For Immediate Release - February 15, 2008

Patrick Administration Awards Smart Growth/Smart Energy Grants

Seven communities share funding for projects to improve local land use, promote clean energy

BOSTON - Feasibility studies for a "green" building and a hydroelectric facility, design plans for new and expanded parks, and efforts to develop two regional trails are among seven projects funded with Smart Growth/Smart Energy grants announced by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today. Sharing $111,500 are projects in Northampton, Stow, Dedham, Worcester, Dennis, Shelburne, and Peabody.

Designed to help incorporate the Commonwealth's Sustainable Development Principles into local development and recreation projects, EEA's Smart Growth/Smart Energy Technical Assistance Grant Program has awarded over $3 million to cities and towns since it began four years ago, helping to produce more than 100 new land use plans and bylaw amendments.

"EEA's Smart Growth/Smart Energy grants are an important part of Governor Patrick's overall efforts to promote sustainable development in Massachusetts," Secretary Bowles said. "The Administration is pleased to lend a hand to these projects that will promote energy efficiency, expand recreational opportunity and protect natural resources in our communities."

Eligible grant applicants include regional planning agencies and municipalities. Selection criteria favor activities that implement recommendations from local master plans or community development plans, realize significant energy and/or environmental benefits, and implement techniques from the Massachusetts Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit - the latest version of which was unveiled by Secretary Bowles last December.

Smart Growth/Smart Energy grant recipients announced today include:

  • Northampton : $10,000 for engineering to bury utilities at the city's Pulaski Park project, part of the larger Roundhouse Brownfields project;
  • Stow: $19,500 for appraisals and engineering at the Lundy Property, which includes cluster affordable housing and bypass for the Assabet Rail Trail;
  • Dedham : $20,000 to fund a "green" building design for a new senior center;
  • Worcester : $20,000 to fund a feasibility study for hydroelectric power at the Blackstone Visitor Center;
  • Dennis: $10,000 for design plans for Bass River Park;
  • Shelburne: $20,000 for design plans for the Salmon Falls observation area and a Mahican-Mohawk Trail connection;
  • Peabody : $12,000 to fund low-impact development design plans for the Spring Pond Road Walking Path.

In addition to EEA's Smart Growth/Smart Energy Technical Assistance Grant Program, the Patrick Administration's smart growth/smart energy programs include the Commonwealth Capital Policy, which provides a financial incentive to communities to implement specific land use measures consistent with smart growth and energy, and the Smart Growth/Smart Energy Toolkit, which contains model bylaws and other educational materials.