Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Resilient Green Infrastructure and Workforce Development


Defining Pathways Toward a Boston-Area Program for Underserved Communities


Leslie Pond, The Nature Conservancy, Massachusetts Chapter
David Queeley, Director of Eco-Innovation, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
Kim Lutz, The Nature Conservancy, Massachusetts Chapter; Present affiliation: America’s Watershed Initiative

In order to attain social and environmental justice and equity, underserved communities must be able to participate equally, both benefiting from and contributing to a thriving economy. Green infrastructure workforce development is one potential approach to improve social, economic, and environmental resilience through green jobs that have a low barrier to entry and can provide steady, long-term work. Our goal is to identify potential pathways for the Codman Square neighborhood in Boston to create a green infrastructure workforce development program that prioritizes environmental and social sustainability while offering equitable economic opportunities to people of color, particularly young people and men of color, who are chronically underserved populations.

The Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (CSNDC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) partnered on this “green paper” to help guide the development of such a program. We started with a literature scan of green infrastructure that considered the benefits and challenges of green infrastructure workforce development programs for communities. We honed in on foundational aspects such as the classification of green infrastructure jobs, determining and forecasting the number of workers needed, and the importance of high-road employment practices such as offering a living wage and opportunities for career advancement. Key challenges to green infrastructure job development include a lack of knowledge and perception issues about green infrastructure, lack of funding and financing for such projects, and the displacement of vulnerable populations due to gentrification. We also considered how formal training and certification can help ensure quality work and enable career development, and how green infrastructure jobs might fit in the context of worker unions. Ultimately, we distilled and synthesized learnings from several existing green infrastructure workforce development programs into success themes for initiating and launching a local program, identifying trainings and benefits for participants, and determining what types of contract services to offer.

To develop a green infrastructure workforce development program that is customized for the Codman Square community, we gathered information in three areas. First, to help ensure that the program benefits the participants and community, we gathered baseline population and environmental statistics for the Codman Square area, from which to assess social, economic, and environmental impacts as the program develops. Second, to inform program development and selection of a business model, we sought to understand the existing and projected market for green infrastructure jobs in Greater Boston and beyond. Third, to understand the specific enabling conditions and barriers in the Codman Square area, we examined current activities and learnings from them. On the basis of the success themes, we generated a set of questions intended to guide development of a Codman Square program, by helping to create a strategy and identify stakeholders, solidifying policies and funding, and developing partnerships and resources. Based on this information, CSNDC is well-positioned for a successful green infrastructure workforce development program, particularly given its previous experience working with community members and the targeted participant groups, strong relationships with partner organizations, and training and organizational capabilities, as well as the multiple potential opportunities for green infrastructure work in the Greater Boston area.

Our aim is for this green paper to serve as a comprehensive living document that informs and guides decisions regarding a green infrastructure workforce development program and that will be updated as programs evolve and new data become available.