Looking for good news?

thumbnail_EARTH_DAY_FLYER_1 (2)

From April 22-29, 2020 there was an exciting lineup of forward-thinking speakers celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! We hope you enjoyed talks and tutorials organized by the Mayor‘s Office of Sustainability and friends from across the community for a virtual Earth fest. We’ve heard from local environmental champions, leaders, researchers, and organizers envisioning a brighter future with YOU. All sessions were safely hosted online. Scroll down for more details –

BIG UPDATE (5/1/20): Did you participate in BINGO? Send us your card! As you might know, participants in our Earth Week festivities could (but didn’t have to!) fill out a card as they attended sessions or took eco action. Winners will be chosen at random from entries that are sent to us at sustainability@hartford.gov, and have the choice of an indoor air quality monitor, indoor garden grow kit, or fruit tree! Please note: Supplies are very limited, and we will only have a few winners.


Past Events (Will Be Available for Viewing Online)


Wednesday, April 22: Earth Day

Kickoff. Mayor Bronin’s introduction to Hartford’s week-long Earth Day 50 celebrations is here.

[4:00 p – 5:30 p] Rally for a Green New Deal. The show must go on(line)! Join the Rally Online for a Green New Deal, from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm.  More information is at the Facebook event.

Bash the Trash: Making Music, Not Waste. In honor of Earth Day 50, and anticipation of Make Music Hartford on June 21st, Greater Hartford Arts Council posted family-friendly music-making tutorials (with upcycled trash!) to their website, www.makemusicday.org/hartford  .


Thursday, April 23: Energy, Transportation and Air Quality

[10:00a – 11:00a] Connecting Air Quality and Health. Accomplished researcher Dr. Doug Brugge discusses the surprising connections among transportation emissions and cardiovascular health, indoor air quality, and health outcomes in New England communities. Air quality modeling expert Dr. Kristina Wagstrom will share her evolving community-based research in Hartford, funded by the National Science Foundation. Facilitated by Tracy Babbidge, Air Bureau Chief of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The video is available here.

[11:30a – 12:20p] A Clean Energy Future. Learn from award-winning UConn Professor of Law Sara Bronin about what cities can do to forge a clean energy future — and about Hartford’s efforts to create renewable energy, enable transportation alternatives, and take advantage of efficiencies inherent in our compact urban footprint.

The video is available here.


Friday, April 24: Arbor Day

[10:00a – 11:00a] Connecting Communities Coffee Hour. Join Sustainable CT for a short, informal online gathering featuring a few quick stories from different communities on sustainability, resilience, community building, and support initiatives plus time to share strategies, resources, challenges, and inspiration.

Learn more on Sustainable CT’s website.

[11:30a – 12:30p] Protecting Hartford’s 560,000 Trees. The City of Hartford’s internationally-recognized Forester, Heather Dionne, talks about why urban trees matter, our changing climate zones, and how the City is taking steps to protect our magnificent canopy now and in the future despite dramatically changing weather and invasive pests.

Check out the “Events” section at: www.facebook.com/CapitalForestCT

[1:00p – 2:00p] Forest  Power: Trees and Plants in Keney Park. Talented artist and educator Colin McMullan talks to us from Keney Park, teaching us about plant and tree identification and the ins and outs of creating a sauna….powered by maple syrup!

Check out the “Events” section at: www.facebook.com/hartfordmaple


Sunday, April 26: Nature + Spirit

[10:00a] Immanuel Church’s Earth Sunday Online Worship Service. Join Immanuel Church for “The Joy of Being Green” via FaceBook Watch Party:  https://www.facebook.com/iccucc/. For Vimeo link, visit http://www.iccucc.org. “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome.”


Monday, April 27: Inclusive Prosperity

[11:30a – 12:30p] Solar for All and Inclusive Prosperity: Creating a Green Economy For Everyone. Renewable energy pioneers Bryan Garcia (President and CEO of the nationally-recognized CT Green Bank), and his colleague Tom Neyhart (CEO of Posigen Solar and Energy Efficiency), discuss the transformative power of an inclusive green economy and visionary green liberty bonds. Learn about how PosiGen is expanding its team now, despite the economic challenges we face, and what it takes to have a career in renewable energy.

The video is available here.

[12:30p – 1:30p] Next Generation Climate Leadership. Hear from inspiring climate leaders Wawa Gatheru (University of Connecticut Class of ’20), Alex Rodriguez (CT League of Conservation Voters) and Taylor Mayes (CT Roundtable for Climate and Jobs) to learn more about how they’ve harnessed the courage to organize core sustainability education standards at UConn, youth lobbying at the state capitol, and equal access to greener, safer jobs and neighborhoods for black and latinx residents in CT. Facilitated by Orlando Velazco, Health Equity Director at Connecticut Department of Public Health.

The video is available here.

[Pre-Recorded] Tips for Successful  Remote  Work. CT Rides share tips and tricks for staying focused and productive when teleworking.

Find CTrides teleworking videos on YouTube.

[3:30p – 4:30p] Social Impact Businesses: More Essential Than Ever. Join Sarah Bodley, Executive Director of reSET Social Enterprise Trust, in a conversation with other local business leaders on how the crisis has brought greater focus for the need for business to be more in sync with people and the planet.

The video is available here.


Tuesday, April 28: Transportation and Food Systems  

[11:00a – 12:00p] Electric Vehicles and Buses. Join statewide organizers for a web presentation and Q&A  Transportation and  Climate Initiative (TCI) to learn more about CT’s transportation future and how the  TCI  could  fund and accelerate  electrification of our school buses, public transportation, electric vehicles, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

RSVP: www.ctlcv.org/tci-webinar.html

[1:00p] Celebrating Earth & Growing Gardens with KNOX. KNOX invites you to celebrate Earth Day by growing in the garden. Learn how to get garden space in Hartford, tips for growing food in your garden, and a new volunteer opportunity to boost food donations to our neighbors (who might not have a green thumb). Stay tuned for a moment of mindfulness and lots of ways you can get your hands in the Earth to grow healthy food. This year we need our gardens more than ever and KNOX has you covered!

The video is available here.

[2:00p – 3:00p] The Guide to Local Food Policy and Food Resources During the Pandemic. Food policy expert Meg Hourigan walks us through the Hartford Advisory Commission on Food Policy’s guide to resources residents can access to get healthy food during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

The video is available here.

[3:00p – 4:00p] The  Beauty  (and Rebellion) of a  Plant-Based Diet. The legendary Pat Kelly, Executive Director of Ebony Horsewomen, discusses her passion for a plant-based diet, and why she’s been a vegetarian for more than 30 years.

The video is available here.

[5:00p] Eco Oasis: Keney Park Sustainability Project. Groundbreaking  Executive Director Herb Virgo and special guests Blue Earth Compost will take us on a tour of the urban farm, Keney Park Sustainability Project. Learn about a community created to increase environmental stewardship and family sustainability, and see how aquaponics, stormwater management, composting, and sustainable wood management come together at Keney Park.

The videos are available here.

[Ongoing] BiCi Co. Community Bike Shop: During and beyond Earth Week, BiCi Co. at 97 Park St is open as an essential business, with special procedures for COVID-19 safety.  Bicycles are non-polluting, good for transportation and recreation, and critical to Hartford’s car-free and car-light families. More details on programs and discounts are below.


Wednesday, April 29: Water 

[11:30a – 12:30p] Pesky Plastic: An Environmental Story (Spanish and English). Dynamic author, award-winning entrepreneur and activist Leticia Colon De Mejias reads from her books, written to national science standards for children ages Kindergarten through Grade 3. Find comfort and inspiration for a better future in Leticia’s stories and unique perspective.

Video will go live at: https://www.facebook.com/hartfordsustainability/

[5:00p – 6:00p] Tune into Nature: Enjoy a nature inspired gentle yoga flow with Toivo instructor Sara Balkun. Practice simple breath work and flowing movement as a way to connect with and care for the element of water.

More information is at: https://www.facebook.com/toivocenter

Find additional resources for yoga, mindfulness, mental health, recovery and support groups at http://toivocenter.org/online-offerings/

Multiple Dates: Bikes

[Ongoing] BiCi Co. Community Bike Shop: During and beyond Earth Week, BiCi Co. at 97 Park St is open as an essential business, with special procedures for COVID-19 safety.  Bicycles are healthy, non-polluting, and physically distant transportation and recreation, and critical to Hartford’s car-free and car-light families.

  1. 30% Discount on Upcycled Bicycles – During the COVID-19 crisis, we know that many have lost income, but still need transportation and mobility.  There will be an “online” version of the BiCi Co. Back Alley bike sale of as-is bicycles.
  2. BIKELIFE Youth and Teen Program – This program is moving online.  Registration is open now.  Online bicycle safety course and the teen earns an upcycled bicycle, lock, lights, and helmet.  Bicycles will be distributed individually, and not at a festival due to COVID restrictions on gatherings.  Only $20 to register and participate – ages 8 to 19, register here
  3. Bikes for Jobs – $20 and a referral connects low income community members seeking work, needing a bicycle for their work trip, or looking for a way to get to training or medical appointments with a basic upcycled bicycle, lock, lights, and a helmet. More info and the referral link


The purpose of the City of Hartford’s Earth Day 50 Hartford initiative is to help residents improve quality of life, help the environment, and learn about local and regional resources. The City of Hartford does not guarantee any savings, promote any touted benefits, or assume any risk associated with the content, products, and/or services of the organizations supporting and/or participating in this initiative, and all related questions should be directed to these organizations.
The 2019-2020 Retain the Rain program and the Hartford Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is funded in part by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund. The views contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its funding sources. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government, or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation or its funding sources.