Accelerating Climate Resiliency Grant Program
MAPC is working in partnership with the Barr Foundation to accelerate climate resilience in the region by helping municipalities advance strategies that protect people, places, and communities from the impact of climate change.
The intent is to fund near-term interventions through local policy advances, analyses, and actions that drive long-term transformations. In particular, MAPC seeks to leverage projects with investments targeted to advancing climate equity and social cohesion.
One-year grants from $15,000 to $55,000 for programs and capacity building; two-year grants from $55,000 to $150,000 for construction and capital improvement projects.
This grant is applicable to the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC region. Regional collaboration and partnerships are encouraged and preferred.
- Invitation for Proposals released July 15, 2020
- Zoom Info Session: July 22, 2020
- Proposals will be due by August 31, 2020
Grants up to $150,000 for climate resilience construction projects: projects must be completed within two years of the grant award.
Smaller grants: projects must be completed within one year of the grant award
HOW TO APPLY
When preparing an application, consider using this grant as a match for other local, state, or federal grant programs (such as EEA's MVP Action Grant).
All proposals should target at least one of the seven funding priority areas:
- Strategies that advance nature-based solutions for climate resilience
- Municipal climate resiliency regulations, zoning, financing, or infrastructure
- Support climate coalitions or convening
- Initiatives to boost social resiliency - particularly among at-risk or vulnerable populations and/or neighborhoods
- Local food system or community agriculture and resiliency measures
- District-scale resilience pilots
- Public outreach, marketing, and arts & culture
Please contact Senior Environmental Planner Darci Schofield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-933-0794.
Grant Materials and Updates
Absolutely! Revising Land Use regulations for climate is a great match for our Accelerating Climate Resiliency Grant program.
This project could be either a one-year or two-year project. Grant funding supporting costs associated with the land acquisition such as due diligence, title, survey/engineering, etc., would qualify as a one-year grant. If the grant award was toward capital for the purchase of the land, then this qualifies as a two-year grant.
Yes! We encourage municipalities to work with consultants and provide assistance where applicable for their resilience projects.
Your goals do sound like a good match to the grant program. We encourage you to work with your municipal partners to apply for a grant as municipalities are the eligible applicants. We strongly encourage partnerships with community-based organizations and the grant funds can be used to support the organization’s work on the project.
Yes, agriculture, food security, and local farm programs are all projects that qualify and MAPC is prioritizing projects that support climate justice populations which includes low-income individuals.
Full question: In Essex, we have been working to elevate two low spots that flood on tidal surges. This is on the only other road connecting the Town north-south and the main road, Route 133 floods even before the alternate floods. If we elevate just those two spots, the rest of the road is way above flood. We have been working with DER on a culvert replacement design (in the first low spot). Does this program support design and construction for infrastructure, with the tie in to the ecological improvement that will meet Mass crossing standards?
Answer: Infrastructure resilience projects are definitely applicable for the grant program. Incorporating nature-based resilience solutions in conjunction with hard resiliency improvements will make your proposal more competitive.
Full question: There doesn't seem to be an obvious place for social resilience in the priorities. We have a possible project to propose that would involve building greater social capital or social connectedness. If the project doesn't fit a priority, will it be rated lower? I see social resiliency is in the priority areas, it's just not in the list of program priorities. Is there some distinction there we should be aware of?
Answer: Social resilience projects fall under two of our program priority areas listed below. Additionally, we will consider innovative resilience projects and programs that may be outside of the program priority areas.
- Climate coalitions or convenings, such as stormwater partnerships, regional climate networks, or watershed-based climate resilience initiatives.
- Climate Change capacity building including Improvements to social resiliency or cohesion, such as through dialogues, gatherings, and networks, particularly for at-risk or vulnerable populations/neighborhoods. Building municipal staff capacity to implement climate resilience.
If a grant includes revising local bylaws and regulations, we would encourage a two-year grant program to bring the vote to Town Meeting to implement the new regulations. In this case, the applicant will want to consider an ambitious community engagement plan that works to secure a “yes” vote at Town Meeting.
In this program, the agricultural program priority area is designed specifically for food production, resilience, and security. However, forestry would fall under the nature-based solutions program priority areas.
The grant timelines can not be altered. However, we are offering another grant round next year for one-year projects.
Projects are not expected to be fully designed, permitted, and ready for construction. However, MAPC will fund construction projects that can be completed within the two-year grant period, and project readiness will be an important evaluation criterion. The level of design and permitting will be evaluated in relation to the scope and scale of the project.
Full question: Can a design project for green infrastructure be a 2-year project with a budget up to $150,000? Or do all design projects need to be 1-year with budget up to $55,000? As noted, most construction projects would have a larger budget that would need additional alternative funding.
We may consider funding a design project that is worth more than $55,000. The applicant will need to articulate a strong case based upon the financial, climate, and community need, for requesting a grant that is outside the given parameters.
Absolutely! This is a great use of grant funds.
Our intent is that the grant would begin in October 2020 and completed by October 31, 2021. However, the timeline is subject to change based upon extenuating circumstances, such as delays due to COVID-19.
Yes, communities can submit multiple applications. MAPC would only fund one of them, but we welcome your presenting your best potential projects!
If the Climate Vulnerability Indicators data analysis includes future flood projections from only the Boston Harbor Flood Risk Model. If you need assistance in determining your community’s flood vulnerability risk, please reach out to Darci at email@example.com to provide additional data for your climate equity analysis.
Yes, this year we are supporting capacity building for a municipal climate staff position.
A couple things to consider in your proposal:
- Demonstrated commitment from municipal leadership to continue staffing this position. A good example the Town providing some portion of the staff salary and the grant funding is a seed to the position. However, mostly we are seeking a demonstrated commitment for the position for the long term.
- Since this program is for accelerating climate resiliency, the job description would need to be specific to that work. It could include clean energy work but mostly we would be looking for the position to be advancing or implementing your MVP, Natural Hazard, or other climate planning/resilience work.
- Please articulate the need for the staff position and the roles/responsibilities of the proposed position in your proposal.
- MAPC would consider funding a part-time position.
Yes, please see the answer above regarding funding a municipal staff position for climate resilience.
Vehicles would be considered, particularly as it helps to eliminate food insecurity and advances climate equity through delivery and production.
We have approximately $1 million for grant awards over a two-year period. The number of grants we award each depends on the proposals we receive.
We may consider grants where MAPC is part of the project, particularly where it relates to a specific area of MAPC’s expertise that is required to complete the project.
Yes, that is a great use of the grant funds!
We are considering clean energy and climate mitigation projects that align and have synergies with climate adaptation/resilience to promote multiple benefits. So in this example, we might suggest creating a “green” parking lot that provides electric charging stations as well as green infrastructure to manage stormwater and reduce the urban heat island effect.
Beach nourishment would definitely be considered for the grant program, however, since MAPC is a public agency, the project would need to demonstrate a larger community public benefit.
Implementing a climate vulnerability plan through coalitions is a great match for the grant program. Particularly as it relates toward regional collaboration of implementing MVP plans.
Full question: NOAH does a lot of work on Climate and Resiliency in East Boston. We have some real needs around funding for work in Central Square/Liberty Plaza where King Tides begin to flood Shaw’s supermarket………..and are inching towards Central Square 2030, if you follow the maps. Does this work qualify for the grant and can we apply?
Answer: We definitely want to support resilience projects in high-risk communities where exposure is imminent. We strongly encourage municipalities to partner with community-based organizations on their projects, however the municipality is the only eligible applicant. Please reach out to your municipality to discuss the project and formulating a partnership.
Full question: We are working on a Harbor Resiliency Master Plan and were discussing applying for funds from this grant program to supplement that effort. We also are seeking to create a Climate Action Grant and the community is really pushing to move this forward. My question is – would this be an appropriate place to apply for funds for Assistance developing a scope and schedule for the development of a comprehensive climate action plan?
Answer: The Harbor Resiliency Planning effort does fit our District-Scale resiliency program priority area, so the planning effort would certainly qualify. The Comprehensive Climate Action Plan could also qualify if it included synergies with climate adaptation. For example, evaluating the Town’s natural assets and creating a plan for restoration/preservation to ensure no net loss of carbon capturing natural assets.
Full question: Does building a greenhouse qualify for the grant program? Our community farm provides food for food banks that are currently in significant need of more food. We would like to make our farm a year-round operation to increase our production and provide greater educational programs to the community?
Answer: Yes, building a greenhouse would qualify as long the structure is used to reduce food insecurity, create agricultural resilience to climate change risks, and prioritize climate equity.
The grant is not really designed to support clean energy projects by themselves, but clean energy projects that have synergies with adaptation and resilience strategies.
Emergency preparedness is a grant program priority area and this expense would apply. However, to make your proposal more competitive, I would suggest a broader emergency preparedness approach that includes networks and strategies that build community resilience/social cohesion in the City, as part of an emergency preparedness strategy.
Full question: Our project involves raising of the roadway profile of one of the significant thoroughfares in the Town vulnerable to flooding. My question is, since this is project is a major corridor raise the engineering and permitting fees are substantial, but they exceed the $55,000 cap for a one-year project. Would it be appropriate for the Town to apply for a two-year grant for the engineering and permitting associated with this important project?
Great question! I think there are two ways you could go about this, and it depends on whether you have funding secured for construction.
- If funding is secured for the construction, then apply for a two-year grant for the total amount needed. You may finish early but I am asking our applicants to account for delays due to COVID-19 disruptions, which could affect the timeline for your permitting anyway. If you finish before two years-great!
- If funding is not secured for the construction, then I would suggest a one-year grant for the design/engineering that also includes a plan for permitting and securing funding for construction. We will have another grant round next year, so that is also a consideration for future funding.
The project becomes less competitive if cost of permits are included without secured construction funding. This is because we would be potentially funding permits that may not be used if they were to expire before construction funding is secured. Given the challenges of public budgets, that is a possible outcome. But the design/engineering is a perfect fit for a one-year grant.
Also, I would consider enhancing the ecological benefits of the project around raising the road and the culvert improvements.
Full question: I’ve been working with the Council on Aging and the Housing Authority to combat social isolation for seniors, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. One of the biggest gaps is technology access especially since community centers, library and senior center are closed. We want to implement building wide WiFi at our senior housing and provide tablets. Is this applicable for the program, providing access to technology and technological resources for those who would truly benefit from it? This pilot would be tested in COVID but create a foundation for emergency preparedness with climate-change.
Answer: Yes, addressing emergency preparedness, public health (isolation and mental health), community cohesion for vulnerable populations is applicable for the program.
Yes, we can review your proposal outline up until August 21, 2020.
Yes! This project touches upon multiple program priority areas-local food, public health, and transportation emission reductions. In addition, ensure your project has a clear plan for community engagement and addressing equity.
We welcome applicants to speak with MAPC staff to provide expertise and technical assistance to develop your best proposal. If MAPC staff assist on proposal development, they will not participate in the evaluation process for determining grant awards.
Yes, that is a great fit for the grant program. It falls within the Municipal climate resiliency regulations, zoning, financing, or infrastructure program priority area.
Yes, please contact Ella Wise at EWise@mapc.org for a word copy.
Without knowing the details, I would say that this would generally fit the grant requirements. I would encourage articulating how the composting improves climate resilience in your proposal.
We are reserving the two-year grant program for capital and/or construction projects. The one exception is if you are planning to redesign your zoning for climate resilience and were seeking Town Meeting approval. I would suggest breaking down your scope into a phased approach to best qualify for the grant.
We will release another one-year grant round next year. It is possible to receive a grant in two consecutive years if the project/ program meets the criteria.
Grant funds can be used to hire a consultant. However, this grant program is largely to support implementation of completed planning efforts on climate change.
The grant does not require formal authorization from the Board of Selectmen to designate a project manager. A letter from your Town Manager/Administrator is sufficient. Alternatively, if your municipality requires an authorization from the Board of Selectmen, please submit your application by the August 31, 2020 due date, then send the letter of authorization as soon as you have it, making note of its pending arrival in your proposal.
I suggest submitting one application for both construction and capacity building, which creates a stronger proposal. If you submit two applications, which is perfectly acceptable, it is likely you would only be funded for one project.
We strongly encourage community-based organizations to work with municipalities for the ACR Grant program, however, municipalities are the only eligible applicants. To apply, you will need to work with your municipality to submit the application and your organization could be paid as a contractor.
Not necessarily, an estimated total amount for each category is sufficient for the budget. However, for grant reimbursement, you will need to document the time and hourly rate in the invoice to MAPC. Staff time will also require a supervisor’s signature for reimbursement.
Travel costs are an allowable expense for the grant program. You can provide an estimated total amount anticipated for travel expense in your proposal budget.
However, you will need to provide documentation for travel expenses such as gas receipts, miles traveled and rate for miles.
You’re right, there is a typo in the Invitation for Proposals. The reference to Appendix C in the Invitation for Proposals should be a reference to Appendix B. There is no Appendix C.
Funded Projects: FY2020
Strengthening Social and Climate Resilience in East Boston
Grantees: Boston Public Health Commission & The Harborkeepers
Grant Amount: $44,995
East Boston is a coastal low-lying neighborhood that is highly vulnerable to climate impacts and with a diverse socioeconomic makeup. East Boston must accelerate resiliency-building to prepare for increasing climate risks and meet the city's Climate Action Plan goals.
This project aimed to educate local residents about climate impacts and community and emergency preparedness. The Boston Public Health Commission and The Harborkeepers developed four community preparedness workshops, three document-scanning events, and more activities to build relationships and encourage social cohesion.
Tree Box Installations for Stormwater Management in Braintree
Grantee: Braintree Department of Public Works
Grant Amount: $38,755
Using grant funds, the Braintree Department of Public Works installed three tree box filters at three different locations in town: Hollingsworth Park, Daughraty Gym, and Stetson Street. Tree box filters are a stormwater management best practice, capturing runoff and cleaning it of pollutants before discharging it into a wetland area.
The Town installed signage at the Hollingsworth Park and Daughraty Gym locations (which are frequented by pedestrians) to educate residents and visitors about the benefits of tree box filters.
Sustainable Landscaping in Concord
Grantee: Concord Sustainability Division
Grant Amount: $26,000
Concord created three sustainable landscaping demonstration gardens located at the Concord-Carlisle High School, Junction Park, and the Concord Free Public Library. Each features three species of ground cover that require less maintenance and less water than standard turf lawn. They were planted with the help of 46 students and volunteers. The project also included creating a Sustainable Landscaping Handbook, workshop videos, 15 blog posts, and 17 social media posts all available on the Town's "Greenscapes" page.
Snug Harbor Resilience Master Plan in Duxbury
Grantee: Duxbury Planning Department
Grant Amount: $24,800
Duxbury's Snug Harbor is a significant cultural, recreational and commercial center. It contains the headquarters of one of the larger shell fishing companies in the state, the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, Harbormaster, public pier, marinas, and historic structures from the Shipbuilders era. Restaurants, inns, churches and other businesses create a vibrant and beloved hub of activity.
Sea level rise and storm surge have damaged buildings and infrastructure in the area and more is expected in the future. The Town worked directly with stakeholders to discuss their concerns, hopes, awareness, needs, and experiences to help set a vision of resilience for Snug Harbor. The plan identifies near- and long-term solutions for creating a resilient Snug Harbor that best serves the stakeholders' needs and protects this community asset.
Youth Stewardship of Northern Strand Green Infrastructure Sites in Everett
Grantee: Everett Office of Planning and Development
Grant Amount: $30,000
The Jon Norton Community Rain Garden transformed nuisance flooding along the Northern Strand Trail into a space for bees, butterflies, birds, humans, and native plants to grow together. The rain garden catches, absorbs, and infiltrates stormwater into the ground.
Lead artist Carolyn Lewenberg worked with a design team of eighth-grade students from the Madeline English School to identify goals three in addition to flood mitigation: to create a welcoming space, beautify the neighborhood, and help the environment. The garden includes cloud-shaped benches and three murals. Design implementation was offered in-kind by the Everett Department of Public Works and contractors from National Grid.
Integrating Land Use Planning and Water Conservation in Ipswich
Grantees: Ipswich Utilities Department & Ipswich River Watershed Assocation
Grant Amount: $19,550
The Town of Ipswich's public water supply is under threat due to supply limitations, water quality issues, increasing demand, and—increasingly—the current and anticipated impacts from climate change. This project sought to analyze the current situation and make recommendations to make the Town's water supply more resilient to these threats.
The project identified a series of measures the community can take to minimize the impact of new development and reduce water demand elsewhere in the community to offset new demand and make the current water supply more resilient in the future.
Community Gardens at Public Housing in Medford
Grantees: Medford Planning Department, Mass In Motion, and Affordable Housing
Grant Amount: $31,105
Medford worked with a garden contractor and residents to improve community gardens at Walking Court, a state-funded housing development for seniors and people with disabilities. The improved gardens include 10 raised beds and an accessible elevated bed. Additional improvements include improved soils and dozens of new fruit trees and berry bushes at Walking Court and the Willis Avenue public housing development.
Burke-Memorial Elementary School Rain Garden in Medway
Town of Medway
Medway constructed two rain gardens at the Burke-Memorial Elementary School to reduce the impact of flooding on the school’s athletic fields. Increasingly intense and frequent precipitation events coupled with a larger impervious surface area has resulted in chronic localized flooding in the lower fields. The fields are unusable for sports or recess for much of the year due to the flooding. However, the new rain gardens are engineered to collect and store runoff from the playground and basketball courts, allowing it to slowly seep into the soils. This natural process helps to reduce flooding and also helps filter the runoff as it soaks into the ground and replenishes ground water.
The rain garden project will serve as an educational tool for students, parents, municipal staff and the general public to show how nature-based solutions can build our community’s resiliency to climate change.
Equity and Climate Resiliency in Needham
Grantees: Needham Public Health Division and Green Needham
Grant Amount: $26,089
The Town of Needham Public Health Division (NPHD) implemented the Needham Equity in Climate Change Resiliency Project to advance equity and increase protection of older adults with respect to climate change. NPHD’s project focused on extreme weather events – such as extreme heat, cold, and storms – because they are getting stronger and more frequent due to climate change.
During this project, NPHD: 1) hosted three interactive workshops for older adults on extreme weather events; 2) designed and distributed a relevant brochure; and 3) conducted comprehensive public outreach to actively engage older adults and their caregivers on the topic of extreme weather. Materials were translated in three different languages.
Long Beach Living Shoreline Project in Rockport
Grantee: Rockport Department of Public Works
Grant Amount: $32,500
For many decades, coastal storms and sea level rise have eroded Long Beach Road in Rockport where the roadway meets the shoreline of the adjacent Saratoga Creek. The Nor'easters of 2018 resulted in additional erosion that degraded a significant portion of the marsh at Saratoga Creek, damaged and undermined a sewer manhole structure, and caused increased erosion. This project created engineering designs and permitting for a living shoreline and infrastructure relocation to restore the eroded salt marsh area and maintain the adjacent roadway and utilities.
Peggoty Beach Managed Retreat Feasibility Study in Scituate
Grantee: Scituate Department of Planning and Development
Grant Amount: $35,000
Several residents of Peggotty Beach whose homes were eroding seaward approached the Town of Scituate with interest in determining whether it would be feasible to complete a managed retreat land swap with the town. Previous coastal planning assessments recommended pursuing managed retreat at this location.
This project provides a comprehensive outline and approach of all of the complexities in completing a land swap and catalogues residents' interests and concerns about their future at Peggotty Beach.