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Friday
Apr262013

Pleasure Beach Master Plan


Mayor Bill Finch visits Pleasure BeachBridgeport is in the process of restoring the Pleasure Beach recreational areas. Access to Pleasure Beach from Bridgeport has been impossible since 1996 when a fire burned down the wooden bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

The restoration of Pleasure Beach has been one of Mayor Bill Finch’s primary goals. The Master Plan represents the City’s desire to restore the park, and transform the undeveloped area into a sustainable, environmentally friendly, family-oriented outdoor recreation area.

The plan incorporates needed facilities through restoration and new construction, and emphasizes co-existence between wildlife and people. Pleasure Beach is to serve as a recreational, educational, and a wildlife resource.

Through a grant from CT DEEP, a new fishing pier has been built, and several new buildings that will serve as restrooms, An example of new Pleasure Beach Infrastructureshowers, concession stands, and a welcome center are planned for construction. The new construction will feature sustainable building practices and materials such as recycled rubber roofing, composite decking and metal, permeable pavement, solar hot water systems, and rainwater harvesting systems.

The final step in the master plan is the addition of a new water taxi. The taxi will take the place of the old wooden bridge by shuttling visitors from mainland Bridgeport out to Pleasure beach.

Thursday
Apr252013

Parks Master Plan

The new splash pad at Washington ParkThe ultimate goal of the Parks Master Plan is to enhance existing parks, create new parks, and provide better connections between parks and residents by physically connecting the areas using public transit, pedestrian walkways, and complete streets.

Improvements to the park system will revitalize the surrounding areas, and increase the vitality of the city as a whole. The Margaret E. Morton Government Center plaza, Knowlton Park, and Washington Park are some of the first locations that have benefitted from the master plan.

Improvements to Knowlton Park such as new plazas, gently sloping open lawn areas, and an overlook pavilion are included in the master plan. Boardwalks that allow for pedestrian waterfront access will weave throughout native vegetation plantings that provide habitat for wildlife in the area and cleanse stormwater runoff.

Washington Park was Bridgeport’s first public park. Renovations and improvements for Washington Park will include a gazebo, restrooms, basketball court improvements, fence restoration, lighting and sidewalk repairs, site furnishing, and landscape improvements.

An artist's rendition of the Knowlton Park improvements A splash pad has already been installed in Washington Park, and a new swing area is nearly complete. A new curb around the Victorian garden has been completed and work is now being done to install granite curbing. The restoration of this historic park will be an example of community pride and pleasure.

The Broad Street Plaza in front of the Margaret E. Morton Government Center has recently been renovated. Improvements to the area include several new benches, the installation of new sidewalks that utilize permeable pavement, and improved landscaping.

Read the Parks Master Plan Executive Summary. Full Report.

Wednesday
Apr242013

Save The Sound Through Green Infrastructure

Possible locations for stormwater management systemsThe Long Island Sound is one of the most densely populated regions in the U.S., which means that polution levels are a major environmental concern. It is imperative to invest in green infrastructure techniques that ease the pollution loads currently impacting the area.

One type of green infrastructure includes plant and soil systems such as bioswales and rain gardens. These systems naturally filter stormwater before it flows into local waterways, thereby reducing the amount of pollution flowing into the Sound. Another solution to stormwater runoff is the use of stormwater collection systems.

Stormwater can be collected, and either reused, cleaned, or evaporated. Since 2004, an estimated 1.6 billion gallons of sewage have been dumped into the Long Island Sound by Bridgeport in order to avoid sewage and stormwater mixture overflow within facilities.

Save the Sound along with NRDC and CT DEEP have conducted a study of the feasibility of stormwater control measures in Bridgeport and New Haven. This map (above) shows the various possible locations for stormwater management systems around the coast of the Long Island Sound.

The City of Bridgeport is also investigating the use of permeable pavement, which allows polluted stormwater to pass through roads and sidewalks before it is allowed to flow into the Sound.

Tuesday
Apr232013

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The electric vehicle charging station at City Hall

Electric cars are quickly becoming a popular alternative to gasoline and diesel vehicles; they do not run on gas and they emit zero emissions when driven.

As electric vehicles become more common in the US, it is necessary to have local electric charging stations for them.  The United Illuminating Company (UI) has installed a charging station at City Hall, Lyon Terrace at no cost to the City of Bridgeport.

UI is able to power the station through its own power lines and meters, and pays for any electricity consumed at the station.  This means that electic vehicle owners can charge their cars for free at City Hall.

The program will last about two years, but may be terminated or extended by UI based on their discretion. The pilot is also subject to decisions made by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). 

 

Monday
Apr222013

Mayor Finch Announces City’s ‘Earth Month’ Activities

Mayor Bill Finch, who spent his Earth Day morning planting flowers and plants with a group of seniors and veterans, today announced the City of Bridgeport’s Earth Month activities.

“This year, we have decided to expand Earth Day to an entire month of events to highlight the City’s efforts in making Bridgeport cleaner, more sustainable and a hub for new ‘green’ businesses while raising awareness for the need to address climate change,” said Mayor Finch.

Earth Month events include community cleanups, garden builds, tree plantings, bike rides and the groundbreaking for the largest fuel cell energy project in North America. 

A full list of Earth Week events can be found online at  www.bridgeportct.gov/earthmonth.

 

Schedule of Earth Month Events:
For updates go to
www.bridgeportct.gov/earthmonth  

 

Monday, April 22, 2013

11 a.m. Flower planting with Veterans and Seniors, 752 East Main Street
3:30 p.m. Words on Wheels, Poetry reading at Greater Bridgeport Transit, 710 Water Street

Friday, April 26, 2013

1 p.m. Arbor Day Tree Planting, Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock (exact location TBD)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: The Park City Sweep, a city-wide beautification day organized by Groundwork Bridgeport, will include clean up of Wilbur Cross School campus and Green Village Initiative community garden build at 1775 Reservoir Ave.
10 a.m. Wildlife Guards and volunteers Conservation Pond Clean-up, Beardsley Park

Thursday, May 2, 2013:

12 p.m.: Mayor Finch Delivering Beautification Awards to two property owners

Friday, May 3, 2013:

11 a.m. Groundbreaking of the Largest Fuel Cell Power Project in North America 
5 p.m. Think Green Art Show opening, Read’s ArtSpace

Saturday, May 11, 2013:

2 – 5 p.m. Think Green Concert, Baldwin Plaza

Sunday, May 12, 2013:

10 a.m. Downtown Neighborhood Cleanup, Begins at Mucci Plaza, corner of Broad and State Streets

Friday, May 17, 2013:

8:30 a.m. Bike to Work Day Event