For Immediate Release: 9/13/2023 9:37 am
WORCESTER, Mass. – The City of Worcester is thrilled to announce it has received a $409K climate resilience grant to plant two Miyawaki forests and design two resilient community place-making spaces.
Awarded by the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, which is administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), these grants support communities in identifying climate hazards, developing strategies to improve resilience, and implementing priority actions to adapt to climate change. Worcester is one of 79 projects to have received action grant funding in the latest round of applications.
“This grant will empower the City to take a big step forward in planting its first two Miyawaki forests, which will address urban heat islands and provide numerous climate mitigating benefits,” said Chief Sustainability Officer John Odell. “Prior to planting, we will seek public input to assist in identifying possible locations for the forests that are within environmental justice communities.”
Miyawaki forests are named after Japanese botanist Dr. Akira Miyawaki, who developed a method of creating fast-growing native forests that are densely arranged and multi-layered. The forests are known to help with carbon dioxide absorption and managing stormwater run-off.
“We thank the Healey-Driscoll administration for this grant as it will help grow our tree canopy and bring relief to urban heat islands as we continue to prepare our community for a changing climate,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista.
The MVP program, created in 2017, provides funding for community-driven climate resilience planning and action. A total of 349 out of 351 of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns are participating in the program and more than $131.5M has been awarded for local climate resilience planning and projects.