ACTON — Town Manager John S. Mangiaratti is pleased to announce that the Town of Acton and the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) have been awarded a state grant to support climate change resilience.
The town and ABRSD were awarded $157,940 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.
“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for this funding,” said Town Manager Mangiaratti. “It will help position our town as a leader in climate action change and serve as a model for other communities across Massachusetts.”
The Town of Acton will use the funding to support the development of a Climate Action Plan (CAP), as well as an Electrification Roadmap (ER) in partnership with ABRSD.
The CAP will be published in the spring of 2022 and will list 15 to 20 prioritized strategies to curb community-wide greenhouse gas emissions during the next five to 10 years. The plan will include recommendations for buildings, energy supply, mobility and transportation, and nature-based solutions.
In September 2020, the Town of Acton held a special meeting and issued a Climate Emergency Declaration. The declaration calls for the town staff, businesses, civic groups and residents to commit to climate mobilization efforts, including achieving net-zero town carbon emissions by 2030 with support from the state and federal government.
“The CAP will map a pathway to reach net-zero emissions, increase clean energy access and protect our natural environment,” says Sustainability Director Andrea Becerra. “We set an ambitious target which requires an equally ambitious plan, and this funding is crucial in helping us to meet our goal. Funding will help increase our outreach capacity, allowing us to ensure a broad, equitable and inclusive community development process.”
Additionally, the ER will outline steps to transition seven key public and school buildings to fully electric, helping move ABRSD and the town towards carbon neutrality.
“Electrifying school and town buildings is a commitment and will take time, but it is a step that we must take to move the community towards 100% renewable energy and to ensure a low-carbon economy,” said ABRSD Energy Manager Kate Crosby. “We are so grateful for this state funding and we look forward to collaborating with the Town of Acton on mapping out the electrical transition.”
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.