The following was posted on the city’s website this afternoon, January 9. It is published as posted.
FRAMINGHAM – City of Framingham has officially concluded the four-year-long Natural Resource Damages Assessment and Restoration Program made possible via the Nyanza Grant.
The grant enabled the City to protect 4.1 acres of land in Framingham Centre and open a new public trail along the Sudbury River called the Sudbury River Nature Trail.
In 2014, staff from the City’s Division of Community & Economic Development and the Conservation Commission applied for and received funding through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP) Nyanza Grant.
The grant was a result of settlement funding to restore natural resources injured, destroyed, or lost by the release of hazardous substances from or at the Nyanza Chemical Waste Dump Superfund Site in Ashland.
The goal of the grant is to acquire and protect lands along the Sudbury River, and help restore natural resources damaged from the Nyanza Superfund site.
The City received $314,600 from the grant to acquire the 4.1 acre Central Street Conservation Restriction and create the public trail – an area 5.5 miles downstream from the Nyanza Superfund site.
In 2016, Town Meeting voted to acquire the Conservation Restriction, which places a deed restriction on private property to protect land in mostly its current condition and prevent future development.
The Conservation Restriction is held by the Conservation Commission, but the land remains under private ownership. Framingham’s efforts have resulted in the protection of multiple natural habitats, including meadowlands, a historic maple tree, wetlands and buffer areas.
Recently, the Mayor, joined by City staff and residents, held a ribbon cutting to formally open the Sudbury River Nature Trail. The trail is approximately 550 feet long and meanders along the Sudbury River’s edge. Trail users can access the trailhead at 936 Central Street.
The project was possible through the generous contribution of Amy Johnson and family, MassDEP, multiple City departments and staff, and the Conservation Commission seasonal crew.