4 Worcester County Communities to Receive Thousands in Climate Change Grants

by | Apr 22, 2019 | Headlines, News

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Four communities in Worcester County were awarded grants to complete climate change vulnerability assessments in their respective municipalities.

On Monday, April 22, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded $725,000 to 27 communities to complete climate change vulnerability assessments and develop resiliency plans through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program,

Among the recipients, the towns of Northborough, Paxton and Rutland and the city of Leominster all received grants in the following amounts:

  • Leominster $25,000
  • Northborough $15,000
  • Paxton $25,130
  • Rutland $34,000

Following Monday’s announcement, the number of communities in the MVP program is now 184 — or half of all Massachusetts municipalities.

The grant funding and MVP program provides communities with technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards and develop strategies to improve resilience.

Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement at an event celebrating the removal of the Holmes Dam in Plymouth and highlighting the Administration’s efforts to combat and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“As we celebrate Earth Day, we are proud to announce that half of Massachusetts’ communities have partnered with the Commonwealth through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program to take action and fund projects to prepare for climate resiliency,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature to continue the Commonwealth’s leadership on climate change through our proposal to provide $1.3 billion over ten years to local resiliency projects that will protect vital infrastructure.”

“Today’s milestone highlights the success of the administration’s innovative MVP program and continued work to address resiliency and climate change at the local and state level,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Thank you to the 184 cities and towns across Massachusetts that are working hand-in-hand with our administration to implement nature-based, cost-effective solutions to build resiliency and safeguard the Commonwealth’s residents, businesses and infrastructure.”

This funding is part of the largest release of climate change resilience funding for Massachusetts communities in state history, as the Baker-Polito Administration recently announced the availability of $10 million for the MVP Program.

Through the MVP program, municipalities work through a community-based workshop process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans, grant applications, and policies, such as local hazard mitigation plans. Communities are then eligible for MVP Action Grant funding to implement priority on-the-ground projects.

“The continued growth of the MVP Program demonstrates communities’ interest and readiness to address the growing challenge of climate change,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We are eager to work with all cities and towns across the Commonwealth to identify their priority resilience actions and get those projects off the ground.”

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    Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. For two years prior to launching TWIW in 2017, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Previous to that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He is the owner of Sargent Media, LLC and can be contacted at [email protected] or 774-232-1223.