A lake and a bridge.

MetroWest Fund for the Environment

We believe in building and supporting healthy communities with good schools, safe neighborhoods, strong public services, and most critically, a sound environment.

MetroWest has bountiful natural resources - wetlands, forests, wildlife, lakes, and ponds with a well-developed network of parks, reservations, and hiking trails to open them up to the community. However, these natural resources face the challenges of pollution, invasive species, climate change, and other harmful impacts. Our lakes and ponds are threatened by stormwater runoff, invasive weeds such as milfoil, and declining water quality.

Your donation to the MetroWest Fund for the Environment helps support local groups that are making a difference in our region, whether that is by removing invasive aquatic weeds, maintaining trails, developing community education programs, or engaging in a variety of other projects that help protect and preserve our local environment.

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2015 Environment Grants:

This project will provide training and education for municipal officials, staff, boards, commissions, and public works departments in the MetroWest region on complying with the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System general permit to be issued by the U.S. New England Region (EPA) at the end of 2015. The permit is complex and implementing it will be challenging for many communities. Robust implementation of the new permit is critical to the health of the Charles. 

Through workshops, a new conservation mapping tool, and direct engagement, Mass Audubon will guide local officials and community leaders in making land use choices that optimize environmental, economic, and community quality-of-life outcomes. Program elements are designed to increase understanding and support for sustainable land use practices that have proven benefits for protecting and managing essential water resources that are important to support natural ecosystems and safeguard public health. 

Municipalities across Massachusetts are being required to address the environmental harm caused by their water use. This has created an opportunity for watershed groups to work with local towns to improve rivers and streams and to help communities understand the consequences to the environment of our water use by coupling it with measures to reduce the negative impact. The new regulations have added complexity to water permitting in the state, and in order to make an impact, both environmental groups and towns will need substantial help navigating the new permitting as it rolls out.