Bridgeport "Greens" Through Conservation Corps

Members of the Conservation Corps, Tori Brown (left) and Damtia Agee (right), canvass a Bridgeport neighborhood

After signing an Executive Order on Sustainability, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch started the Conservation Corps, a grassroots awareness campaign that has already visited over 20% of the city's households. Over 40 young adults have been trained on various conservation measures by the city's conservation coordinator. These men and women then canvas the city, providing information on energy conservation to residents while obtaining valuable job skills.

Members of the Corps are proud to be part of the new initiative. Not only have they learned conservation tips for their own lives, but they have grown personally and professionally. "I've gotten better communication skills. Now, I don't stutter through my words," says 20-year-old Corps member Trysh Brown.

A few Conservation Corps members learn about light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) before heading out to canvass

Already the Corps is making a difference. Almost three tons of recyclable materials have been directed out of the waste stream. Residents have the ability to receive a free or reduced-price energy audit, purchase rain barrels to decrease water use, obtain a recycling bin or receive information on energy conservation and weatherization.

To date, 12,000 homes have received information on green practices, 1,000 homes have requested recycling bins and energy audits, and 400 homes have requested rain barrels. The Conservation Corps is funded by HUD's Community Development Block Grant and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding.

Content Archived: May 22, 2012