Local Volunteers Join Forces with City of Bridgeport to Clean Up Pleasure Beach
Project originated with middle school students from the Park City Magnet School.
BRIDGEPORT, CONN. | May 19, 2014
Over 150 volunteers from local civic, business and student groups joined Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and city Parks and Recreation employees at Pleasure Beach on Saturday, May 17th to clean up the shoreline in preparation for the reopening of the park later this year.
Volunteers met at the Central Avenue Fishing Pier and were shuttled by water taxis to Pleasure Beach, the former site of a locally beloved amusement park. Public access to the peninsula was curtailed in the 1990s after a fire damaged much of the wooden bridge connecting the park to the City of Bridgeport. Today, Pleasure Beach has largely returned to its natural state and is a wildlife refuge for shorebirds, rare plants and other protected species.
Under the supervision of the Bridgeport Parks and Recreation Department and The Nature Conservancy, volunteers removed refuse from the beach and planted shrubs and other native vegetation. Trash collected during the cleanup was taken to the Wheelabrator Bridgeport waste-to-energy plant, where it will be used to generate renewable power.
Participating organizations include the Park City Magnet School, the Bridgeport Harbormaster, Bridgeport Police Explorers, Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Education Center, Home of the Brave, Terry’s Contracting and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.
The Pleasure Beach cleanup project originated with middle school students from the Park City Magnet School “Green Squad”, as part of a community service initiative for the Wheelabrator Symposium for the Environment and Education, an annual program to encourage youngsters to become environmental leaders in their communities.
"We are proud to support the work of the Park City Magnet School students and help restore Pleasure Beach as a unique environmental and educational asset for the region,” said Glenn Lockhart, plant manager of Wheelabrator Bridgeport. “This park will be a special place for generations to come.”
“Pleasure Beach is one of the longest stretches of natural coastline on Long Island Sound. The beach and dunes provide nesting areas for least tern, piping plover and several rare plants, while helping protect Stratford Great Meadows tidal marsh. The barrier beach also provides important natural infrastructure, buffering the City of Bridgeport and nearby communities from wind and waves during storm events,” said Holly Drinkuth, director of outreach and watershed programs for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “This is a fantastic project and a unique opportunity. The Nature Conservancy is honored to be part of it.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org