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State Grant to bring Nature-Based Upgrades to Senior Center

For Immediate Release: 2/14/2020 9:55 am

The City of Worcester has received a state grant of $466,140 from the Baker-Polito Administration through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program for nature-based solutions to the Worcester Senior Center parking lot.

Funding and technical support are being provided to communities to identify climate hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.

The state funding for Worcester coincides with a $2.1 million renovation project of the Senior Center which will include a new fitness center on the first floor and a new activity room on the second floor. The renovations also call for the parking lot to be resurfaced and restriped this year including a new layout that will improve traffic flow and allow easier access for staff and patrons.

State funds will help improve storm-water drainage in the parking lot to lessen the flooding impact of major storm events to low lying areas such as the Green Island section of the city. A new rain garden, maintained in part by seniors, will be created to reduce flooding, filter polluted rain runoff from the parking lot and enhance the overall aesthetics of the landscape.

This new, sizable rain garden along with other nature-based low-impact development at the site, will help mitigate sudden large flows of storm water from the parking lot into Vernon Street. It will also help filter some of the contaminants from the water that is then slowly released into the system after a storm has passed.

“As we undertake development and renovation projects throughout the city, we always have to be conscious of ways we can improve our infrastructure to strengthen our resiliency against the natural effects of climate change,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “This funding allows us to provide a sustainable way to alleviate flooding while also enhancing the landscape of our Senior Center with colorful and thoughtful vegetation.”

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