Resilience in the MetroWest Region
Balancing Water, Development, & Conservation
Thanks to a grant from the Foundation for MetroWest, the Shaping the Future program has assisted Hudson, Natick, and other local communities on nature-based solutions to land and water management. The MetroWest region of Massachusetts is experiencing climate change through more intense storm events, punctuated by increased frequency of droughts, which are only expected to worsen. This contributes to increased floods, erosion, and water pollution as well as periods of low or no flow in streams, which can stress fish and other aquatic life.
We amplify these impacts when we cover forests and fields—that soak up and filter water—with impervious surfaces like sprawling developments and wide roads where water runs off and carries pollution into our waterways. This project has introduced community members and municipal officials to a more natural approach to land management through Low Impact Development (LID) and native plants.
Through workshops, local regulatory reviews, and technical assistance, we’ve helped community members and officials to apply a natural approach to land and stormwater management for the municipality, business owners, and residents. These approaches help restore the water cycle and water quality while providing an attractive, high-quality landscape and improving climate resilience for current and future generations.
We continue to provide support at the local, regional, and state levels, both through follow up activities with individual municipalities and through our partnerships and collaborations with other organizations and the state. We facilitated Natick to identify climate vulnerabilities and actions through the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and are advising several other MetroWest communities on the program.
Mass Audubon’s partners on this project are the Town of Hudson and OARS, the watershed organization for the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord Rivers. This work also complements a related effort, also funded by the Foundation for MetroWest, by Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and the Charles River Watershed Association to improve the state’s drought management plan and promote better water conservation.
We thank the Foundation for MetroWest for the grant funding and opportunity to serve the local communities.