Hundreds of residents and more than 20 community groups and organizations gathered at the Norwalk Green to celebrate Earth Day.
Audrey Cozzarin, who helped organize the second annual Earth Day event, said that the goal of the day was to bring the community together, celebrate the community, show respect to the Earth, and work on ways to improve the environment through efforts such as tree planting, composting, and more. She also highlighted the importance of grassroots efforts in making a difference, such as many of the groups gathered for the event including the Norwalk Land Trust, Keep Norwalk Beautiful, the Norwalk River Valley Trail, and more.
The event also included support from some local institutions including St. Paul’s on the Green, the First Congregational Church, and the First Taxing District.
Local, state, and federal representatives were also on hand to highlight some of the work being done in and around the city to improve sustainability, walkability, and more.
Congressman Jim Himes, who represents southwest Connecticut noted that he biked to the event, and said that there’s more we can do to improve bikeability and walkability.
“We’ve got some work to do to make our community safer and more comfortable for both bike riding and walking, because that’s the win-win there, right? Less carbon, healthier, better days—we all feel better,” he said.
He also praised efforts at the federal level to move away from fossil fuels.
“We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing in Washington, which was and I was really so proud of this, which is making the transition to clean energy, so that we can be for the first time in a very long time good stewards of this blessing that has been given to us to leave to our children in better shape than we found it.
Locally, Jim Travers, the city’s director of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking, highlighted efforts in the area to improve walkability and transit.
“We hosted a walk through Wall Street to talk about the investments the city is making in Wall Street. And it would not happen without our Congressman, and [State] Senator [Bob] Duff,” he said. “It’s a $21 million project to re-envision and reimagine Wall Street, you’ll have the next community meeting to come up in June. Congressman Himes also supported us with sidewalks that are going to be installed later this year on West Rocks to create a more walkable city.”
Council member Tom Livingston also highlighted some of the city’s efforts around trees.
“The mayor and the Common Council have made trees a priority in Norwalk,” he said. “In just the past two years, we’ve enacted a new tree ordinance, commenced work on a tree inventory and management plan, and committed to spending over $1 million on trees throughout the city. These are on top of other environmental initiatives.”
State Senator Bob Duff encouraged those in attendance to think about all the ways to celebrate Earth Day every day.
“We can bike to work, we can walk more, we can pick up trash and litter in our neighborhoods and we can show our kids good modeling and good behavior,” he said.
See what other events are happening around the region for Earth Month.