Branching Out | The Beauty of Surrender

Ofonime Udo-Okon

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Photo: Success Lake in Remington Woods from the Bridgeport side

Movement work and community engagement work are opportunities for me to remember the importance of surrender. 

 

Over the last few months, I have written to you all about Bridgeport’s vision of equity and ownership. Environmental justice for the city of Bridgeport includes wildlife and supersedes the traditional understanding of environmental justice. 

 

Right now, the Bridgeport community is working together with Green Village Initiative, the Equity Trust Land Trust, a local land trust (Aspetuck Land Trust), various local community partners, and the East Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ), to create an equitable solution that works towards Bridgeport ownership of the urban forest we call Remington Woods. 

 

As conversation and creation are taking place, it is important that we support as best as we can. Right now, it means focusing on community awareness.

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Corteva canceled its October Community Advisory Panel meeting, but provided this update: 

 

We have been very busy at the site with the lake cleanup.  That has been the major activity at the site since the beginning of 2019.  We excavated the sediment from the lake in 2019 and have been separating the munitions from the sediment (we call that “sediment processing”) since mid-2019.  We have about 4 more weeks of sediment processing left to finish and then we will be focused on the restoration of the lake and the surrounding work areas. 

 

With the cancelation of the in-person meeting, we will be working on some alternate ways of updating the public on our progress.

 

Natural spaces are proven to reduce stress, increase health and provide mental clarity. As a free community space, the Remington Woods can cultivate safe, harmonious spaces within the neighborhood that thrive in sustainability and biodiversity. Imagine community gardens, local art, and clean, green open space.

 

Remington Woods has the opportunity to be a community resource where neighbors can work, live, and play while enhancing their connection to the natural world. Because #BlackLungsMatter.

 

Current Needs & How You Can Help

Local Outreach Needs:

We are currently looking for a local graphic designer who will be able to support content creation for our social media channels, as well as a local artist who would be interested in creating a visual for our mailers. If you are interested please connect with me, Ofonime Udo-Okon.

 

Speakin’ Legalese 

As the Bridgeport community continues to explore equitable solutions, we will need a lawyer who might be able to speak to state ordinances and all that legal jazz. If you are interested in assisting, please contact Xavier Longwa.

 

Engaging Youth 

Of course we are still finding ways to engage youth. Last month, I had the privilege of leading some youth through a hike with Two Coyotes. This was such an amazing experience. Youth expressed among other things that they wished the hike was longer! We are continuing this work, because green spaces impact our youth. I am working with the brilliant Melissa Newman to make this happen. What we need to make this vision everything we hope and dream are 360 cameras!! Our aim is to capture the footage of the joy that is present on these hikes and allow others to experience the hike virtually!  

 

To make this vision a reality, we need 360 cameras. If you have access to a 360 camera, please contact me.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for this campaign, please feel free to connect with me. 

Ofonime Udo-Okon is Sierra Club Connecticut’s Community Outreach Coordinator on Save Remington Woods project in Bridgeport, along with other outreach and projects within the city and Fairfield County.