$399K grant to boost Mill Brook vulnerability preparedness

Mill Brook/Wellington plan / Weston & SampsonClick on this schematic to see a larger version >>

UPDATED: Arlington has been awarded a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant for $399,260 to develop and institute ecologically sensitive flood-management measures in the Mill Brook Corridor.

This project will build on a current initiative, undertaken by the Mystic River Watershed Association and funded by the Community Preservation Act (CPA), to improve public access and recreational opportunities in the Mill Brook Corridor at Wellington Park, and in other areas of the park. Phase II of this initiative, supported through $171,420 in preservation funding and the grant, is scheduled to start in July.

Amber Christoffersen, greenways director of the Arlington-based Mystic River Wateershed Association, told InsideMedford, a YourArlington partner:

"We are thrilled that the Commonwealth has awarded the Town of Arlington nearly $400,000 in Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness funding. It is the second largest grant given out statewide under this program, an acknowledgment of Arlington's great work to substantially improve public access, recreation and habitat in Wellington Park while managing chronic flooding along Mill Brook."

Arlington was one of 24 cities and towns across the Commonwealth awarded grants for projects to improve resilience to climate change.

“Flooding along the Mill Brook corridor has been identified as a major vulnerability exacerbated by climate change,” Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said in a June 7 news release. “This is a great example of the planning process and collaboration of all stakeholders to address this vulnerability and directly leverage CPA resources to reach common goals.”

The grant, awarded by the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, comes on the heels of the successful completion of the town’s preparedness planning process, which was coordinated by the town Department of Planning and Community Development and funded through a $23,000 planning grant.

At the core of the process was the community resilience-building workshop, which involved stakeholders representing a broad cross section of the community in an intensive eight-hour forum designed to assess local vulnerabilities to hazardous weather events and develop action steps for addressing them. The top priority identified through the workshop is addressing flooding in the Mill Brook Corridor, which has recently caused significant damage to homes, businesses and other properties in the brook’s vicinity. The grant process will enable the town to begin to address this priority through an environmentally sustainable lens.

“The state’s awarding of both grants to Arlington recognizes the town’s far-sighted efforts to address the local impacts of climate change,” said Ann LeRoyer, chair of the Open Space Committee and member of a working group involved. “This flood-management project in the Mill Brook Corridor can serve as a model for other mitigation opportunities along the brook in the future.”

The vulnerability grant is the second phase of the program, which along with other state and local partnerships, is intended to build on outcomes from the state-funded, community-driven comprehensive assessment of municipal climate-change hazards. Statewide, 156 communities participate in the vulnerability program.

For more information, please contact Nat Strosberg, Senior Planner in the Department of Planning & Community Development: nstrosberg[@]town.arlington.ma.us.

This news announcement was published Thursday, June 7, 2018.

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