The Town of Burlington was the recipient of a state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Grant (MVP) for a study on the Heat Island Effect at the Vine Brook Watershed. Heat islands are urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures due to pavement, buildings and other infrastructure that absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes and bodies of water.
Conservation Administrator John Keeley presented the Select Board with some takeaways from the study. The focus being on flooding issues and building resilience in climate change.
The study was done on the Vine Brook area because it’s the most developed part of town with the bulk of Burlington’s pavement and the area where it will be the hottest in the summertime.
The proposal calls for nature based solutions with plants, removing pavement, making green space and constructing new wetlands. The report looks at about a dozen potential sites, some of them privately owned. Keeley informed the board the MVP grant provides funding for constructing and can be applied to other parts of town.
“Whether it’s improving drainage or putting in rain gardens. Things that will help the town become more resilient to climate change,” said Keeley.
The MVP Grants require matching funds. Keeley pointed to the possibility of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding being used in the event residents vote to accept the CPA in November.
The next step is for the town to decide on sites to implement the proposed solutions. The final report can be found by Clicking Here or on the Town of Burlington website under Conservation.