This week, the Mayor’s Conservation Corps, a group of young adults who go door-to-door in the city talking to homeowners about recycling, energy conservation and savings, storm water management and the importance of planting trees, will begin its fifth year.
The Corps, which was created by Mayor Bill Finch, serves as ambassadors of the city’s BGreen 2020 initiative — to create jobs, save residents money and lower the city’s carbon footprint.
Thirty young adults, comprised of mostly Bridgeport residents ages 17 to 21, began a week of orientation on July 15. During their orientation, Conservation Corps members learn about many of the city’s BGreen programs aimed at helping Bridgeport residents lower their utility bills and increase their recycling.
During an event held on McLevy Green on July 18, Finch gave the newest members of the Conservation Corps a pep talk about the importance of their efforts, and how their work is helping Bridgeport residents save money.
“Our recycling rates have increased dramatically, we’ve exceeded our tree planting goals and residents are saving money thanks in large part to the efforts of the young men and women of the Mayor’s Conservation Corps,” Finch said. “The Mayor’s Conservation Corps brings the benefits of all of our BGreen 2020 efforts right to the front door of our residents.”
During the last three seasons, the Conservation Corps has helped nearly 2,000 Bridgeport residents sign up for weatherization audits, which helps residents reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
Since 2010, the Conservation Corps has also helped to deliver nearly 1,500 rain barrels, which save homeowners money on their water bills and helps reduce the flow of storm runoff, to Bridgeport homes.
Nearly 500 residents have “adopted” a tree thanks to the Mayor’s Conservation Corps’ efforts since 2010. These trees planted through the “Adopt-A-Tree” program helped the city reach its goal of 2012 trees planted by 2012, a goal that Finch initiated in 2008.
Additionally, over the last three seasons, the Conservation Corps has also helped more than 2,000 residents sign up for Recyclebank, the city’s recycling partner which offers coupons as incentives for recycling.
“The local efforts of the Conservation Corps are an important contributor to the success of the Recyclebank program,” said Erika Diamond, vice president, community solutions at Recyclebank. “We’re confident the grass roots actions of this dedicated task force will help boost recycling and make Bridgeport a more sustainable and environmentally responsible city.”
The Conservation Corps, led by Program Director Wilfred E. Murphy, is a collaboration between Bridgeport’s Lighthouse Afterschool Program, The Workplace and Groundwork Bridgeport.