Towns of Bolton and Harvard and the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone Bolton, Harvard, and Devens, MA
Apple Country Ecological Climate Resiliency and Carbon Planning Assessment, Bolton, Harvard, Devens (MVP)
BSC Group is acting as prime consultant on a team to complete an Ecological Climate Resiliency and Carbon Planning and Assessment effort, made possible through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. The project aims to assess and analyze ecological resources and provide recommendations with attention to nature-based solutions in the Towns of Bolton and Harvard and the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, otherwise referred to as Apple Country.
Apple Country possesses significant forests, productive farmland, extensive wetlands, and active floodplains emphasizing the need for climate resiliency both within the community and ecologically. The assessment and planning process aims to allow the Towns to identify and prioritize the most ecologically valuable carbon-rich and climate resilient ecosystems for conservation and protection, opportunities for ecological restoration and enhancement of resiliency and carbon storage/sequestration, policies and regulatory responses supporting nature-based solutions, Best Management Practices relevant for climate resilience within the local landscape, and lands that are at greatest risk for anticipated future development. The established project phases focus on specific elements, identifying and assessing significant characteristics including soil health, forest carbon, wetlands assessment, and other considerations.
Public engagement plays a large role in the project, requiring meaningful community and public input. BSC outlined a process that aims to understand community opinions, local knowledge, needs, and future visions, including print, digital, and COVID-compliant in-person involvement opportunities. To encourage engagement, a project website, survey, and interactive online data viewer were created among other pieces of digital and print media. Additionally, core team meetings and site tours will be held to encourage cross-town discussion of regional solutions.
BSC Group is responsible for assessment deliverables including mapping natural resources specific to each of the three Towns as well as regional maps, core team meetings presentation materials, and an Ecological Climate Resiliency and Nature-Based Solutions report highlighting potential opportunities to increase community resiliency through natural climate solutions. Finally, a final Apple Country Ecological Climate Resiliency and Carbon Planning and Assessment Report will be prepared, providing a regional perspective and analysis.