The Town of Ayer and the Devens Enterprise Commission (Devens) are working together with residents and community members to install four additional pocket forests (2 in each community) and increase environmental and climate literacy by developing a project-specific educational curriculum that will be used in local schools and serve as a model for climate science and education across the country.
These forests will better connect people with nature and help combat climate change by reducing urban heat-island impacts, improving air quality, and reducing flooding.
Build Something Lasting in Your Community
Pocket Forests and People:
The Ayer Devens Main Streets Regional
Pocket Forests Project
The Town of Ayer and the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone (Devens) are working together with residents and community members to take action on climate resilience and increase the quality of life by planning, designing, and installing pocket forests through the Ayer Devens Main Streets Regional Pocket Forests project. These forests will better connect people with nature and reduce impacts of climate change by reducing urban heat-island impacts, improving air quality, reducing flooding through increased rainfall capture and infiltration, and providing accessible greenspace.
With funding from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, Ayer and Devens installed the region's first Pocket Forest in Ayer as a pilot site. Check out the "Project Story tab" for more details.
The Ayer Devens project is taking place on the traditional territory of the Nipmuc Nation, including the Nashaway band of Nipmucs, who inhabited these lands and were forcibly removed from them around the time of the 1643 Lancaster purchase of land in the region by European colonizers. Land is essential to human understanding of our personal and collective identities, to our health and well-being, and to our very survival as a species on this planet. With this land acknowledgment, we recognize the violence inherent in the separation of a people from their territory, and the conflict and suffering that this continues to create today. The project team is working to include, collaborate with, uplift and celebrate the voices and priorities of Indigenous Peoples and institutions in this project, and in the ongoing fight for climate justice.