Bridgeport, CT – Due to an application from Groundwork Bridgeport earlier this year, the City of Bridgeport has been selected as one of six small to mid-sized cities throughout the U.S. and Canada to participate in an initiative to highlight tree planting work within the City. The Equitable Development Data Insight Training Initiative team will provide personalized data analysis and storytelling training to Groundwork Bridgeport staff so that it can better communicate how trees can benefit the City’s residents.

Groundwork Bridgeport has been working hard to plant, inventory, and care for the trees in Bridgeport while running programs to educate residents on how to plant and care for trees. The organization also hosts events such as the Free Tree Giveaway, which will occur this Fall in the East Side neighborhood. Groundwork is hoping to expand these programs to increase the tree canopy, especially in areas of the city with the lowest number of trees.

“I’m grateful to Groundwork Bridgeport and the steps the organization has taken to increase the environmental health of our City,” Mayor Ganim stated. “With the initiative to plant more trees throughout Bridgeport, my hope is that our residents will feel more comfortable while outdoors, especially during the warmer seasons. This will greatly increase the health of our residents in all facets, and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of the new trees planted.”

Overall, Bridgeport has some of the lowest tree canopy coverage in the state, with some areas having only 9% coverage, compared to 67% for the state overall. When there aren’t enough trees, asphalt and concrete absorb and radiate heat which causes temperatures to be warmer on average than rural and suburban areas with more vegetation, less hard surfaces, and adequate tree coverage. This warming effect is known as the “urban heat island effect” and is an issue that areas of Bridgeport with fewer trees will continue to struggle with as temperatures continue to rise. Trees help reduce the urban heat island effect, enhance air and water quality, and help to improve overall mental health and wellbeing. Trees are especially important in addressing climate change’s impacts and resiliency. This work will help make Bridgeport more resilient and sustainable for the future. Groundwork and the City of Bridgeport are committed to increasing the tree canopy and will continue to build programs and services to improve the environment and quality of life for the community, while advocating for tree planting initiatives in the community.

By Stephen Krauchick

DoingItLocal is run by Steve Krauchick. Steve has always had interest with breaking news even as an early teen, opting to listen to the Watergate hearings instead of top 40 on the radio. His interest in news spread to become the communities breaking news leader in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. He strongly believes that the public has right to know what is happening in their backyard and that government needs to be transparent. Steve also likes promoting local businesses.

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