ongoing efforts of the Town include the following:

  • Implementing, repairs and maintaining specific Complete Streets projects that expand safe, connected, active transportation networks across all neighborhoods. Examples include repairing and widening sidewalks, installing Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB, see photo below), implementing bike lanes, as well as other traffic calming measures. 
  • Implementing parking management strategies such as shared parking lots, which can mitigate excessive land consumption and exacerbated heat island effects. 
  • Providing shared mobility services for senior citizens via Dial-A-Ride.
  • Hosting electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure open to public use with plans to install others. Clicking this link will redirect you to a website where you can locate EV chargers in Manchester. 


The Town has accomplished the following to combat the waste crisis:

  • Hired a Recycling Coordinator to implement waste reduction initiatives and educate the public on sustainable waste management.
  • Created a partnership between ECHN and Blue Earth Compost to introduce food waste collection and recycling for their Manchester hospital cafeteria as part of a larger organizational effort to incorporate sustainability into their overall operations.

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Ongoing efforts of the Town include the following:

  • Collecting several non-mandatory recyclable materials at the transfer station, including electronics, paint, and textiles.
  • Offering a second recycling cart to residents served by the Town's collection program so as to support the ‘super-recycler’ households in the community that need them. See the Residential Collection page for more details. 
  • Hosting a compost bin sale every spring.
  • Piloting a residential food waste drop-off program where food waste will be taken to a facility for composting (coming this winter!).


Ongoing efforts of the Town to conserve water include the following:

  • Permanently protecting a significant amount of land near the reservoirs and dedicating it to providing reliable and clean drinking water in the community: approximately 4,000 acres.
    • 65% of the land area drains directly into seven of the ten surface water reservoirs and provides an undeveloped buffer from surrounding land uses.
    • Areas are harvested from time to time to control invasive species, maintain diverse wildlife habitat, and generate income for the Town.
    • Some areas are open to the public for passive recreation activities such as hiking, bird-watching, and other outdoor activities.
  • Tracking the status of the drinking water supply and notifying businesses and residents when conservation efforts are critical to ensuring clean water is available to all.

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  • Enforcing stormwater best management practices for new residential and non-residential developments. Chapter 275, Storm Drainage System Management in the Manchester Town Code enacts rules, policies, and powers to safeguard water quality and runoff in the community.
  • Encouraging and promoting Low Impact Development in municipal ordinances. Follow this link to Manchester's Stormwater Management page to learn more about LID.
  • Incorporating Low Impact Development practices such as biofiltration basins and rain gardens into new Town construction projects.
  • Hosting a rain barrel sale every spring.