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.

Stormwater Study: Medford worked with consulting firm Kleinfelder to study 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. A plan to reduce future flooding in South Medford, drawn from the findings in this study, will be funded by a $60,830 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant from the MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Removing Invasive Species: Awarded a grant of $34,275 from MassDEP to remove invasive species and plant replacements along the Mystic River near Dugger Park.

Global Covenant of Mayors: Mayor Burke joined other mayors around the world in support of the Paris Climate Agreement in the fall of 2016.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

 

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

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.

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

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

Metro Mayors Climate Preparedness Commitment: Medford joined 16 other Boston-area mayors in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change.

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.

Big Belly Solar compactors with Recycling Attachments: With funding from National Grid’s Go Green program, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 AwardsMedford 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Joined EPA New England Community Energy Challenge

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Created Medford Clean Energy Committee

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.

Creation of the Office of Energy & Environment

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.

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.

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