Walnut Street Neighborhood Flood Mitigation Project


The Walnut Street Neighborhood Flood Mitigation project proposes wetland, stream channel, and streambank restorations to reduce flooding and increase brook capacity in the Walnut Street/Sucker Brook Drainage Area. A new elevated boardwalk path is proposed to replace the existing school path which is currently restricting the natural flow of water. The boardwalk will provide an ADA-accessible route connecting neighborhoods along Walnut Street and Stonybrook Road, Bowditch Athletic Field, the Callahan Senior Center, Fuller Middle School, McCarthy Elementary School, and MassBay Community College. The boardwalk will create a space for the community to connect with nature and learn about climate impacts, resiliency, and the benefits of nature-based solutions. 
The project also includes robust public engagement through support of climate leadership enrichment programs with the Framingham High School Environmental Club, Hoops & Homework Youth Program, and the Council on Aging as well as targeted outreach to various segments of the community.


The densely populated Walnut Street neighborhood is recognized and prioritized by the City due to the known historical flooding issues experienced by its residents. 

This environmental justice neighborhood is particularly susceptible to increased impacts from climate change due to its proximity to the Sudbury River, Sucker Brook, an unnamed stream behind Walnut Street, and large wetland areas. Much of the neighborhood is located within the 100-year and 500-year flood zones but is vulnerable to chronic flooding during more frequent storm events.  


The proposed ecological restoration project includes several measures to address chronic flooding experienced by the residents of Walnut Street and lead the city towards preparing for climate adaptation.

These measures include:

1. Stream restoration actions to reestablish flow patterns and form along with removing accumulated sediment and other obstructions within segments of Sucker Brook and an unnamed tributary.

2. Restoring and creating flood storage within the limits of an existing pedestrian causeway with the removal of fill placed in former wetlands, installing an elevated boardwalk to provide safe passage, and restoring habitat and stream connectivity with the removal of fill and chain link fence along the causeway.

3. Construction of a stormwater treatment system for untreated stormwater entering the wetland adjacent to the proposed boardwalk.

Combined these measures are intended to alleviate the current flooding concerns through nature-based solutions, reduce conditions conducive to mosquito breeding, and provide safe conditions for the passage of residents and students along this heavily traveled pedestrian corridor.

Project Funding

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant funding (2018) which was utilized in conjunction with a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant (FY20/21) for an initial feasibility and alternatives study. The MVP program awarded the City an FY’22 grant to advance design of the project, and subsequently an FY ‘23 grant to support acquiring temporary construction access agreements with select project abutters, as well as the significant permitting effort required for this type of project including applications to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Massachusetts Historical Commission, Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Regulations), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Ch 91 Waterways & 401 Water Quality Certification), and Framingham Conservation Commission. 

Healey-Driscoll Administration announced on August 30, 2023, awarding the City MVP funding for construction of this project.  The Mayor and City Council approved an FY’24 Capital appropriation to provide the necessary match funding. (State press release: Healey-Driscoll Administration Awards $31.5 Million in Climate Resiliency Funding to Communities | Mass.gov

MVP Action Grants are awarded to cities, towns, or regional partnerships to implement projects that build local resilience to climate change across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The grants are administered through the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).  

PROJECT UPDATE - September 2023

•  The City has been awarded an MVP Action grant which will be used in conjunction with an FY’24 Capital appropriation to continue work on this project. 

•  The City is working with our consultant, Weston & Sampson Engineers to secure the necessary permits, certificates and licenses that are required to allow construction.  The project team plans to attend the Framingham Conservation Commission meeting on September 20, 2023, to discuss final comments and questions from the Commission and public. 


•  Fall 2023 – permitting

•  Spring 2024 –Advertise the project for bidding & select contractor

•  Summer-Fall 2024 *– construction mobilization, begin Sucker Brook restoration

•  Winter-Spring 2025* – boardwalk construction

•  June 2025 – grant contract ends- project complete

*6 active months of construction are anticipated, however, there may be intermittent periods when construction crews will not be working. The schedule may change once a contractor is selected and will be optimized based on seasonal and ecological factors.   

Sign up for our email distribution list for project updates:

Notify Me • Framingham, MA • CivicEngage (framinghamma.gov)

Click “Stay Connected” on the left side of the City’s website and look for “Walnut Street Flood Mitigation Project Update.”

public meetings to learn about the project


View a larger version of the map below here

Questions, comments, or to provide feedback

Email Engineering@FraminghamMa.gov or call 508-532-6025. 

Photos of Current Conditions & Proposed Renderings

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