Save the Sound and Bridgeport youth to plant rain garden at Beardsley Zoo

Hands-on green infrastructure workshop brings together youth groups and environmental engineers

This weekend, two Bridgeport-based youth organizations will learn about careers in green infrastructure with a hands-on workshop led by Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and environmental engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill. The effort will improve conditions for migrating fish and other wildlife in the Pequonnock River — an ideal way to celebrate May 21’s World Fish Migration Day.

The green infrastructure workshop and rain garden planting will be held on Saturday, May 21, at the Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport. The workshop will be held from 10-noon, at the Hanson Exploration Station Building. The planting will be from 1-2:30, in parking lot next to the Hanson building.

The Beardsley Zoo green infrastructure project, a partnership between CFE/Save the Sound and Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, is designed to slow down and clean stormwater before it flows into the Pequonnock River. Earlier this month, the partners installed a porous walkway that will allow stormwater runoff from the Zoo’s parking lot to percolate into the soil.

On Saturday CFE/Save the Sound and Fuss & O’Neill will bring together approximately 30 local youth from the Beardsley Zoo Conservation Discovery Corps and Groundwork Bridgeport. The teens will participate in a morning workshop to learn how green infrastructure prevents flooding and water pollution. In the afternoon, they will get to apply what they learned by participating in the installation of a rain garden adjacent to Beardsley Zoo’s parking lot.

Together, the porous walkway and the rain garden will provide a two-step process for capturing, filtering, and releasing clean water into the Pequonnock River. In addition, the garden and walkway’s prominent location in a highly-trafficked Connecticut tourism site will act as a public education opportunity.

The Beardsley Zoo green infrastructure project is generously supported by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Jeniam Foundation, and Werth Family Foundation.

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