September 16, 2010

Dear Brooklyn Bridge Forest Supporters,

What an exciting month August has been for the project!  We started the month with two intern architects from Paris coming to help on the project, then had another great public showing at the New Amsterdam Market, and are continuing to further our groundwork on website design and research. We now have hundreds of supporters and are growing daily.

When our story broke in the New York Times on August 24 it sparked a flurry of interest and debate that moved the cause straight into the public eye.  The result was our interview on Channel 7 News, and an intense conversation across numerous blogs about the merits of tropical forestry in partnership with the Brooklyn Bridge restoration.  I hope everyone will have a look at this online debate and weigh in where possible – the visibility of supportive representation will have an enormous impact on the project.  Meanwhile, this public discourse is exactly what we have been hoping for as it has flushed out some of the fundamental issues.  Many of these topics are already addressed in our website’s FAQ page, but it is important to have solid answers, so we will be updating the page with more data where it might be helpful.  Please send us your questions or thoughts too, so we can continue to refine and improve the project and our communication.

Perhaps most exciting, all of the news coverage has led to three new unique rainforest interest groups – one from Nicaragua, one from Puerto Rico and one from Ecuador – reaching out to us about exploring possible partnerships.  These are people “on the ground” in these regions who know the issues first hand, love our idea, and believe it could play a significant role in preserving their forests.  The latest post on the NYTimes blog is a “must-read” from one of these representatives, summarizing the reality of forest preservation via real economic and social conditions.

Upcoming: We have recently reached out to local leaders in rainforest activism and are planning to organize a public forum to discuss, debate, and brainstorm the issues surrounding rainforest protection and the role of New York City in supporting a healthy global economy and ecosystem.  We will send out a notification of when and where this will occur.  I am also planning a rainforest excursion this Fall to gather more detailed intelligence on some of the areas, communities, tree species and existing forestry programs in question.

A special thanks to those that have been contributing in numerous ways through time, money, and expertise.  As a reminder, the Brooklyn Bridge Forest, like all Pilot Projects, is a community-focused collaborative effort. If you would like to partner, contribute, or participate in any way we would love to hear from you.

Scott Francisco
Pilot Projects

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