Montague’s MVP 2.0 Team Talking to Residents this Summer about Climate Vulnerability and Resilience

For Immediate Release
Montague, MA – June 25, 2024

Montague’s MVP 2.0 Team Talking to Residents this Summer about Climate Vulnerability and Resilience

This summer, the Town of Montague is working with a small team of community members and Town staff to engage Montague residents about climate change vulnerability and resilience.

Known as the “MVP 2.0” process, this update to the Town’s original 2018 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) planning process focuses on hearing from community members most impacted by climate change. Resident participation is needed to help the Town identify social vulnerabilities and to strengthen its efforts in building community climate resilience. The MVP 2.0 project team, which includes residents, liaisons from community organizations such as the Brick House and Montague Catholic Social Ministries, Town of Montague Staff, and Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) staff, wants to hear from residents about factors that make them feel socially vulnerable—factors like language, food insecurity, housing insecurity, and access to transportation—and how the Town can help them build social resilience. Social resilience means that everyone in Montague is able to endure hardships brought on by climate change. This involves everyone having a sense of trust and belonging, being able to prepare for future climate threats, having safety nets and flexibility under stress, and having the means to adapt and come back stronger from challenges. The hope is for the Montague community to develop innovative solutions to climate vulnerability that not only mitigate climate risks but also enhance the quality of life for all.

The early part of the MVP 2.0 process has already identified stories that illustrate the connection between social vulnerability and climate vulnerability to hazards such as flooding, erosion, rising annual temperatures, heat waves, and damaging storms. For example, some families in Montague are forced by lack of affordable housing to double up in the same housing units as other families. The MVP 2.0 Team has heard that during the heavy rains and flooding of 2023, some families living in basements were flooded out. In another example, the Team heard that residents in Turners Falls without access to a vehicle have to walk their kids up the hill to school in all weather conditions, sometimes on uncleared sidewalks after messy storms, because district school buses are not allowed to pick up students living within 2 miles of the elementary schools.

The MVP 2.0 process emphasizes the importance of inclusive and participatory planning processes. Over the summer, the 12-person project team is reaching out to residents through surveys, interviews, and focus groups to continue to better understand the experiences of social vulnerability in Montague. If you are a Montague resident worried about your future, the MVP 2.0 team wants to hear from you! Residents with life circumstances that may increase overall vulnerability, such as older residents and youth, renters, unhoused residents, low-income residents, households that speak a language other than English at home, residents of color, residents with experience of substance abuse issues, LGBTQ+ residents, residents with a disability, caretakers, and neurodivergent residents in particular are encouraged to take the survey.

Please take the Survey!: The survey is can be taken online in English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MontagueResilience or in Spanish: https://es.surveymonkey.com/r/MontagueResiliente. Printed surveys are also available for pick-up/drop-off at the following locations:

  • Montague Town Hall located at 1 Avenue A, Turners Falls
  • Carnegie Public Library, 201 Avenue A, Turners Falls
  • Millers Falls Library, 23 Bridge Street, Millers Falls
  • Montague Center Library, 17 Center Street, Montague Center
  • Montague Senior Center, 62 Fifth Street, Turners Falls

Survey responses will be accepted until 11:59PM on Sunday, July 14, 2024. Update: Survey deadline has been extended. Survey responses will be accepted until 11:59PM on Sunday, July 21, 2024

Later this summer, the Team will continue to work with Montague residents on developing a revised set of climate resilience priorities that better reflect the needs of all residents and ideas for small projects to address them. Residents interested in participating in a focus group later this summer, or, otherwise, being contacted for their input should indicate their interest at the end of the survey.

MVP is a state program under the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) supporting Massachusetts towns in their efforts to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Montague is participating in the pilot phase of the MVP 2.0 grant program. To learn more, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/mvp-20.

For questions/comments, please contact Montague Town Planner Maureen Pollock at mpollock@montague-ma.gov or (413) 863-3200 x 112