An image of the fall foliage in central Massachusetts. Author: rawheadrex
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Location Massachusetts

Massachusetts (Massachusett: Muhsachuweesee [məhsatʃəwiːsi:], English: (listen), ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the Northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Maine to the east, Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state's capital and most populous city, as well as its cultural and financial center, is Boston. Massachusetts is also home to the urban core of Greater Boston, the largest metropolitan area in New England and a region profoundly influential upon American history, academia, and the research economy. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing, and trade. Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Massachusetts was a site of early English colonization: the Plymouth Colony was founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims of the Mayflower, and in 1630 the Massachusetts Bay Colony, taking its name from the indigenous Massachusett people, established settlements in Boston and Salem. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which, during the Industrial Revolution, catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that later led to the American Revolution.

Massachusetts has played a powerful scientific, commercial, and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist, temperance, and transcendentalist movements. In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, and Boston is a hub of LGBT culture and LGBT activism in the United States. Prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, and Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard and MIT, also in Cambridge, are perennially ranked as either the most or among the most highly regarded academic institutions in the world. Massachusetts residents have been described by the World Population Review as having the highest average IQ of all U.S. states, exceeding 104, and the state's public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance. The state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive.

Climate action[edit | edit source]

350 Massachusetts - Greenovate Boston, community-driven movement to get Bostonians involved in reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050

Climate change in Massachusetts affects both urban and rural environments, including forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and coastal development. The Northeast is projected to warm faster than global average temperatures; by 2035, the Northeast is "projected to be more than 3.6°F (2°C) warmer on average than during the preindustrial era."

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Massachusetts, Ecology

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

Mystic River Watershed association - wikipedia:Pollution on Cape Cod

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Department of Conservation and Recreation (mass.gov) - Greater Worcester Land Trust - Kestrel Land Trust - Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust - Mystic River Reservation - Sudbury Valley Trustees

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative[edit | edit source]

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, nonprofit, community-run organization based in Roxbury, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1984 by residents of the Dudley Street Neighborhood, along with members of the Riley Foundation, as an effort to rebuild the poverty-stricken community surrounding Dudley Square. It is known as the first community-run grassroots organization to gain "the power of eminent domain" by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, meaning the community controls its own development and the use of the land. W

Via the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, residents worked with city and state officials to transfer ownership of 15 acres to a Community land trust (CLT), in which 1,300 parcels of land were placed. Now, those lots boast 225 new affordable homes, a 10,000-square-foot greenhouse, urban farm, playground, gardens, and other amenities one would only expect in more privileged, resource-rich neighborhoods. [1]

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Brewster Community Solar Garden - Resonant Energy, Dorchester, Boston

The U.S. state of Massachusetts has vast wind energy resources offshore, as well as significant resources onshore. The 2016 update to the states's Clean Energy and Climate Plan had a goal of reducing 1990 baseline greenhouse gas emissions levels by 25% by 2020. Current goals include installing 3,500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power in the state by 2035. However, as of Q4 2021 the state had only 120 MW of wind powered electricity generating capacity, responsible for generating 0.9% of in-state electricity production. The state has awarded contracts to two offshore projects, the 800 MW Vineyard Wind project and 804 MW Mayflower Wind project. Construction began on the Vineyard Wind 1 project on November 18, 2021, after a long fight for approval.Commonwealth Wind was selected for development in 2021.

Wikipedia: Solar power in Massachusetts

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Hubway bike sharing system for Metro-Boston

U.S. Bicycle Route 7 (USBR 7) is a north–south U.S. Bicycle Route that follows the Western New England Greenway in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont in the United States.

Education for sustainability[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:List of nature centers in Massachusetts

Food activism[edit | edit source]

League of Urban Canners[edit | edit source]

Planting an urban fruit tree is more than a lifetime commitment — it is an intergenerational civic responsibility. Each summer, in Greater Boston, a huge amount of backyard fruit falls to the ground and sidewalk, where it rots and creates a mess. Property owners and municipalities are often pressured to remove these "nuisances," while many urban residents are struggling to access local and organic food sources. The League of Urban Canners has developed a network of individuals to map, harvest, preserve, and share this otherwise wasted fruit. They make agreements with property owners to share the work of fruit harvesting and preserving, as well as tree and arbor pruning. The preserved fruits are shared between property owners (10 percent), preservers (70 percent), and harvesters (20 percent). Each season the completely volunteer-run enterprise harvests and preserves about 5,000 pounds of fruit from a database of more than 300 trees and arbors. Myriad acts of cooperation sustain this urban commons, in which harvesters, property owners, preservers, and eaters learn to share responsibility, resources, and care for each other and their urban environment. —Oona Morrow [2]

Other initiatives[edit | edit source]

Higher Ground Farm, Boston’s first rooftop farm, facebook page

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Reading Public Library’s Library of Things

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

With nearly a third of Bostonians using public transit for their commute to work, Boston has the fifth-highest rate of public transit usage in the country. Nicknamed "The Walking City", Boston hosts more pedestrian commuters than do other comparably populated cities. Owing to factors such as the compactness of the city and large student population, 13% of the population commutes by foot, making it the highest percentage of pedestrian commuters in the country out of the major American cities. As of 2013, Walk Score ranks Boston as the third most walkable US city. [3]

Wikipedia: Hiking trails in Massachusetts (category)

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

Wellspring Cooperative, "creating an engine for new, community-based, worker-owned companies in inner-city Springfield, based on the purchasing power of area anchor institutions."

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Community resources[edit | edit source]

see community involvement

Commons[edit | edit source]

Senior Village Movement, Boston

The first senior village began in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood in 2001 when about a dozen elders wanted to avoid going to a nursing home. They founded a nonprofit to co-purchase the services retirement communities provide, but get them where they already live. They became the first "virtual retirement community" offering services such as transportation, food delivery, home repairs, dog walking, and social activities. After four years of successful operation, The New York Times published a feature story about Beacon Hill Village. The idea began to spread.

To support those who were interested in following their example, Beacon Hill Village published a how to manual and began helping other elders set up villages. Eventually, the Village to Village Network was formed to launch these villages. Today there are over 200 villages around the world with more than 150 forming.

Rita Kostiuk, national coordinator of the Village to Village Network, says:

"People are excited and want to move to where villages are, I think villages benefit the whole person; mind, body and soul. As we educate the federal government on how well it’s working, we’ll start seeing even more." [4]

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

Energy Profile for Massachusetts- Economic, environmental, and energy data

News and comment[edit | edit source]

2021

Racism in finance has sparked a grassroots response. Meet the Boston Ujima Project. Jan 5 [5]

2017

Check Out This Seed Library in Boston and Learn How to Start Your Own, Nov 27 [6]

Boston outlines its plans to adapt to rising sea levels, Oct 30 [7]

This Massachusetts Town Shows What a Sustainable Economy Looks Like, Jul 12 [8]

Church solar project inspires solar for neighborhood, May 2 [9]

2016

Boston Resilience Blueprint Leads With Discussions of Race, Equity, Nov 21 [10]

Teenagers force Massachusetts to act on greenhouse gases via lawsuit, May 19 [11]

2015

How One Boston Neighborhood Stopped Gentrification in Its Tracks, January 28 [12]

2014

How Boston is rethinking its relationship with the sea, October 27 [13]

Massachusetts to open area the size of Rhode Island to offshore wind power, June 18 [14]

A Worker Cooperative That Proves Alternative Economic Systems Aren’t Only For The Privileged, Apr 14 [15]

Boston Doctors Can Now Prescribe You a Bike, April 9 [16]

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Coal Free Massachusetts


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External links[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Massachusetts

References[edit | edit source]

Page data
Type Location
Keywords us states, library of things
Authors Phil Green
Published 2014
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Impact Number of views to this page and its redirects. Updated once a month. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 100
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