Springfield, MA

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

WATERSHED: Day Brook Watershed

“The Secret Stream” – Youth Engagement in Green Infrastructure Planning

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) – a consortium of municipal governments partnered under state law – has been the primary planning body for the Pioneer Valley since 1962. The PVPC is responsible for increasing communication and cooperation among government offices and private businesses, addressing problems and solutions in the region, and ultimately working to benefit the Pioneer Valley and its residents.

In 2016, the PVPC was awarded an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to design a green infrastructure plan for the city of Holyoke, MA: Day Brook Secret Stream Project. Day Brook, which has been buried and piped into Holyoke’s combined sewer system, contributes to combined sewer overflow discharges to the Connecticut River during storm events. Members of the Secret Stream project engaged the public and community youth to educate them through workshops and community events. The PVPC collaborated with Enchanted Circle Theater Group and Holyoke’s Sullivan School to create community art: a mural and a story walk to display the history of Day Brook as well as the proposed green infrastructure solutions.