Mt. Trashmore Story Map


Mt. Trashmore, coined by the literal mountain of trash on its site, is located at 329 Central Ave. in the East End of Bridgeport, CT. From the late 1980s to 1993, the site contained a 35-foot high pile of debris and waste from construction and illegal dumping.  With rejection of appeals to remove Mt. Trashmore during the mayoral administartions of Thomas Bucci and Mary Moran, frustrated community members, local activists, and dedicated politicians united to bring national attention to the environmental injustice of Mt. Trashmore and pressured city and state officials to act! Thus, Mt. Trashmore exemplifies the history of the environmental justice movement of the 1970s and the efforts that continue today.  The summer of 1991, marks the beginning of dedicated community efforts and collaborative organizing to campaign for  the removeal ofMt. Trashmore. Slide through the to learn more about the history of Mt. Trashmore and current efforts to underway to transform Mt. Trashmore to Mt. Growmore.


What Will Mt. Growmore Become? 

  • Mt. Growmore represents the next generation of B2H, family mental health and wellness, dealing with environmental stressors supporting basic needs and safety, and advancing economic and social mobility(this is a gamechanger for Brownfields and revitalization).
  • Mt. Growmore will address the cycle of violence head-on through mental health services and trauma-informed care. Brownfield sites are the places that drug and violent activity often take place, so Mt. Growmore will help to limit this activity and provide services for those impacted by
  • It will become a wellness campus: refurbished shipping containers in the shape of a “U” (awnings with solar panels will connect the containers, creating a wellness space for individuals and groups

    The goal of our food security effort is to provide Bridgeport residents, especially those living in the East End community with healthier food options while improving local fresh food availability, providing workforce development opportunities, and creating viable business models.

    To achieve this goal, the following general objectives have been set:

    • Counter food insecurity and food deserts by increasing the availability of fresh food produced locally.
    • Promote healthy eating habits by promoting consumption of fresh food produced locally.
    • Provide workforce development opportunities with the intention of creating jobs and designing targeted training opportunities for at risk populations.
    • Create entrepreneurial opportunities for local job creation and business ownership in the food production sector.

    Above are 3-D renderings of the proposed indoor farming facility to be built this fall.

    Working with the over fifty grassroots partners including Bridgeport Legislative Delegation, The City of Bridgeport, Yale New Haven Health / Bridgeport Hospital, The UCONN Extension Service, Bridgeport Landing Development, LLC., and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, we have identified a three phased approach to boost local food production and availability, provide critical nutrition education programs, and create locally owned indoor farming businesses.

    Phase 1: The opening of a 1,200 square foot Popup Market & Café in the summer of 2019. The Market sources fresh vegetables from farmers’ markets across Connecticut each week and makes them available for sale, conducts nutrition education programs to support a healthy lifestyle, and has delivered thousands of meals to community residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now working to explore growing vegetables and microgreens 365 days a year in indoor growing environments in our community.

    Phase 2: The Phase 2 project below will retrofit insulated shipping containers to create indoor growing environments able to produce hundreds of pounds of fresh microgreens each week and make them available to community residents, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and grocery stores.

    Phase 3: The effort will be to develop an economically sustainable hydroponic farm on the two sites on Central Avenue owned by the City of Bridgeport, and made available to the East End NRZ through a long-term lease.

    To read more about the project click here


    Led by the tremendous efforts of Deborah Sims, a team was formed to help address effects of environmental injustice on the  community of Bridgeport, CT. Deborah’s leadership Deb has leveraged a multidisciplinary team of expertise from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Yale Elevate Policy Lab, MOMS Partnership, and UConn TAB to support the transformation of Mt. Trashmore to the future as Mt. Growmore Such efforts are also made possible by highly committed and passionate community members of Bridgeport. Without their work with Deborah at the East End NRZ Market and other efforts throughout Bridgeport  progress on the transformation of Mt. Trashmore would not be possibl.

    To learn more about the recent timeline of involvement click here

    Deborah Sims

    Bridgeport Community Champion


    Edith Pestana

    Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

    Hilary Hahn

    Executive Director, Elevate Policy Lab and MOMS Partnership, Yale School of Public Health

    Mark Lewis

    Brownfields Coordinator, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection

    Suzi Ruhl

    Directory of Policy, Elevate Policy Lab, Yale School of Public Health
    Senior Research Scientist, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine

    The folks from Bridgeport's East End are passionate, engaged, knowledgeable leaders who truly care about their community and all of the people that live there. As mentioned above: Mt. Growmore would not be possible without them and their inspiring efforts.


    Elevate Policy Lab

    At Elevate, we believe that addressing mental health is a crucial public-sector strategy to interrupt intergenerational poverty.

    Elevate works with government partners in the U.S. to enhance opportunities for growth and success for parents and their children. We infuse government funding streams and policymaking for mental health with capacity. We develop rigorous evidence about what works to reduce maternal depression and improve family social and economic mobility. We bring fresh creativity—informed by clinicians, researchers, and the expertise of families themselves—to programming for mothers and female caregivers in their own communities.

    At Elevate, we believe advancing family mental health is a pathway to economic and social mobility. Learn more about Elevate’s work, including scaling the nationally-recognized evidence-based Mental health Outreach for MotherS (MOMS) Partnership® and our policy portfolio.

    [Read More]

    The MOMS Partnership®

    The MOMS Partnership® is a program model and package of principles and approaches that, together, can significantly reduce depressive symptoms among under-resourced, over- burdened pregnant women and moms and increase the social and economic mobility of their families.

    Launched from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven in 2011, the MOMS Partnership brings mental health within reach of women, literally meeting them where they are.

    To learn more click here AND here

    East End NRZ

    Incorporated in 2019, the East End NRZ Market & Café provides residents with an opportunity to purchase fresh, local produce that will combat the issue of unhealthy lifestyles that accompany this low-income community. For years residents tried to lure groceries to Bridgeport’s East End, with little success. Since 2001, the East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone’s main priority has been the establishment of a local place to provide access to healthy foods. One way residents tried addressing the “food desert” in the East End was through recent pop-up farmers markets. These markets provided residents with fresh, affordable produce right in their own neighborhoods. These pop-up markets, however, left residents searching for a more permanent solution to their lack of healthy food options.

    Click Here to Read More

    Breaking Bread for B2H in Bridgeport and Beyond

    Breaking Bread for B2H in Bridgeport and Beyond is launched. "Breaking Bread” is a convening approach to foster shared learning and replication of successful place-based efforts. It brings multiple parties, resources, and information together to manage the B2H process. Collaborators include community leaders (East End NRZ Market & Café), state government (CT DEEP), and academia (Yale Elevate Policy Lab). Breaking Bread was recognized by the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice in the EPA Annual Environmental Justice Progress Report FY 2019.

    Civic Justice Engagement Training

    Yale Elevate Policy Lab develops Civic Justice Engagement Training (CJET) to strengthen meaningful engagement for environmental, health and economic justice with a foundation in rule of law. CJET advances child, adolescent and family mental health in order to disrupt poverty while supporting economic mobility and environmental resiliency through an integrated policy and place-based practices methodology.  Partnering with  the East End NRZ Market and Café, Elevate adapts CJET for high school young women, mothers, and the community at large in Bridgeport, CT to overcome burdens that impact how community members live, learn, work, play, develop, and worship and affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes.

    To get involved email:

    High Ridge Hydroponics

    Yale Elevate Policy Lab and East End NRZ Market & Café develop Civic Justice Engagement Training for high school young women, mothers, and the community at large. Elevate Policy Lab is partnering with the East End Neighborhood Market and Café to implement Civic Justice Engagement (CJE) programming in the East End Neighborhood of Bridgeport, CT. Bridgeport’s East End bears many burdens that impact how community members live, learn, work, play, develop, and worship; these burdens affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes.

    To get involved email:


    Funding Sources

    • 1991-1992 - DEEP allocated $500,000 to the City of Bridgeport with $250,000 allocated to the cleanup effort
    • 2004 - EPA awards Bridgeport $400,000 for the cleanup of Mt. Trashmore & the former Chrome Engineering site
    • 2007 - EPA awards Bridgeport $200,000 for a EPA Job Training Grant
    • 2022 - Congressman Jim Himes awards the City of Bridgeport $1M to build the Mt. Growmore Hydroponic Farm and Wellness Campus



    CCLRtv. (2020, November 20). Brownfields to Healthfields [Video}. Youtube.

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    Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). Grant Fact Sheets. EPA. Retrieved 2022, from

    Mayko, M. P. (2018, August 22). Dirty mount trashmore to grow green. Connecticut Post. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from

    Murphy, B. (2018). The Fall of Mount Trashmore and the Rise of Community Activism: Environmental Justice and the Politics of Inclusion, Bridgeport, Connecticut (1991–Present). Connecticut History Review, 57(2). Retrieved from

    New York Times Archive, T. N. Y. (1992, November 12). Bridgeport’s Plan to Burn Mountain of Trash Draws Threat of a Lawsuit. Retrieved from

    Public Act #607. (2022, May 26). Retrieved August 2, 2022, from

    Reports, F. T. S. A. W. (2019, March 9). NATION IN BRIEF : CONNECTICUT : Tons of Trash Taken to Capitol in Protest. Retrieved September 2, 2022, from

    Thornton, S. (2014). Bridgeport Sparks a “March to Rebuild America.” Bridgeport History Center. Retrieved 2022, from