The Greenough Greenway project in Watertown, MA, received the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision Bronze award, making it the first project in Massachusetts to earn an Envision sustainable infrastructure award.
The $2.4 million project will reduce the cross section of Greenough Boulevard, a Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) parkway, which runs between the Eliot Bridge in Cambridge and Arsenal Street in Watertown.
The Lawrence and Lillian Solomon Foundation, in close partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, championed the project. VHB led the design effort.
“This project provides a triple bottom line for the tens of thousands of people who use the Charles River parks every year,” said Herb Nolan, deputy director of the Solomon Foundation. “First, by narrowing a dangerous boulevard, pedestrian safety has been significantly increased with minimal impact to roadway capacity.
“Secondly, adding new verdant parkland where once there was crumbling pavement and broken guardrails has transformed the experience of every pedestrian, cyclist, driver, or boater along this stretch of the Charles River.”
“Finally, reducing impervious pavement and adding close to 200 new shade trees will cool the park and filter stormwater runoff for generations to come.”
Key sustainable accomplishments of the Greenough Greenway project include:
• Reducing pavement and restoring natural landscaping, increasing safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and providing improved access to the Charles River and nearby recreational facilities
• Installing 12 new benches along the corridor for residents and users of the path to relax on and enjoy the river
• Preserving floodplain functions by avoiding new development and reducing impervious cover on land immediately adjacent to the floodplain
• Conducting water quality modeling to ensure that the project will improve predevelopment floodplain infiltration along with the quality of the water flowing into the Charles River
• Designing the project to include plant species that do not require the use of fertilizers or pesticides
To learn more about the Greenough Greenway project, visit the Solomon Foundation project page.
The ISI Envision rating system measures sustainable infrastructure projects in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Learn more about Envision and ISI at sustainableinfrastructure.org.