Urban Resources Initiative (URI) is a community not-for-profit that works in conjunction with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Our mission is to foster community-based land stewardship, promote environmental education, advance the practice of urban forestry, and provide Yale students with clinical learning opportunities. URI works in three areas:
We are dedicated to community participation in urban ecosystem management. Local residents, whose daily actions influence the health and quality of urban ecosystems, must play a central role in policy design and management for these ecosystems. Conservation efforts, especially in urban areas where people represent a significant element of the ecosystem, must emphasize social revitalization alongside environmental restoration. Our approach therefore stresses the integration of the biophysical and social sciences.
URI works with local New Haven community groups and residents to replant, restore, and reclaim the urban environment. We seek out those areas traditionally seen as problems—abandoned schoolyards, vacant lots, derelict buildings, and historically neglected areas in the city—and turn their rehabilitation into opportunities for the social and physical renewal of our community and environment.
First Place, by Renate Dicks:
find a way
to turn problems into opportunities
vacant lots into
nurtured green spaces
into safe havens
into warm places
people see and so do we at URI
3 Runners Up:
If you want a tree
You can get one free:
Get involved with URI,
It’s as easy as pie.
A tree isn’t much bother,
Just needs a bunch of water.
You’ll make our world greener
And keep the air cleaner.
by Christopher Schaefer
When the trees began to disappear
In the city named for the Elm
Many simply shed a tear
Paralyzed and overwhelmed
But after they paved paradise
A sprig of hope sprung up to face defeat
'Twas URI took root, how nice
To see so many new trees grace our streets
by Paul Hammer
Think of the beauty of all our trees
Growing healthy, enjoy the breeze.
All the plantings improve our view
Results of work are volunteers do.
Our parks and cities benefit the most
So raise your glass and enjoy a toast.
Here's to our volunteers, young & old
Our city is green, but you are gold.
by Marge Ottenbreit
The success of URI-supported projects is based upon our ability to create opportunities to bring communities together to address their environmental priorities.