The Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant program created in 2017 as part of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 provides support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to identify climate hazards, assess vulnerabilities, and develop action plans to improve resilience to climate change.
KEEP UPDATED ON MVP NEWS AND EVENTS – Click Here to register for MVP Updates.
The Springfield Municipal Vulnerability Project (MVP), aims to bring information, tools, and science related to helping Springfield address global climate change at the local level. This project is being carried out by the City of Springfield and includes several departments, including the Parks, Facilities, and Disaster Preparedness.
The following issues are being addressed, at the neighborhood live, in the Springfield MVP Project:
- Nature-Based Solutions – Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are adaptation measures focused on the Protection, Restoration, and/or Management of ecological systems to safeguard public health, provide clean air and water, increase natural hazard resilience, and sequester carbon. Incorporating NBS in local planning and design projects produce long-term solutions that benefit human and natural systems.
- Public Health & Healthcare – Climate change hazards experienced in communities across the Commonwealth impact our health and our healthcare sector’s ability to provide necessary services. A history of systemic injustice means that climate change disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities (as described in EEA’s 2017 EJ Policy). As a result, these communities are more likely to experience the negative health impacts of climate change, that range from medical and physical health impacts to mental health and community health impacts.
- Environmental Justice & Equity – Global climate change is a local environmental justice issue because it has disproportionate impacts on socially vulnerable populations in Massachusetts. With climate change expected to exacerbate current and future vulnerabilities in our communities, the Springfield MVP is delivering programming and opportunities that present a clear focus on addressing existing environmental, economic, and social disparities across the city.
Goals for the program include:
- Enlisting citizen-scientists to assist in collecting data and information on the local environment.
- Providing neighborhood residents useful steps that they can take to help address the environment where they live
- Conducting environmental educational program for residents of all ages.
- Helping to bring environmental change to Springfield
SPRINGFIELD MVP LATEST NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS
Sign Up To Be Kept Updated on MVP News and Events – Why not join us in our work to make Springfield greener and more resilient? To join our mailing list (monthly updates, please just Click Here to register. You will be glad you did!
Get a Free Copy of the Tree Owner’s Manual – Just like the manual that comes with automobiles and appliances, this booklet includes a parts diagram, instructions for installation, tips for troubleshooting, and more. And, like other manuals, hopefully it will be kept in a familiar spot and used as a reference over the course of the tree’s life.
To receive a copy of the latest “Tree Owner’s Manual” from the U.S. Forest Service, please Click Here and complete the order form. There is no charge for this useful guide.
To download a digital copy of the guide, Click Here.
Air Quality Monitoring Study Underway – A new project will get underway, beginning in July, to monitor the air quality in Springfield – once dubbed the “asthma capital” of the United States. Local residents can take part in the study… and receive a stipend for your work. Click Here to Learn More.
Pioneer Valley Air Quality Live Map – Click Here to view a live map that shows air quality conditions in the Connecticut River Valley. You can click on any sensor location in Springfield, Holyoke and Chicopee and see live information on the pollution levels at each site. This information is continually updated, and changes throughout the day.
Stewardship Mapping Project (STEW-MAP) Begins in Springfield – The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project or STEW-MAP is a database that gives the public access to see who is taking care of our environment. This community organizing tool can be applied to strengthen capacity, promote engagement with on-the-ground projects, and build more effective partnerships among stakeholders.
STEW-MAP does this by helping communities, governments, land management agencies, and nonprofits understand the social fabric of a landscape. STEW-MAP helps land managers make more informed decisions with stakeholders and stewards in mind. STEW-MAP data can accelerate city-wide conservation by promoting coordination, collaboration, and synergies across mixed ownerships and among diverse stewardship groups. STEW-MAP also provides network information that can be crucial for emergency preparedness and recovery. For more information on STEW-MAP Click Here.
Poor Brook Watershed Initiative – Off to the Great Outdoors – Summer Tours of the Poor Brook Watershed & Restoration Workdays will continue in July and August. Join the second of three tours on Wednesday, July 14th 5:30 – 7:00 PM. Please join this interpretive nature walk and exploration of the Poor Brook watershed on July 14th, and Aug 4th, and learn about the hidden natural world of Springfield! A workday is planned for August 14th from 9:30 AM – Noon. To learn more, Click Here.
July-August Neighborhood Sustainability Workshops – In July and August, join ReGreen Springfield for a series of workshops that will provide residents with tools that you can use to increase the sustainability and resiliency of your neighborhood. These informative, and lively sessions will take place in several neighborhoods, and will provide a great opportunity for friends and family to join in a community-based effort to help make Springfield more able to combat climate change… right at the local level.
The following dates and locations will host the Neighborhood Sustainability Workshops, from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM:
Calhoun Park – July 13th
Emerson Wight Park – July 20th
Adams Park – July 27th
Marshall Roy Park – August 3rd
Jaime Ulloa Park – August 10th
To learn more, please visit www.regreenspringfield.org/workshops
Vibrant Cities Lab Web Resources – The US Forest Service, American Forests and the National Association of Regional Councils created Vibrant Cities Lab to help city managers, policymakers and advocates build thriving urban forest programs.
Trees are often an after-thought as professionals, planners, policymakers and advocates consider their community’s future. Why? Few people oppose healthy tree canopy in their community. But many aren’t aware of the multiple benefits trees can provide. And even more may not know how to begin building an effective urban forestry program.
Vibrant Cities Lab is designed to help them discover how healthy tree canopy can enrich their own community and help guide them as they build an effective urban forestry program.
To visit the Vibrant Cities Lab, Click Here.
Urban tree survival and stewardship in a state-managed planting initiative: A case study in Holyoke, Massachusetts — A mixed-methods case study of a 2014 to 2016 tree planting in Holyoke, MA, was conducted to assess the factors that influence survival. Program stakeholders were interviewed and the data was coupled with field monitoring of trees planted along streets and on commercial and institutional landscapes to determine if trees stewarded by state foresters were more likely to survive.
Authored by U.S. Forest Service researchers, this is one of the only studies completed in Western Massachusetts that examines community engagement and sustainability issues in a. community.
To read the report, Click Here.
USEFUL LINKS TO SUSTAINABILITY RESOURCES
42 Ways to Green Your Neighborhood – https://neighborhoodgreening.org/how-to-green-your-neighborhood/
6 Ways to Improve the Environment In Your Neighborhood – https://www.tomsofmaine.com/good-matters/helping-hands/6-ways-to-improve-the-environment-in-your-neighborhood
Global Forest Watch – https://alcoa-ec2020.hub.arcgis.com/pages/plant-a-tree
Nature-Based Solutions Can Help Cool the Planet: If We Act Now – https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01241-2
Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework For Inclusivity – https://furmancenter.org/files/publications/White-Paper-Environmentally-Sustainable-Communities.pdf