Author: vcarterrtt

RTT Education Coordinator Hugh Birdsall in The Day

‘Ex-Reducer Hugh Birdsall reaches out to youth with Reforest the Tropics environmental group’

‘When New London pub rockers The Reducers toured Japan in 2004 and guitarist/vocalist Hugh Birdsall looked out from a Tokyo stage at a venue stuffed with screaming young fans, he probably figured it was as close as he’d ever get to living a Beatles/”Hard Day’s Night” mob-adulation moment.

That’s probably still true.

But the satisfaction Birdsall feels today, as an educational consultant for the environmental group Reforest the Tropics, speaking to classrooms full of young students about climate change, is an even more important and resonant experience.

Birdsall says, “The planet is in trouble. We are in trouble. But it’s one thing to alert someone to an external crisis and quite another thing to look inward and find out what our relationship to the planet is. That’s what I try to convey to students and, ultimately, it’s up to them to answer that question. But I can ask, ‘Does the planet belong to us or do we belong to the planet?'”

Reforest the Tropics is a Mystic-based nonprofit organization that works with farmers in Costa Rica to plant trees on their land to help offset carbon dioxide emissions. The group is sanctioned by the United Nations and works to mitigate climate change by sustainable forestry and long term carbon sequestration. Part of their efforts involve conducting programs and workshops with more than two dozen schools across Connecticut including both the New London and Norwich magnet schools. These efforts have resulted in several school- and student-sponsored tree-growing projects in the region.’

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