As a group from The Nature Conservancy headed over to Bridgeport’s East Side last fall, they marveled at their luck. The sun was shining, and the air was crisp, but not too cold. When they arrived at their destination—Hall Neighborhood House— the leaves were a striking shade of orange. Soon, there would be even more leaves to admire there.
The team of over 50 volunteers and community members, led by Drew Goldsman, urban resilience planner for the Conservancy in Connecticut, used the good weather to their advantage as they planted 14 trees on the Hall Neighborhood House campus over two days.
Hall provides educational and social programming to Bridgeport residents of all ages. Last year, Goldsman reached out to Hall and other local organizations to share information about the Conservancy’s community-based effort to invest in trees and nature, and Hall was excited to take part. “We are grateful to the Conservancy for their support and for bringing nature and wellness to our campus. The trees are a gift to our community,” says Hall’s executive director, Bob Dzurenda.
Goldsman has identified opportunities for an additional 5 to 7 trees along the streets fronting Hall that will cool the area with shade and help clean the air. These street trees will also add natural infrastructure that will help manage stormwater and keep Long Island Sound clean.
The project is part of the Conservancy’s work to restore and strengthen nature in urban areas. In total, 150 trees will be planted in Bridgeport’s East Side neighborhood over the course of a one-year initiative.
Tree planting is hard work, but the group was all smiles as they admired a job well done, knowing that these trees will benefit the neighborhood for generations to come.