Great Barrington, Mass. (Sept. 28, 2023) – The town has been awarded a second MVP climate resilience grant to implement improvements at the Lake Mansfield Recreation Area improvements.
This year’s award of $709,720 is also from the Commonwealth’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program, administered by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). These competitive grants support communities implementing priority actions to adapt to climate change and build climate resilience.
Great Barrington’s Lake Mansfield project is one of 79 projects to have received action grant funding in the latest round of applications. Last year’s award was nearly $1 million.
Town Manager Mark Pruhenski said, “Lake Mansfield is an important ecological and recreational resource, and the work we implement with these MVP grant funds will ensure it can serve these functions for generations. We are extremely grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their support.”
The project at Lake Mansfield includes enlarging the parking lot at the beach area and installing rain gardens and other stormwater management features to prevent contamination of the Lake and protect water quality. At the north end, for the lake outlet stream, a larger culvert will be installed to prevent flooding of the road. The existing vehicle road along the lake edge will be replaced with a shared use path for walkers and bicyclists. Only emergency vehicles will be permitted to use this portion of the road. The lake edge will be replanted to provide stormwater filtration and a stabilized bank.
When complete, northbound vehicles will no longer be permitted to use the road between the boat launch and beach. All passenger vehicles will enter the recreation area and parking area from the north, via Christian Hill Road.
“The Lake Mansfield improvements are the result of years of meetings and designs,” said Christopher Rembold, assistant town manager and director of planning and community development. "The project will protect the water quality and the habitat of the area, provide handicapped accessibility throughout the recreation area, and improve the safety for everyone who uses it.”
Rembold added the Town the project is now out for bid, and work should begin soon.
He said, “We want to begin construction this year, so most major work will be completed by the summer. People will see that the road and the parking lot at the beach will be closed to all traffic for several months.”
Community members interested in learning more can join the Oct. 5 community information meeting on Zoom at 6:30 p.m., and that event link can be found here, on the town calendar. Anyone with questions may contact email@example.com or 413-528-1619 x2401.
The MVP program, created in 2017, provides funding for community-driven climate resilience planning and action. Ninety-nine percent, or 349 out of 351 of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns, are participating in the program and over $131.5 million has been awarded for local climate resilience planning and projects. Communities originally enrolled in the program by completing the MVP Planning Grant process (MVP 1.0), which then opened up access to apply for an MVP Action Grant, or implementation funding. EEA has recently launched the MVP 2.0 update to the original MVP planning grant, and after this pilot round intends to require communities to undergo MVP 2.0 to maintain eligibility in applying for MVP Action Grants.