Saving Land, Water, and Money in MetroWest

Rain Garden © Merriam Hall
Rain Garden © Merriam Hall

The MetroWest region is a mix of mature suburbs, dense urban areas, and considerable tracts of unprotected, undeveloped land. As they grow, local communities are increasingly concerned about development proposals on valuable natural resources as well as how to meet local water supply permitting and stormwater management regulations. We are working to assist local officials and citizens with facing these challenges and achieving their goals through sustainable development.

Mass Audubon, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), and the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance (MRA) have each received a grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to assist communities with land and water management options that benefit the environment, economy, and community quality-of-life. As part of this project, we are providing community workshops and training on our new conservation mapping tool, and working with local officials to train them on Low Impact Development (LID), the use of green infrastructure, and helping towns comply with the state’s new water supply permitting rules.

Mass Audubon also provided direct technical assistance and advice to five MetroWest communities: Dover, Framingham, Natick, Sherborn, and Wellesley. In addition, two workshops were offered especially for municipal staff and volunteer board and commission members focused on reducing phosphorus pollution in the Charles River and complying with new stormwater permits and water supply management regulations under the state’s Sustainable Water Management Initiative.

How This Project Helps Communities

The Shaping program is working in several areas of Massachusetts to help communities understand and implement Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure techniques. Learn more about why LID, why it’s important, and some resources on Saving Land, Water, and Money.

LID and green infrastructure can help the MetroWest region plan and prepare for extreme storm events and reduce erosion, flooding, and pollution of waterways while supporting public and environmental health.

Green Infrastructure and LID provide practical methods to:

  • Minimize costs of development and local infrastructure maintenance (e.g. roads and stormwater)
  • Reduce flooding
  • Improve water quality and support healthy rivers and streams
  • Protect and restore natural features that improve quality of life and property values


LID Fact Sheets 

A series of five fact sheets on how LID can help communities save land, water, and money.

View the fact sheets >

Analysis framework for reviewing local bylaws and regulations to encourage LID in your community

Sample Workshop Presentation

Our Partners

Mass Audubon, CRWA and the MRA thank the Foundation for MetroWest for the grant funding and opportunity to serve the local community. Established in 1995, the Foundation for MetroWest is the only community foundation serving the 33 cities and towns in the region. The Foundation promotes philanthropy in the region, helps donors maximize the impact of their local giving, serve as a resource for local nonprofits and enhance the quality of life for all our residents. Since inception, the Foundation has granted $11.6 million to charitable organizations and currently stewards more than $15 million in charitable assets for current needs and future impact.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Environmental Division, which provides environmental planning services to MetroWest and all of Greater Boston, was also included in this collaborative effort.