Community collaboration is a key element of many Blue Cities projects. CRWA typically engages the resident community early on and works with the community and other project stakeholders throughout the planning, design and implementation of a given project. While the nature of the collaboration varies based on the scale and type of project, all projects possess a strong public education and outreach component.
Learn more about CRWA's Blue Cities Community Collaboration by visiting the links below:
With support from the BSA Foundation and the Harvard Allston Partnership Grant, CRWA launched the Herter Park GI laboratory in spring of 2019. In partnership with the Friends of Herter Park and Charles River Conservancy, this project has helped create an opportunity to engage the residents of Allston-Brighton (including local middle school students) with CRWA field science and stewardship efforts at Herter Park.
The residents of north Allston-Brighton have been learning about green infrastructure and as a result become informed stewards of Herter Park and the Charles River.
View the Herter Park Green Infrastructure Laboratory presentation below.
In the fall of 2016, CRWA began partnering with community groups and state and local government to restore wildlife habitat at Magazine Beach and improve water quality in the Charles River. This project integrates with a park improvement project planned by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) that will make improvements such as adding a rain garden to collect and filter runoff from the parking area. CRWA has worked with the Magazine Beach Partners, the Charles River Conservancy, the City of Cambridge, and more than 500 community volunteers to remove invasive weeds and restore existing stormwater treatment wetlands at the park.. CRWA also collaborated with the Cambridge Green Schools Initiative of Cambridge Public Schools and Mass Audubon to offer on-site educational programming for elementary and middle school students. CRWA, the Magazine Beach partners, and DCR worked together to design and install five educational signs throughout the park. This project was generously funded in part by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
In 2008, CRWA formed a partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), La Comunidad, Inc. (LCI), Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc. (Tri-CAP), Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Groundwork Somerville, Chelsea Collaborative and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) to promote the goal of improving the Mystic River watershed. In addition to providing concept designs for several restoration projects in the Chelsea Creek sub-watershed, CRWA trained the staff of our partner organizations in the Blue Cities approach. The collaboration has proved very successful, and to date, CRWA continues to work with our partners on various restoration projects within the Mystic River Watershed.
In 2007, CRWA partnered with the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation to develop a Green Streets Guide for Allston Brighton through extensive collaboration with neighborhood residents. Through conducting community workshops for three pilot streets, the design guidelines provided a menu of green street retrofits intended to improve streets for walkers and bicyclists, make public parks more accessible, and improve water quality in the Charles River by treating stormwater runoff.
In 2013, CRWA partnered with MyRWA, Chelsea Collaborative and the City of Chelsea to undertake a Subwatershed Restoration Plan for Broadway in Chelsea, MA. CRWA worked extensively with project partners, the local environmental youth group in Chelsea and business owners and residents in the area to develop opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure retrofits within the public right of way and key sites along Broadway.