Gomes: City of Bridgeport Awarded Grant Funding to Preserve Open Space
Green Village Initiative set to restore and revitalize five community gardens
State Senator Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) today welcomed news that five community gardens in Bridgeport will receive major renovations thanks to grant funding.
“It is essential to revitalize these community gardens which help compensate for the scarcity of local supermarkets and grocery stores in Bridgeport,” said Sen. Gomes. “A large number of residents are forced travel long distances to shop for local produce. This project will allow for locally-grown healthy food to be accessible right in their backyard.”
“Preserving the best of Connecticut’s open space is critical to protecting our land, water, and wildlife and ensuring Connecticut maintains its natural beauty,” said Governor Malloy. “Through these grants, we will increase the availability of open space for our residents to enjoy—whether they live in our state’s beautiful cities, suburbs or rural areas.”
The Green Village Initiative will receive over $100,000 to revitalize the community gardens located at 142 Charles Street, 509 Artic Street, 122 Artic Street, 617 Ogden and 87 Hewitt Street. The gardens are part of a 13 community garden network in Bridgeport. The Hewitt Street location is also part of Johnson Oak Park, a facility which just recently received a federal grant under the Land & Water Conservation Fund, Outdoor Recreation legacy Partnership Program.
A typical renovation project includes, but is not limited to, removal of deteriorated/unsafe garden bed framing or support elements and purchase of lumber, organic garden soil, fencing and gates, accessible raised planters, and flagstone paths.
Bridgeport is one of 17 communities being awarded grants today to protect 949 acres of open space, to assist three urban communities in enhancing or developing community gardens, and to allow a fourth urban community to establish a natural habitat for environmental education.
“When we work with our partners to protect open space, we protect our natural resources, we enhance our communities and sense of place, and we have new locations where we can connect with the natural world,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said. “This funding is another step toward meeting our goal of preserving twenty-one percent of Connecticut’s land, or 673,210 acres, as open space by the year 2023.”
Open space protection projects help Connecticut achieve the goal to protect 673,210 acres of land by 2023. Connecticut has 500,242 acres designated as state or local open space lands, 74.3 percent of the goal. More than $125 million in state funding has been awarded to municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies to assist in the purchase of 32,237 acres of land in 135 cities and towns.