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Urban forests provide important resources, but redlining has made them inaccessible for some city dwellers

This episode originally aired on August 11th, 2021

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. During this holiday week, we look back at a show from this summer about our 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.

This week's episode was produced by James Szkobel-Wolff, Zshekinah Collier, Catie Talarski and Vanessa de la Torre. Our interns are Abe Levine, and Dylan Reyes.

And from all of our team, we'd like to wish you a holiday season full of connection, peace and understanding.

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.
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.'
Vanessa de la Torre is editorial director and 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, de la Torre 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, de la Torre 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. De la Torre 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. Since 2021, de la Torre has served on the board of the award-winning New England chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.