Grants, Awards, Projects, & Milestones

Medford’s commitment to green initiatives and clean energy goes back nearly two decades. The list below provides a year-by-year description of energy and environment-related projects in Medford. Most ongoing and current projects also have their own pages on this site; links to these can be found throughout the list, in the year when the project began.

Medford Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: In January 2019, the Office of Energy & Environment released its first city-wide Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. The assessment outlines the hazards that climate change is expected to bring to Medford, and reviews the city’s strengths and vulnerabilities in relation to these hazards. Staff have already begun work on the City’s adaptation and mitigation plan, informed by the vulnerability assessment.

Fossil-Free Police Station: Construction on the new police station has begun and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020. The new station will not burn any fossil fuels, instead relying on its highly energy efficient design, rooftop solar panels with a heating and cooling system and an energy recovery ventilation system for its energy needs. The new station will not only provide the City’s officers with modern facilities, but it will also contribute to the City’s goal of having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

DPW Facility Battery: Continuing municipal building resiliency work funded by the Community Clean Energy and Resiliency Grant awarded in 2014, the City contracted for and installed 100kW/255kWh building-scale battery at the Department of Public Works (DPW) to store the solar energy it produces and allow the building to be energy self-sufficient. 

Plastic Bag Ordinance: In February, Mayor Burke signed into law an ordinance regulating plastic bags in the City of Medford. The ordinance specifically bans thin-film bags to be given out by retail establishments and goes into effect on July 16, 2019. 

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations: With the help of a $25,000 EV charging incentive grant from National Grid received in May 2019, the City of Medford installed two EV charging stations, one at the Medford Vocational Technical High School and another at Medford City Hall.

Municipal Composting Study: The Office partnered with the Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program to conduct a study into the feasibility of municipal composting in the City of Medford. The graduate students did an in-depth study of the social, environmental, financial and practical issues related to composting at the municipal scale in this region, and provided recommendations for how to start a program.

Clippership Connector: The Clippership Connector is a half-mile shared-use path connecting trails along the Mystic River. The City continues to work with the Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and Walk Medford on the design and outreach.

Fossil-Free Library: Construction of the Medford Public Library is underway and anticipated to be done by 2021. Current design is for solar panels to cover the entire roof.

Inland Flooding Study: Completed a study of inland flooding impacts in South Medford from Municipal Vulnerabilities Preparedness Action grant received in 2018, and received another MVP Action grant of $94,000 for the City’s Engineering Office to design green infrastructure that would mitigate flooding in South Medford.

Medford Canopy Improvement Initiative: The City was awarded a grant of $20,000 for the Medford Canopy Improvement Initiative, which will allow the City to grow its tree canopy by 25% in 2019. The funds will be used to plant new trees in places where tree coverage is low, as well as several events including community tree plantings, interactive events and educational events. 


Climate Resiliency: In June 2018, the City was awarded an $80,000 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to incorporate climate resiliency in its next Open Space and Recreation Plan.

Municipal Building Clean Energy and Resiliency Project: Continuing municipal building resiliency work funded by the Community Clean Energy and Resiliency Grant awarded in 2014, the city installed solar panels and put out a bid for a battery on the DPW building, and upgraded lights at the Andrews School. 

Solar on the Department of Public Works: Installed a 235 kW PV solar array on the DPW facility at 21 James Street and received additional grant funding of $290,000 from the DOER to contract for the purchase of a 100kW building-scale battery.

Municipal Energy Aggregation: The City Council passed municipal energy aggregation and submitted a plan to the Department of Public Utilities.

Inland Flooding Study: After completing a study on inland flooding in Medford, the City was awarded a $60,830 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant to create a plan to reduce future flooding in South Medford. For the study, the City worked with consulting firm Kleinfelder to examine the city’s storm drain system and identify areas for improvement, paying particular attention to the increased precipitation we expect to see in the future as a result of climate change.

Demand Response Grant: Partnered with B2Q associates on a $478,688 grant from DOER to make Medford’s power supply more resilient, including battery storage, peak demand response, and upgrading the rest of the Andrews School to LED lighting.  

South Medford Connector Path: Began engineering and permitting for the South Medford Connector Path along the south side of the Mystic River, using a $198,600 Transportation Planning Grant from the MA Gaming Commission.

Clippership Connector: Received $100,000 from the Cummings Foundation and $50,000 from DCR to begin developing the Clippership Connector bike path along the Mystic River. More information on the Clippership Connector can be found under our Park & Path Developments page.  

West Medford Brownfield Remediation: Over several years, City employees worked with the EPA and DEP on the cleanup and remediation of a brownfield in a West Medford parking lot. The third and final phase of the project is expected to be completed in 2018.

Climate Mayors: Mayor Burke joined this national group of mayors from across the US who commit to upholding their city’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement after the US withdrew from the agreement in June of 2017.

Community Resiliency Building Workshop: Medford received $26,000 from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs as part of the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. The grant allowed the city to convene stakeholders at a workshop to discuss local climate change hazards, vulnerabilities, and possible adaptations. 

Green Communities Grant: Received a $235,935 Green Communities Competitive Grant from DOER to upgrade lights in three school cafeterias to LED, as well as to begin the process of upgrading the City’s streetlights.

Streetlight LED Upgrade: Project launched to upgrade Medford’s streetlights to more energy-efficient LED bulbs. Once completed, this will reduce Medford’s overall energy usage and greenhouse gas contribution. In 2017, Medford received $379,832 from MAPC and DOER to implement this project. More information can be found under our LED Lighting Upgrade page.

Medford Dog Park: On December 9, 2017, Medford opened its first off-leash recreation area, consisting of separate gated areas for large and small dogs.

Municipal Building Clean Energy and Resiliency Project: Design and engineering began on improving energy resiliency at the DPW and the Andrews School, funded by the Community Clean Energy and Resiliency Grant awarded in 2014.

South Medford Connector Path: Received $80,000 from the MA Gaming Commission to conduct a feasibility study for the South Medford Connector path along the south side of the Mystic River.

Community Conversations about Climate Change: The Office of Energy and Environment held meetings with community groups around the city to discuss residents’ concerns about current and future climate change impacts.

New Community Garden: an additional community garden was launched at Tufts Park.

Global Covenant of Mayors: Mayor Burke joined other mayors around the world in fall 2016 by signing a historic agreement to achieve net-zero emissions region-wide by 2050 in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Metro Mayors Climate Mitigation Commitment: In November 2016 Medford became one of 14 members of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition (MMC) working to develop regional solutions to climate change.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory: In December 2016, the Office completed its first community-wide greenhouse gas inventory as part of its commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors. According to the study, Medford produced 425, 552 metric tons of CO2 in fiscal year 2015. 

Green Communities Grant: Received a grant for $250,000 from the state to upgrade lighting to LED in several school buildings: hallway and stairwell lighting in the McGlynn school, exterior lighting in the Brooks and Roberts schools, and all building lighting in the Curtis Tufts School.

2016 US EPA Lifetime Achievement Award granted to Mayor McGlynn upon retirement.

Clippership Connector Partnership Grant: Received $67,500 from DCR in partnership with Walk Medford, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and the Solomon Foundation to begin design on the Clippership Connector bike path.

Riverbank Improvements: Awarded a grant of $34,275 from MassDEP to remove invasive species, prune vegetation and plant trees along the Mystic River near Dugger Park.

Park Development: Medford supports community groups working on Medford Dog Park, a natural play space at Sleepy Hollow with new tables and benches at the Burying Ground. Dog park committee received grant for $250,000 for the project in 2016.

Coastal Zone Remediation Grant: Received a grant of $125,000 from the state to develop a gravel wetland at Riverbend Park.

Community Gardens: Worked with Friends of Medford Community Gardens to launch the gardens at Winthrop Street and McNally Park in 2015-16.


Metro Mayors Climate Preparedness Commitment: Medford joined 14 other Boston-area mayors in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. 

Compost Bin Program: Launched in 2015, this program sells compost bins at a reduced price to residents through Medford City Hall. This is now an annual sale.

Designing Nature-Based Solutions for Stormwater: The City of Medford, in partnership with the Mystic River Watershed Association, received a Coastal Pollution Remediation grant from the state for $42,510 to perform an assessment to prioritize sites and develop conceptual and final designs for natural stormwater treatment systems that would address roadway-related pollution to the Mystic River.

Wind Turbine Wrap: Medford Energy Committee designed and implemented educational panels on the wind turbine.

Upgraded City Hall Exterior Lights: Upgraded the lighting behind City Hall down to Clippership Drive Park to LED.

Business Recycling: Extended a recycling program to businesses in Medford Square as a pilot.

Green Communities Grant: Medford received a grant for $143,000 from the state to do various energy efficiency projects including: installing an Energy Management System at the Senior Center, weatherizing windows and doors at City Hall, and upgrading exterior lighting to LED at Medford High School, Columbus School, LoConte Ice Rink, and Hormel Stadium.

Storm Drain Labeling: Medford partnered with incoming Tufts FOCUS students to do a storm drain labeling project. Decals read “No Dumping, Drains to River” in an effort to raise awareness of the problems caused by littering and dumping into storm drains. Storm drain labeling has continued in subsequent years in partnership with Tufts and the Boy Scouts.

Rain Barrel Program: Began selling rain barrels to residents at a reduced price. Residents use rain barrels to collect and store rain water to be used for watering lawns and gardens. This program has been offered annually each spring since 2014.

Partnered with MyRWA on Urban Waters grant: In partnership with Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA), received a $60,000 grant to do stormwater-related outreach and education.

Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative Grant: Awarded by the state to evaluate using solar power and battery storage to make municipal buildings more resilient; the projects were later implemented in 2017-18.

Solar Owners Agent Grant: Received $12,500 to hire an Owners Agent to assist with the installation of install solar.

Big Belly Solar Compactors with Recycling Attachments: With funding from National Grid’s Go Green program, the Office purchased six Big Belly solar compactors with recycling attachments for Medford parks.

New Boilers at Medford High School: Received a Massachusetts School Building Authority grant to install energy-efficient boilers at Medford High School.

Middlesex Fells Bog Bridge: Medford teamed up with Eagle Eye Institute and Medford High School students to build a bog bridge in the Middlesex Fells behind the High School. This bridge enables hikers to walk through the Fells without disturbing the wetlands.


Solarize Medford: The Solarize Medford program was a cooperative effort between the State of Massachusetts, City of Medford, volunteers, residents and small business owners who came together to spread the word on the environmental and economic benefits of solar electricity. Through this program, Medford residents contracted 322.5 kW of solar power in household solar arrays. 

Go Green Residential: Medford partnered with National Grid to increase the number of city residents taking advantage of Home Energy Assessments and services offered through the MassSave Program. Through this partnership, the City received a grant of $40,000 from National Grid to further their energy and environmental efforts.

Study of Medford High School Heating System: The City received a $12,500 MA DOER Owners Agent Technical Assistance Grant to complete a study of the heating system at the high school, focusing specifically on converting distributed heat exchangers to high efficiency hot water heaters, as well as installing proper modern controls on all parts of the heating and ventilation system.

MMA Pickard Innovation Award: Awarded to Medford for its Go Green Medford initiative.

City Hall Lighting Upgrade: Upgraded lights to more energy efficient lights, including LEDs and occupancy sensors.

Brooks Estate LEDs: End of year grant from the state provided LED bulbs throughout the Brooks Estate.

Medford High Entry LED lights: End of year grant from the state provided LED bulbs for 1st and 2nd floor entry of Medford High.

West Medford Brownfield Remediation: Medford received two EPA Brownfields Grants to remediate the West Medford brownfield site, for a total of $400,000.

First Annual Green Awards: Medford recognized local businesses and residents who were “Going Green” with awards for their efforts. Awards are presented during the annual Harvest Your Energy Festival.

Local Energy Action Plan: The city received a Local Energy Action Program grant from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which provided technical assistance to the City to create and implement an Energy Action Plan.

Solar Thermal Pre-Design Study: Received a $10,000 grant to assess the feasibility of using solar thermal to heat the Medford High School Pool or other water at MHS.

Decorative Street Light Conversion: 154 decorative streetlights in Medford Square were upgraded to LED.

Installation of Low-e ceiling at LoConte Rink: The City collaborated with Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) and National Grid to install an energy saving ceiling at the LoConte Ice Rink. National Grid contributed $40,000 and DCR contributed $20,000 to the project.

US Conference of Mayors City Livability Award: Medford received Honorable Mention for Go Green Medford Program

Medford High Energy Upgrades: National Grid contributed over $100,000 to steam trap repairs and windows & doors weatherization in all of Medford High as well as lighting upgrades in the C-building of Medford High. All lighting upgrades included occupancy sensors.

2012-2013 Green Communities Grant for Chevalier Theater: Received $250,000 grant to do oil to gas conversion and associated heating system upgrades.

Negotiated New Municipal Electric and Gas Supply Contracts: New pricing will save the city $1.7 Million over three years ($750,000 in savings for gas and $950,000 in savings for electricity).

Municipal Lighting Retrofits: Medford worked with National Grid’s Small Business Program to retrofit lights in 7 Public Safety Buildings, 3 Schools, the Library, the Gene-Mac Gymnasium and the Senior Center for a total annual savings of 341,000 kWh and $40,000.

Initiated Kill-A-Watt Program in Medford Public Library: Medford Energy Committee worked with Friends of the Medford Public Library to make Kill-A-Watt meters available for loan to residents.

Plug-in Prius: The City used and demonstrated a Plug-in Prius on loan from Toyota for 7 months. The departments who used the car include energy and environment, health, building, police, and schools.


First Annual Harvest Your Energy Festival: Festival organized in partnership between the city, Mass DOER and Mass Energy Consumers Alliance to promote energy savings and the environment. The festival has occurred each year since, with dozens of vendors, and takes place at the base of the wind turbine.

Medford Energy Committee (MEC) formed: Medford formed a volunteer citizens committee to recommend policy and program direction and to assist the city with implementing additional energy programs and education. The MEC took over the tasks of the previous Medford Clean Energy Committee.

Single Stream Recycling: Medford worked with Waste Management to develop a program for residential single stream recycling to begin in November 2010. Energy Office worked with a committee of teachers to further integrate recycling into the Medford Schools.

Energy Star Plaques: Received Energy Star Plaques for 5 schools: Brooks, Columbus, Roberts, McGlynn & Andrews and Medford City Hall. This award means that the buildings were in the top 25% most energy-efficient among similar buildings. These buildings have continued to receive Energy Star awards in subsequent years.

Leading By Example Award: The City of Medford received the Leading By Example Award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in recognition of the energy and environmental initiatives the city has implemented.

Green Communities Energy Efficiency Grant: Medford received a grant of $270,000 to replace the hot water heaters in the Medford High School and to update its Climate Action Plan.

Green Communities Designation & Stretch Code: Medford passed the Building Stretch Code and received designation as a Massachusetts Green Community.

MA DOER Owner’s Agent Award for Solar PV: Medford received an award for technical assistance to help the city with its Solar PV project. The City is preparing to issue an RFP for a PPA for a 500kW-1000kW Solar PV rooftop installation.

Wind Turbine (built 2007-2009): Medford built and commissioned a 100 kilowatt wind turbine at the Andrews and McGlynn School Complex. The city continues to monitor and maintain the turbine.

EECBG Grant: The city obtained an Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the Federal Government for $504,000 to implement energy efficiency measures in the five middle and elementary schools as well as to hire an Energy Efficiency Coordinator to pursue additional energy efficiency and renewable energy funding, education and outreach.

Municipal Energy Audits: Medford initiated a process through MA DOER to conduct energy audits of all municipal buildings.

School Energy Audits: Medford initiated energy audits of all the schools in our system through the National Grid Whole Building Assessment Program.

Solar Lighting: Medford was selected to participate in the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s solar-powered lighting system program. A solar lighting system was installed for the Playstead Cemetery Monument.

Energy Smackdown Competition: A team of Medford households competed against teams from Arlington and Cambridge in a year-long carbon reduction campaign. A Medford household came in first in the individual household category.

Joined EPA New England Community Energy Challenge

Energy Smackdown Pilot: Medford hosted the first iteration of the Energy Smackdown household energy reduction contest.


Altwheels Transportation Festival Award: Awarded to Medford as the city with the Greatest Commitment to Alternative Transportation.

Municipal Energy Efficiency Policy: Medford issued an Energy & Resource Efficiency Policy that covers all aspects of energy use by City employees including lighting, office equipment purchasing and use, building heating and cooling, water usage, the motor vehicle fleet and commuting options and alternatives.

Municipal Environmental Purchasing and Sustainability Award: Received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for outstanding performance in the areas of recycling and sustainable practices.

US EPA Clean School Bus Project: Medford became the 1st US EPA Clean School Bus Project recipient in the country to not only manage this Program for our City but for the other 12 Metro Boston communities served by our school bus contractor.

Created Medford Clean Energy Committee

School Bus No-Idling Policy: Medford developed a comprehensive program to reduce school bus idling.

US EPA Clean Air Excellence Award: received for regulatory/policy innovations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

US EPA Energy Star Plaque: Medford City Hall was the first Massachusetts City Hall to receive the EPA Energy Star Plaque.

Creation of the Office of Energy & Environment

Benchmarked Municipal Energy Use: Medford bench-marked its municipal energy usage with the US EPA, resulting in an Energy Star Plaque for the City Hall.

LED Traffic Lights: Medford converted all of the traffic lights in the city to LEDs to reduce energy use.

First Energy Efficiency Fair: Medford hosted its first Energy Efficiency Fair

Climate Action Plan: Medford created the first Municipal Climate Action Plan in the Commonwealth.

Biodiesel & Electric Cars: Medford replaced the diesel fuel used at the Medford Cemetery with biodiesel and received electric cars for city use.

First Green House Gas Inventory: Medford performed its first greenhouse gas inventory in conjunction with the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). 

Municipal Lighting Retrofits: Medford performed lighting retrofits at City Hall, the Public Safety Building and the Medford Public Library

Solar Panels: Medford installed solar panels on the roof of City Hall and at the Medford High School (panels were later moved to Hormel Stadium).

Created Medford Energy Task Force

Tree City USA Designation: Medford maintains this designation by maintaining a forestry program, having a Tree Warden, and observing Arbor Day each year.