Our roundup of the latest Wellesley, Mass., climate and sustainability news:
$200K state grant for heat pumps and more
Wellesley’s Climate Action Committee is celebrating a $200,000 award from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ Green Communities program. The money will go toward installing heat pumps to replace propane heaters at three Department of Public Works water treatment plants ($60K toward each one), plus $10K for LED lighting at the water and sewer garage, and the rest for hybrid police cruisers. Receiving the maximum grant is a credit to the Climate Action Committee working closely with other town departments.
The town is leading by example with adoption of technology such as heat pumps, which it has been encouraging property owners in town to consider as an alternative to oil furnaces and traditional air conditioning systems.
Separately, the Climate Action Committee is now looking to release its Climate Action Plan this month.
Coping with Climate Distress: March 3
The Wellesley Health Department is coordinating with volunteer Sustainable Wellesley group to offer an online program about Coping with Climate Distress on March 3 from 7-8:30pm. The event will feature a speaker from Boston University’s Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders.
Conversation with the Candidates: Feb. 15
Sustainable Wellesley is promoting an online conversation with Wellesley candidates for public office on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7-8pm.
Town Meeting goes green
Wellesley’s Annual Town Meeting is slated to start on March 28, and among its nearly 50 articles are a handful related to sustainability.
It will be hard to top Article 12 from the 2020 Special Town Meeting during which it was voted that “all boards, committees, and departments take certain actions in response to the accelerating crisis that threatens our community, region, state, nation, and the world, or to take any other action in relation thereto.”
This time around green-focused warrant items include:
- Article 21: Retrofit lights at Wellesley High with LEDs
- Article 23: Establish a stormwater enterprise fund
- Article 29: Switch reporting structure so that Climate Action Committee sustainability director reports to the town’s executive director
- Article 38: Amend the Zoning Bylaw by adding sustainability provisions in line with the town’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals
Sleet doesn’t stop Fridays For Future climate appeal
The Fridays For Future climate activist group braved the sleet on Feb. 4 and held signs on the Wellesley Town Hall lawn, marking the second whole year of doing so, according to participant Rick Devereaux.
The group was “demonstrating how much they care about the environmental catastrophe rapidly changing the world around us. Within the lifetimes of the majority of Americans and other humans already on the planet, each of our lives and worlds will be irrevocably altered,” he says.