Sustainable Yard Designs Initiative

Rain Garden with Bark Mulch and Plantings at end of Small Stream

Thank you for your interest in a Free Sustainability Yard Design! Unfortunately, the signup has closed. To see the three selected sustainable yard designs and learn more about opportunities for implementing sustainable yard designs on your properties, view the slides for Sustainable Yard Designs from the Green Worcester Summit. Due to the overwhelming response to this initiative, we will be looking into opportunities to provide similar offerings to our residents in the future! Please stay tuned.

Does your yard or basement flood? Do you want an easier way to care for your lawn? Have you ever considered Nature-Based Solutions, but don't know where to start or how much it will cost? Now is your chance to get free, expert advice and a cost estimate for a tailored plan, with no obligation, as part of a special City initiative!

We have chosen three properties for this special opportunity to have landscape design experts craft personalized, conceptual plans to create a more sustainable and resilient yard, all at no charge. These "Sustainable Yard Designs" feature elements such as rain gardens, re-routing roof gutters, reducing pavement, native plantings, pollinator gardens and more.

Background: Drainage and Green Infrastructure Master Plan Development

The City is creating a Stormwater System and Green Infrastructure Master Plan which will help the City prioritize citywide drainage infrastructure improvements. The City of Worcester was awarded a 2022-2024 Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Plan (MVP) Action Grant to help develop it. The project's goals are:

  • To develop a comprehensive understanding of the municipal drainage system and its constraints.
  • To identify the City's most vulnerable areas using an infrastructure and social resilience framework.
  • To prioritize actions that advance flooding resiliency with a focus on a hybrid approach of nature-based solutions and grey infrastructure enhancements.
Diagram Showing Underground Stormwater and Sewer Pipe Systems
Weston & Sampson Consultants Working at Manhole in City Street

The City's project team - Department of Public Works & Parks and Department of Sustainability & Resilience - hired a consultant (Weston & Sampson) to:

  • Improve accuracy of the City's stormwater system GIS (mapped) data (drain manhole inspections).
  • Conduct modeling of the stormwater system during high intensity short duration and low intensity long duration rain events currently.
  • Use the model to predict flooding under projected 2070 flood conditions.
  • Identify flood prone areas and develop alternative analyses to address flooding considering grey and green infrastructure solutions.

Why Focus on Urban Flooding?

Climate Change is exacerbating flooding in Worcester due to more frequent and intense rainstorms and increase in total annual rainfall. The future flooding in the City will affect even more areas if we don't make changes to our stormwater system and how we build and manage our urban spaces.

Contact Information

Sustainability & Resilience
City Hall Room 108
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-8324
Email Us

Office Hours:
By Appointment: Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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City of Worcester
Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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