FY22 Climate and Open Space Priorities
The FY22 budget includes investments to ensure equitable access to high-quality open spaces for all Bostonians and implement the City's Climate Action Plan, to come back better in a post-pandemic world.
Boston’s climate preparedness program is critical to the City’s long-term success. The Environment Department’s FY22 budget includes funding for a new program manager who will work directly with Boston residents and small businesses to make renewable energy and other climate action resources from the state, utilities, and other sources more accessible. The budget also includes $340,000 for cooling interventions as part of COVID-19 recovery, as well as additional resources for the Landmarks Commission.
The FY22-26 Capital Plan makes investments to help Boston plan for the impacts of climate change and make progress toward realizing the City’s Resilient Boston Harbor Vision, including:
- $2 million for the Climate Resilience Reserve to support adding climate resilience features to existing capital project scopes
- A $1 million increase in the City’s commitment to the Climate Ready Boston Harbor Study, which will be conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect Boston from sea level rise and coastal flooding
The Zero Waste Boston program works collaboratively with the Waste Reduction program in the Public Works Department to increase behavior change for residential waste and to improve the quality of residents’ recycling efforts. FY22 investments include:
- $1,000,000 for Zero Waste initiatives, such as reducing food waste in the City's garbage stream and Green Jobs training that prepare residents for future careers in a growing field
- $250,000 for composting, trash, and recycling receptacles
- $100,000 to provide a year-round, centralized Zero Waste Drop Off Center that would shift some of the demand from the currently oversubscribed seasonal drop-off
Boston is committed to creating and maintaining clean, green, safe, accessible and climate-resilient open space as a key strategy for sustaining Boston’s world-class open space environment.
The City recognizes the important role that open spaces play in an equitable recovery from COVID-19 for all of Boston’s communities. The FY22 budget includes increased capacity for the Parks and Recreation Department, which will support ongoing work with the Environment Department and allow for close collaboration with the newly created Equity and Inclusion Cabinet. The budget also includes funding for an additional arborist to care for trees across the City and maintain our tree canopy. These efforts will ensure that open spaces reflect the equity priorities of the City.
Additionally, a $250,000 investment to support the Citywide Recreation program will expand summer recreation opportunities for Boston youth as the City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boston will continue to prepare for climate change by investing at least 10% of all new capital funding to open space, infrastructure, and facilities projects that are climate resilient or contribute to making the City more environmentally friendly.
The FY22-26 Capital Plan includes:
- A $15 million investment in Copley Square Park improvements to accommodate large events, mitigate the heat island effect, and provide a welcoming space for Boston’s residents and visitors alike to gather and relax
- A $6 million investment for the complete renovation of Malcolm X Park to upgrade park amenities, provide high-quality community gathering spaces, and support climate resilience
- $2 million in new funding to reconstruct sports fields in the fourth and final phase of the Harambee Park renovation
- $2.5 million for the engineering and design of improvements to Christopher Columbus Park to elevate the site, improving its function as climate resilience infrastructure and enhancing recreation areas