Springfield MVP Initiative


Air Quality Monitoring Study – A project will get underway, beginning in June, 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.

Air quality sensors will be placed throughout the city to measure air pollution levels and provide information in real time to help people take steps to protect themselves from exposure. The project is being paid for by the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey with $50,000 from settlement funds paid by polluters.

If you are interested in participating in this project, you are invited to join our Advisory Committee!  We are looking for residents to participate in the process to set up and monitor the air quality sensors. Residents will help with the following:

  • Help environmental partners to identify air quality monitoring sites in each city.
  • Help create community messaging about the installation of the air quality monitors and ways to use the information to inform the community
  • Build an understanding of climate resilience and environmental justice initiatives and advocacy in Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke.
  • Promote and share other climate resilience and environmental justice initiatives efforts in the community
  • Resident Advisors receive a $100/month stipend. The project runs from April – June.

To apply to be a Resident Advisor, please fill out this Google Form or please contact Samantha Hamilton, Live Well Springfield Manager, Public Health Institute of Western MA or 413-794-2807.

This project is a collaboration of the following organizations: Live Well Springfield, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, ReGreen Springfield, City of Springfield, City of Holyoke, Earthwatch, and Yale School of Public Health. Funding provided by the MA Attorney General’s Office of Environmental Enforcement and MA Municipal Vulnerability Program.

To hear more about the project, please listen to the audio segment on WAMC – Northeast Public Radio.  Visit t.ly/se5q to access the audio story by Paul Tuthill, WAMC Connecticut Valley Bureau Chief.

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.

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 produces 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 a ages.
  • Helping to bring environmental change to Springfield.

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