NORWOOD — General Manager Tony Mazzucco and Planning and Economic Development Director Paul Halkiotis are pleased to announce that the Town of Norwood has been awarded a state grant to support climate change resilience.
The town was awarded $682,421 through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant program which offers financial resources to municipalities that are seeking to advance priority climate adaptation actions to address climate change impacts resulting from extreme weather, sea level rise, inland and coastal flooding, severe heat and other climate impacts.
The Town of Norwood partnered with the Neponset River Watershed Association on the grant application for the Traphole Brook Flood Prevention and Stream Restoration Project. The grant money will be used to remove the Mill Pond Dam located off of Sumner Street in the town-owned Pezwick Park. The dam is in poor condition, is partially breached, and poses a potential flooding hazard if it were to completely fail as a result of more frequent and severe storms that are associated with the impacts of climate change.
The removal of the dam will also have the co-benefit of helping to restore the trout fishery in Traphole Brook which supports the largest native brook trout population in Eastern Massachusetts.
“We are so grateful to see such widespread support for this project from the Conservation Commission, which stewards the property, as well as the immediate and downstream neighbors,” Conservation Planner Holly Jones said. “A project this big takes a village, and it’s been so inspiring to see support continue to build for it in Norwood and throughout the region.”
The town has been working with the Neponset River Watershed Association, Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, abutting property owners and several state agencies over the past two years on the planning, design and permitting required for removing the Mill Pond Dam. The construction is scheduled to begin this fall and projected to be completed next spring.
“This project is a great example of how communities can be proactive in the face of the serious challenges presented by climate change. The project will help keep local residents safe from storms, improve recreational opportunities, and protect a really unique wildlife habitat, all while saving the Town a substantial amount of money,” said Ian Cooke, Executive Director of the Neponset River Watershed Association. “It’s been a pleasure working with the Town on this and we look forward to the construction process.”
“We look forward to putting this grant funding toward this important project that will mitigate potential flooding caused by climate change and restore the riverine ecosystem of Traphole Brook and the Neponset River,” Director Halkiotis said. “The Town is grateful for the support from the Baker-Polito Administration and the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, as well as our local, regional and state partners who have worked with us on planning for the project.”
The MVP grant program was created in 2017 by Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration to provide support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to identify climate hazards, assess vulnerabilities, and develop action plans to improve resilience to climate change. As part of the program, municipalities can apply to receive planning or action grants. The program is offered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.