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Branching Out: How Trees Are Key To New England's Environmental Future

Trees are one of New England’s most treasured resources. But in Connecticut cities, a painful history of racism and redlining has led to fewer trees. On this week’s Disrupted, we look at the urban tree canopy in Connecticut.

And, our region loses nearly 38 square miles of forestland each year. How can we fight deforestation in our backyard?


  • Drew Goldsman - Urban Conservation Director for the Nature Conservancy in Connecticut
  • Caroline Scanlan - Greenskills Manager at the Urban Resources Initiative in New Haven
  • David R. Foster - Senior Conservationist at Harvard University's Harvard Forest and President and Board Chair of the Highstead Foundation.

If you live in New Haven and want to support urban forestry, visit Urban Resources Initiative’s website to learn how to request a free tree planting.

Disrupted is produced by James Szkobel-Wolff, Zshekinah Collier and Catie Talarski. Our interns are Maisy Carvalho and Kelly Langevin. Special thanks to Vanessa de la Torre.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown Dean is an award-winning scholar at Quinnipiac University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.
James Szkobel-Wolff is a producer for the Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show 'Disrupted,' hosted by Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean.
Vanessa de la Torre is executive editor of the New England News Collaborative, a regional hub of nine public media stations producing news and in-depth storytelling throughout New England. Previously, Vanessa was a reporter for Connecticut Public and the public radio collaborative Sharing America, covering issues of race, identity and culture. Before joining the public media world, Vanessa wrote for newspapers such as the Hartford Courant, where her investigative storytelling on Hartford education won regional and national awards. She also was part of the Courant team that was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. Vanessa grew up in El Centro, Calif., a desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border, and is a graduate of Princeton University. She received her master's degree from Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Journalism.
Zshekinah Collier is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show 'Disrupted.' Previously she was a Radio Production & Storytelling Intern and contributed to 'Audacious,' 'The Colin McEnroe Show,' 'Seasoned,' and 'Where We Live.'