"Shaping the Future" Program Receives Municipal Climate Solutions Grant from Foundation for MetroWest

Release Date:
September 5, 2018

FRAMINGHAM, MA.—Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future of Your Community program has received a grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to advance conservation and climate-smart development in local communities. This grant will highlight successes in the City of Framingham, which updated its local regulations to better promote cost-effective, nature-based solutions to climate change.

Nature-based solutions include the strategic use of trees and vegetation, which act as natural water absorbers and filters to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and increase groundwater supply.  The Shaping program will host workshops and tours exploring Framingham’s progress and how other communities can follow their example.

The workshops will serve as peer-to-peer learning opportunities for municipal officials from throughout the MetroWest region, offering guidance on the local decisions that spurred on-the-ground projects, as well as tours of those projects from the people that made them happen. Attendees will see firsthand the capacity of nature to provide free and low-cost solutions to floods, droughts, and heat, while enhancing property values and community character.

It will introduce municipal officials who are new to the concept of nature-based solutions what these features look like and how they function, while providing seasoned professionals a chance to discuss their own work and share best practices for water management and climate resilience throughout the region.

The grant also funds Mass Audubon’s engagement with local community groups to increase public awareness of both the value of natural areas within MetroWest, and how to reduce local vulnerabilities to climate change impacts like more frequent severe storms, increased droughts, and higher temperatures. This outreach will take place through the creation of case studies on local examples, which will be shared within the MetroWest region and beyond, as well as through programs in coordination with Mass Audubon’s local Drumlin Farm and Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuaries.

“We appreciate Mass Audubon’s recognition of what we’ve accomplished in Framingham and how we’ve been able to encourage nature-based solutions that are good for our residents, our environment, and our bottom line,” says Dr. Yvonne M. Spicer, Mayor of Framingham. “We look forward to sharing our experience and best practices with the rest of the MetroWest communities and learning from them as well.”

Stefanie Covino, Coordinator of the Shaping the Future of Your Community program, notes, “One of the most common questions we get is when we talk about nature-based solutions is – who else has done this? By providing information and tours of existing local examples, we’re able to help communities across the Commonwealth learn what they really look like and how they work – and how more communities can successfully implement them elsewhere.”

Mass Audubon thanks the Foundation for MetroWest for this grant funding and opportunity to serve the local communities.

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Mass Audubon protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.