Heath, Leyden get grants for climate change resilience planning

Staff Report
Published: 9/28/2020 1:42:18 PM

Heath and Leyden are among the 26 communities statewide that are receiving grants to complete the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) planning process in 2020 and 2021. The towns each received $27,000.

The MVP grant and designation program provides communities with funding and technical support to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change, according to a recent press release announcing $11.1 million in grant awards. More than $44 million has been distributed through the MVP Program since 2017.

The total $11.1 million is divided into MVP planning grants and action grants, the release states. Planning grants, like those awarded to Heath and Leyden, support municipalities in working with a state-certified technical assistance provider to lead a planning workshop to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, as well as develop adaptation actions and prioritize next steps. Several Franklin County towns, including New Salem and Bernardston, have recently held these planning workshops.

Results of the workshops and planning efforts inform existing local plans. Communities are then eligible for competitive action grant funding to implement projects, the release explains. Projects are focused on proactive strategies to address climate change impacts and may include retrofitting and adapting infrastructure.

As part of the round of action grants, Athol and the North Quabbin Community Coalition were granted $117,760 for a Lord Pond Plaza improvement project. Williamstown and the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership were granted $164,575. The partnership assists 21 Western Massachusetts towns in furthering the care of forests in the face of climate change and improving nature-based tourism through trail networks, infrastructure and educational exhibits.

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