Greenwich, CT (May 2023)—The Greenwich Audubon Center is working to turn a nearly 1-acre plot of grass and invasive plants into an ecologically-valuable open canopy Oak-Hickory forest, following the guidance of members and leadership of the land’s indigenous inhabitants, the Siwanoy Nation. This project will create a new “living classroom” at the popular nature center that will be used to share information on the land’s history, the value of this type of habitat for birds and other wildlife, and the management practices of the Siwanoy people.
The project’s organizers are calling on the community to join this initiative by donating to a crowdfunding campaign or volunteering in the effort. If the campaign reaches its $7,500 goal by its fundraising deadline of June 15, 2023, the project will receive a matching grant of $7,500 from Sustainable CT’s Community Match Fund, an innovative funding resource for public, community-led sustainability projects. For project details and to donate, please visit our Patronicity page.
“Previously, visitors to the Greenwich Audubon Center have been able to interact with remnants of the property’s colonial past,” says Rochelle Thomas, center director at the Greenwich Audubon Center. “This project allows us to dive deeper and uncover the rich cultural heritage of the Center’s original inhabitants, while also helping produce a much needed food source for the wildlife that currently utilizes the land.”
The Greenwich Audubon Center’s EcoLeadership Corps— paid interns from local high schools —will play a large role in the execution of this project. They will lead the planting of around 50 tree saplings, help spread native grasses and perennials, and develop interpretive signage to help visitors understand the importance of Siwanoy land management practices.
Sustainable CT inspires, supports, and recognizes sustainability action by towns and cities statewide. The Community Match Fund—supported by the Hampshire Foundation, the Tremaine Foundation, the Connecticut Green Bank, and Supporting Organizing Work CT—provides a dollar-for-dollar match to donations raised from the community, doubling local investment in projects. Anyone can lead a project and ideas can be proposed at any time.
"We’re thrilled to support the Greenwich Audubon Center’s work to honor indigenous forest management, that puts residents at the forefront of creating positive, impactful change," said Lynn Stoddard, executive director for Sustainable CT. "Like all Match Fund projects, this initiative is community led and community funded, demonstrating the power of people working together to make change where they live."
Have a great idea for a public project in your community? Contact Sustainable CT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenwich Audubon Center