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Thu, Jun 24



Passion for Place: Success Stories in Urban Land Stewardship

Learn how Groundwork Bridgeport is working with Bridgeport youth and landscape architects to empower community-led projects.

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Passion for Place: Success Stories in Urban Land Stewardship
Passion for Place: Success Stories in Urban Land Stewardship

Time & Location

Jun 24, 2021, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


About the Event

Christina Smith and Tanner Burgdorf of Groundwork Bridgeport will speak about their experiences revitalizing Bridgeport through a mosaic of equitably-designed community green spaces with a focus on transforming underutilized vacant land and sliver lots. Their work has the potential to deliver economic, environmental, and health benefits of landscapes in parts of the City lacking access to these amenities.

The program's philosophy can be summarized simply as "passion for place”. Students from high schools across the city work collaboratively with one another as well as with design professionals to plan and execute projects. Groundwork Bridgeport had a 100% graduation rate for its 22-member senior class this past year with 81% going on to collegiate programs of study in education, science, engineering, environmental studies, arts, horticulture, and landscape architecture.

There will be ample opportunity for Q&A at the end of the program to discuss grant-funding of projects, nonprofit collaborations, community-design best practices, and other concerns. Please feel free to bring questions to ask the presenters.

As part of this program, ASLA Connecticut will be presenting the 2021 Connecticut Olmsted Award to Groundwork Bridgeport. We hope that you can be present with us promptly when the program begins to help us extend our congratulations to Christina, Tanner, and the Groundwork Bridgeport students for their commendable work.


Christina Smith has had the fortune to live, work, and study in cities across the world, but her native Bridgeport holds a special fascination. She is especially happy to be working with youth so that their memories and experiences in the city are as happy as the ones that she had growing up. With the academic experiences from Princeton (B.A. in Economics), University College London (M.Sc. in Urban Regeneration ) and New York University (M.A. in Historical and Sustainable Architecture) from New York University), she draws on a diverse set of skills to plan, fund, and implement projects. Her goal is to be part of making Bridgeport a place that people love to be!

As the Program Lead for Groundwork Bridgeport, Tanner Burgdorf gets the opportunity to work with youth who are invested in changing the perception of the city. While earning his B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Connecticut, he helped manage UConn’s student run farm. This experience helped him see the value of a career working outdoors, both growing and managing community green spaces.


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

1. Define benefits of land stewardship in urban centers through green infrastructure, tree canopies, and other metrics.

2. Understand principles of design equity and how to apply them in community-led projects.

3. Develop strategies for successful project management when working with municipal, state, and federal government agencies for funding or regulatory reviews.

4. Understand the limitations of landscape maintenance in a community stewardship model and how to plan for them.

This program has been approved by LA CES for 1.0 hours of HSW distance learning suitable for landscape architects.

Course Code: 062421

Provider: CT Chapter of ASLA


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