Heat islands are caused when an abundance of buildings and pavement result in conditions that cause land surface temperatures to exceed air temperatures (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2008). In Natick, where more than 25% of the Town is considered impervious (MassGIS), areas including the complex along Route 9 and Natick Center have known recorded surface temperatures reaching near 130 degrees Farenheit —"hot enough to fry an egg". (MAPC, 2015).
Trees are an effective tool for mitigating the heat island effect by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. With support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)'s MVP program, the Town partnered with Professional Environmental Services, to identify 811 potential tree planting sites focused on reducing heat islands and associated stormwater runoff. These sites have been added to our list of priority tree planting sites and will be incorporated into the Town of Natick's Master Plan at a future date.
Maps of each of the nine heat island corridors are provided here. Residents with properties that are near potential tree planting sites were mailed an invitation to participate in the Town's free public shade tree program. For additional information about that program, please complete the below form and mail or email it to Arthur Goodhind, Tree Warden, Department of Public Works, 75 West Street, Natick, MA 01760, email@example.com. Please use the Subject “Setback Tree Planting”.