COVID-Safe Cooling Strategies

Male engineer drinking water on a summer day on the building under construction
COVID-Safe Cooling Strategies

COVID- Safe Cooling

In summer of 2020, MAPC and the Mystic River Watershed Association launched a “COVID-Safe Cooling Strategies” program with emergency funding provided by the Barr Foundation.

The program provides funding and technical assistance to mitigate extreme heat impacts in seven communities most impacted by both COVID-19 and extreme heat: Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, and Revere. In 2020 and 2021, the program provided over $1 million total to municipal departments and organizations in these communities.

COVID-Safe Cooling grants fund direct cooling relief, support efforts to build equitable, resilient community support systems, and help communities invest in strategies that will protect residents from extreme temperatures in the long-term.

Previous grantees have purchased and distributed personal cooling equipment such as energy efficient air conditioners, box fans, and cooling kits; provided utility bill assistance; conducted community outreach and education on heat safety; and made investments in infrastructure such as public water fountains, urban trees, and splash pads.

The program has helped identify common challenges that municipalities face while tackling extreme heat, and the policy changes that could protect the most vulnerable. In addition to the grant funding, MAPC and MyRWA provide technical assistance to grantees, including support with purchasing, communications, providing resources in multiple languages, and one-on-one help to troubleshoot challenges.

Questions? Contact Sasha Shyduroff at or Jeanette Pantoja at

2022 Grants

MAPC, the Barr Foundation, and the Mystic River Watershed Association launched the 2022 COVID-Safe Cooling program on March 1.

Click here to download the launch presentation.

Key Dates:

March 18: Expression of Interest due.

  • Submission of an EOI is optional, but will help MAPC and MyRWA provide feedback and technical assistance to support project development.  
  • Submit the EOI at this link

April 15: Proposals due

May: Funding awards announced


Extreme Heat and Cooling Resources

MAPC has compiled a list of resources that may be helpful to municipalities who want to help residents stay cool—and healthy--this summer. These include a tool to see what neighborhoods in the Greater Boston region are most vulnerable to extreme heat, suggestions for how municipalities and community-based organizations can help their residents stay cool, utility assistance resources; and heat safety information.

Extreme Heat Communications and Social Media Toolkit

Staying safe in extreme heat is essential in the summer, especially for those without air conditioning. On this page, we've compiled flyers, sample social media posts, and images that cities and towns can use to spread the word to their followers.

2021 Grants

Municipal Grantees

Total Awarded to Municipalities: $229,000

Community-Based Organization Grantees

Total Awarded to CBOs: $359,998

2020 Grants

Municipal Grantees

Total Awarded to Municipalities: $185,000

Community-Based Organization Grantees

Total Awarded to CBOs: $315,000