By Princeton Environmental Action Committee
The Town of Princeton’s Environmental Action Committee (EAC) continues to pursue action items identified in the Town’s Environmental Action Plan.
In April, over a year of EAC efforts came to fruition as the Town of Princeton was designated as a Green Community under the Commonwealth’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program! With this designation, Princeton has been awarded a designation grant of $130,869 to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that will reduce Princeton’s energy costs and positively impact the environment. The EAC is now working with Town leaders to submit to the Department of Energy Resources a project application that proposes how the designation funds will be spent.
In another effort spearheaded by the EAC, the Town has developed a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Plan that identifies and prioritizes areas, resources, infrastructure, and populations that are most vulnerable to expected climate change-related impacts—including wind, flooding, drought, and ice storms. In late April, Princeton’s MVP Plan was submitted for review and approval to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA). Once Princeton’s MVP Plan is approved by EOEEA, Princeton will be certified as an MVP community and will be eligible for MVP Action grant funding to implement projects to reduce risk and build climate change resiliency.
On the EAC’s initiative, the Town’s Waste and Recycling Committee (WRC) continues its work in evaluating waste management opportunities for Princeton residents and businesses. After having analyzed waste and recycling survey results from 613 Princeton households, the WRC is working to finalize a Request for Proposals for waste haulers.
Working in partnership with the Town’s Open Space Committee in April, the EAC helped lead the Town of Princeton’s Earth Month Cleanup of 80 miles of roadsides, parks and playgrounds, and trails in town. Volunteers managed to cleanup 100% of the town before month’s end
The EAC has also been sponsoring and working weekly with two teams of WPI students in two research projects: (1) Locating and Valuing Available Wood Sources in Princeton; and (2) Assessing the State of Light Pollution in Princeton and Developing Best Approaches to Mitigation.
Finally, in its ongoing outreach efforts, the EAC continues to publish its monthly newsletter, The Green News. The EAC’s March issue was An Introduction to Organic Gardening, and its April Issue was on Native Plants and Biodiversity. The EAC is also presenting a quarterly Environmental Speaker Series, which is supported in part by a grant from the Princeton Cultural Council. In April, the EAC virtually hosted the first event in the series: “Energy Savings for Today and Tomorrow, Current and Future Opportunities for PMLD Customers.” The next event in the series is tentatively scheduled for June 10 at 7 p.m. and will focus on low-maintenance landscaping with native plants.
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