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Public Health and Safety

Climate change is bringing hotter days and more intense storms. From an increased risk of heat-related illnesses and vector-borne diseases to blocked roadways, these impacts have an effect on our community's public health and safety. The Devens Forward plan seeks to improve the community' preparedness while improving public health through increasing access to healthy food and active lifestyles.

Preparedness

Natural Disaster Response Team

Through the development of the Montachusett Region's Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, there is an emergency response team in place to respond to issues quicker and lessen damage for any natural disaster that occurs. The team is sent out through the fire department and the emergency management director, and is made up of local Devens staff and volunteers.

In addition to local responders, Devens is also home to Army National Guard which gives the regional a significant boost in capabilities to respond to a major disaster.

Preparedness

Pest and Vector-Borne Disease Management

Longer summers with hotter days create a longer breeding season for insects, increasing the risk of Lyme, EEE, and other vector-borne diseases. To help mitigate these risks, Devens has partnered with the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project. The regional group consists of 42 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts from Worcester and Middlesex Counties. As part of the Devens Forward Plan, Devens is looking to update its pest and vector-borne disease management plan.

Devens' natural areas, pictured, are breeding grounds for pests and insects, especially in the face of warmer temperatures.
Some of the many healthy food options that residents can purchase at farmer's markets in Devens are pictured in this graphic.

Local & Healthy Food

Devens Farmers Market

Devens began hosting weekly farmers markets in 2019. The markets, held on Wednesdays from 2:30 - 6:00 pm, make local, healthy food more accessible to Devens residents and visitors. The market features stands from Dick's Market Garden, Little Leaf Farms, the Dragonfly Wellness Center, Loaves & Fishes food pantry, and the Natural Cafe and Market. By accepting SNAP, HIP, and WIC, the farmers market strives to make healthy food affordable and accessible to all.

This picture shows the 10 acres of fresh baby lettuce growing under the greenhouse at Little Leaf Farms in Devens.

Little Leaf Farms

Devens is home to many innovative businesses, including Little Leaf Farms. Using one of the most technically advanced greenhouses in the world, the Devens-based farm provides fresh baby lettuce to New England consumers. In 2020, Little Leaf Farms doubled in size from 5 acres to 10 acres. 

Visit their website
A canoe launch at the Bill Ashe Visitor Center is pictured at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge in Devens.

Nashua River Canoe Launch at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

Active Lifestyles

Walk Devens

Staying active is a a great way to stay healthy, relieve stress, and prevent sickness. Devens teamed up with walkBoston to create a map of all the best places to walk, hike, run, and bike in Devens. From the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge Trail to Mirror Lake Trails, there is no shortages of places to get active at Devens.

Find Walking Trails 

Find Hiking Trails 

People are pictured participating in a free yoga class at Rogers Field.

What's the Recreation Department up to?

The Recreation Department is busy organizing programs and events to keep the community active and entertained. They organize the annual Devens Fishing Derby at Mirror Lake, bird walks, game nights, activity sessions, and more, while also hosting various sports tournaments, adventure races, and fundraisers.  Director Walsh is a physical activity specialist who works with local businesses to engage them in active living  activities such as yoga on Rogers Field, a partnership between the Dragonfly Wellness Center and Devens Recreation to provide free yoga.

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Get Involved

How You Can Help

Everyone has a role to play in keeping Devens safe and healthy!


CodeRed is Devens's emergency notification system
A preparedness kit helps ensure your home or business is ready for any emergency
Stay up to date with the Devens Fire Department
Make healthy eating part of your daily routine