Globe Local


Arlington receives state grant to ease chronic flooding

Arlington plans to carry out improvements to ease chronic flooding in the Mill Brook Corridor with the help of a recent state grant.

The town was among 34 Massachusetts cities and towns awarded funding to design and build projects to improve resilience to climate change.

The $399,260 award through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program will enable Arlington to proceed with planned flooding prevention measures for the section of the Mill Brook Corridor within Wellington Park, while also increasing public access to other areas of the park.


The state grant and $171,420 from the town’s Community Preservation Fund will fund the project costs.

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Targeted to begin in March, 2019, the improvements will include removing invasive plants and replacing them with native wetland varieties to create a bordering vegetated wetland. The stream will also be widened to increase flood capacity on site while an underground water storage tank will be added to mitigate downstream flooding during heavy rainfalls.

The project might also entail building a boardwalk in the vicinity of the brook to connect the new ecological features with the park’s recreational uses, according to Lela Shepherd, Arlington’s environmental planner/conservation agent.

The town qualified for the grant after successfully completing a required planning process funded with a separate $23,000 grant under the same program. That effort included a Community Resilience Building Workshop that assessed the town’s vulnerabilities to hazardous weather events. The top priority the workshop identified was to curtail flooding in the Mill Brook Corridor, which has recently caused significant damage to homes and businesses.

John Laidler can be reached at