Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick named 35 cities and towns as the first official "Green Communities," The Boston Globe reported May 26, 2010.
These communities will be eligible to receive some of the $8.1 million in grants, as part of the Green Communities Act, that will be given out in late June. The money can be used towards “local renewable power and energy-efficiency projects.”In order to be eligible, the towns and cities had to first meet five clean energy goals and follow strict guidelines. Some of the guidelines that must be followed include adapting new local zoning laws that encourage permitting to renewable energy projects, purchasing only fuel efficient vehicles for the municipal fleet, and following new energy-efficient building codes for all commercial properties and residential properties over 3,000 square feet.
The communities that are eligible include Acton, Arlington, Athol, Andover, Becket, Belchertown, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Easthampton, Greenfield, Hamilton, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Mashpee, Medford, Melrose, Montague, Natick, Newton, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield, Sudbury, Tyngsborough, Wenham, and Worcester.Each community also will receive a Big Belly solar waste compactor.