Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Public Allies receive Citation

Thanks to our champions Angie Staltaro and Lydia Martinez, Public Allies Bridgeport for the first time in PACT history received a Citation! Mayor Bill Finch and the City Council of Bridgeport honored the work of Public Allies for our Bridgeport Beautifies project. We are extremely grateful and pleased to have our work highlighted by the city.

Thank you to all of our partners, donors, and volunteers who have made our project such a great success!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


The most important part of any project is to celebrate a job well done. Public Allies Bridgeport coordinated nearly twenty workshops with youth, plus a city clean sweep, resulting in 21 cleaned neighborhoods/parks, 1 community garden, a stone etching for the garden, and two new outdoor murals. Overall, we engaged over 200 residents, and several non-profits in the area.

Present at the celebration included representatives from buildOn, Green Village Initiative, The Mentoring Institute of United Way Coastal Fairfield County, Groundwork Bridgeport, Bridgeport Community Land Trust, Cook & Grow, and of course, the Bridgeport Public Library. We also had Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport, Mayor Pat Murphy of New Milford (the mother of one of our Public Allies), and two mayoral candidates, Mary Jane Foster and John Gomes.

There were a lot of hands involved, and we are extremely grateful to all our collaborators. We hope you will take a stop down at the garden and check it out. Take some lettuce - it's ready!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Library Mural Workshops

Part of the Bridgeport Beautifies project includes a mural for the downtown Bridgeport Public Library. Artist Liz Squillace has been leading workshops of 3-13 students ages 14-18 in the creation.

We'll show you photos of the final product once it's up! Better yet, you can join us in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on June 4th (12-3pm) at the downtown Bridgeport Public Library to see it in person and celebrate with us!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Park City Sweep

Public Allies Bridgeport had an awesome weekend! We had our big Park City Sweep*, where we had over 200 volunteers out at 21 sites on Saturday for street clean up, plantings, and painting. Participating groups included United Way of Coastal Fairfield County's Wi-Mentor Program, high school teams from buildOn, and groups from Alpha Community Services, Sacred Heart University, and Fairfield Prep's Fathers & Sons Program.

 Even Mayor Finch decided to get in on the action and plant a tree at Washington Park!

There was a lot of fun to be had as we did our part in caring for Bridgeport.

We planted seedlings in the Library's new "Michelle Obama Garden."

The results of our Stone Sculpture workshop were laid out in the Library Garden.

These pickle barrels were repurposed into planters.

We send out a heartfelt thanks to all the volunteers and organizations that made this day possible!

For the big celebration, we will be having a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the downtown Bridgeport Public Library on June 4th, from 12pm-3pm. Come out and have a good time!

*Even though the Sweep is over, you can still do your part! If you would like to continue participating in Groundwork Bridgeport's biannual Park City Sweep, please contact Jack Dillon at or 203-335-6126.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Put it in Stone.

The Stone Sculpture workshop, in conjunction with Bridgeport Beautfies and Global Youth Service Day, was facilitated by Public Allies and local artist Andy Davis. We had 5 youth ranging from 7 to 16, including students with Bridgeport International Academy.  

The 3-hour workshop included a discussion on what a community means and the role that art can play in strengthening it. This was followed by a sketch of ideas for the stone sculpture to be placed in the new garden at the downtown Bridgeport Public Library. 

Andy Davis then worked with the youth to help them carve: first with soap and 
then with stone. 

The group came up with a design and began marking the stone which will be installed during the Park City Sweep on April 30th.

 If you'd like to learn more about our Park City Sweep and how you can help, e-mail

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seed Starting Workshop

In Bridgeport, Sal Gilbertie of Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, Inc. and members of Public Allies Connecticut led a youth workshop at the Bridgeport Public Library Garden.  Over 40 volunteers were on hand, including representatives from the Green Village Initiative, Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens, Inc., the Bridgeport Public Library, CT NOFA, Public Allies Connecticut, Cook & Grow, Friends of the Bridgeport Public Library and local families.

Even the Mayor of Bridgeport, Bill Finch, joined the group and brought along some family members!  The workshop began with a discussion of what community means to the youth, followed by a lesson and demonstration on seedlings and outdoor plantings in the garden. 

Modeled after First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden, the newly installed garden will grow a variety of produce, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, eggplant, peppers, beans, peas and various salad greens.  This workshop is one of many initiatives of Bridgeport Beautifies, a major collaborative effort towards youth empowerment and beautification in the City of Bridgeport, created and coordinated by the Public Allies in Bridgeport.

Take a walk to the downtown Bridgeport Library and be sure to check it out!