New Year, Same Fight
Why Conserving Urban Forests like Remington Woods is Still Important in 2023
A 2022 report by the American Lung Association states that “Fairfield County remains the most polluted County in the New York-Newark metro area, and has the highest ozone readings in the eastern US. with 18.8 days of unhealthful levels of ozone.” Meanwhile, Bridgeport can be found on the list of “The Top 100 Most Challenging Places to Live with Asthma”.
At the Sierra Club, we understand that urban forests provide many essential environmental, economic, and social benefits to local communities and their environment. As an organization, we are committed to continuing the campaign for the conservation and preservation of Remington Woods, the jewel and last lung of Fairfield County. Located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Remington Woods aids in the reduction of air pollution and noise, provides a habitat for wildlife, and helps to stabilize temperatures.
If it is preserved and opened to the public, its existence can also provide opportunities for economic benefits such as increased property values, green tourism, and recreational opportunities. Finally, Remington Woods can provide social benefits such as improved mental health, increased community cohesion, and increased access to nature.
In 2023, conserving urban forests is especially important due to climate change. As temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change, urban forests are at risk of being lost or degraded. To ensure the continued benefits of urban forests, it is essential to conserve them now.
The most effective way to conserve urban forests is to preserve existing forests and to actively plant and manage new forests, while also rooting communities in their power to advocate for the preservation of their green spaces.
In 2022, we appealed to Corteva to consider conservation as a way to meet its corporate sustainability metrics. We engaged with USFWS and the EPA to better understand the consent order for clean-up. We held a community town hall where we featured a report conducted for Groundwork Bridgeport by Yale graduate students. We held workshops with youth to better understand their vision for the future of Remington Woods and the ways in which they wanted to advocate for its preservation. Additionally, in honor of Fredrick Olmstead’s legacy, we launched a design contest for landscape designers to envision a conserved forest for the benefit of the community.
In 2023, we want to continue working with local government agencies, non-profits, and stakeholders in creative ways to create structures and opportunities for stewardship to ensure that Remington Woods can be conserved and managed properly.
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to join the Remington Woods Facebook Group. This year, we will be highlighting wildlife and plant species that can be found in the woods – share these posts with your friends and family and tell them about Remington Woods. This year, we are looking to grow our Facebook Group to 600 followers! We can do this!
Here are some things that you can do this January to make an impact on this campaign and beyond:
Share this petition with two friends!
Join a local tree-planting initiative
Donate to a conservation organization
Support local environmental education programs
Buy products made from sustainable materials
Recycle paper, plastic, and other items
Reduce your consumption of single-use items
Pick up trash in your local forest
Encourage others to do the same
New to the Save Remington Woods Campaign? Check out Protecting the Woods!
Jhoni Ada 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.