2022: A Year in Review for Devens Forward

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Devens was designated as a regional enterprise zone by the state as an example of what sustainable development and sustainable economic growth could be. The Devens Forward Climate Action and Resilience Plan was adopted in 2020 with the overall aim of creating a more sustainable future for Devens while preserving its unique character and community. Read on to hear from Devens Enterprise Commission about the progress Devens has made toward achieving its sustainability and climate goals as we move forward into 2023. 

What Does Devens Forward Want to Achieve?

Devens Forward serves as a roadmap to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and holistically prepare our community as we consider the impacts of climate change that we expect to see in the coming years and decades. The Plan includes 7 climate and resilience elements, each with its own goals and actions:

How Has Devens Made Progress Towards Its Goals?

We are working towards our Devens Forward goals year-round. Check out some highlights from 2022!

  • One of Devens’s core Natural Resources goals is to manage protected open spaces. Devens is working in collaboration with the Town of Ayer to kick off a Neighborhood Pocket Forest Planting Project to encourage the development of pocket forests to increase community green spaces and climate resilience. 
  • Devens has promoted healthy foods and supported local enterprises through the local Community Supported Agriculture program and offering the Devens Farmers Market for residents, businesses, and surrounding community members to purchase healthy, affordable produce. 
  • Devens supported the 13th Annual MA Jobs & Workforce Summit on October 25 where representatives from business, labor, community, and training providers came together to hear about workforce resources and advocate for skills training across the Commonwealth.
  • Devens has offered opportunities for reuse and repurposing of goods, such as the Community Yard Sale and the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center's Great Exchange Program.
  • Devens has advanced options for active transportation through work on the multi-use path between Jackson/Verbeck Gate and Grant Road. Once completed, the path will connect Shirley, Devens, and Ayer for pedestrians and cyclists! Devens is also relaunching the workforce shuttle program in partnership with Montachusett Regional Transit Authority.
  • Devens is completing a Green and Complete Streets Project with Tufts, Emerson Green, and Nitsch Engineering to highlight the importance of green and complete streets in combating climate change, improving public health and safety, saving money, and creating more socially engaging space In a future development in Devens.
  • Devens co-hosted with the Town of Ayer and US Fish and Wildlife Service, an Earth day event on McPherson Road – Open Streets and Greenways, to promote active living in the region and get people out to enjoy the beauty of the Devens portion of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (car-free!).  This was the first of what we hope to be many more open streets (car-free) days in this portion of Devens.

Learn more about these initiatives by looking at our news and events page or reading about our sustainability initiatives. Check back here periodically for additional blog posts.

What Can Businesses and Residents do to Stay Involved with Devens’s Progress?

To stay involved with Devens's progress, we recommend businesses and residents:

  1. Check out the Devens Forward Dashboard for future progress and new highlights.
  2. Read up on our past posts and stay tuned for future blog posts!
  3. Check out our community events calendar for the end of the year into 2023!
  4. Reach out to peterlowitt@devensesc.com with questions and ideas. 

Read more about what Devens is doing to create a more sustainable future with the Devens Forward Action Plan.