Nature-Based Solutions at Horn Pond

Restoration of Horn Pond Brook and Green Infrastructure to Mitigate Stormwater

Flooding of Horn Pond Brook is Woburn’s most common and serious natural hazard and should worsen due to climate change. Besides damaging roads and residences, flooding harms local herring migration on the Mystic River into which Horn Pond Brook flows. Previously, Weston & Sampson (WSE) helped the city obtain funding through the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) process for a study to determine the best courses of action to address this flooding and related issues. Armed with that information and seeking long-term solutions, the city and WSE again obtained funding through the MVP Action Grant process to design and construct nature-based improvements to the Horn Pond Brook watershed. In addition to reducing flooding, these improvements will install green infrastructure for flood control and educational purposes, improve water quality, restore the brook and riparian buffer, and promote successful river herring migration.

The first project component is restoration of a segment of Horn Pond Brook and riparian area, a critical habitat for river herring that is subject to flooding. The second component is to provide a green infrastructure solution for stormwater from a municipal lot. WSE designed and permitted a rain garden to collect and treat the runoff, thereby reducing pollution into Horn Pond from untreated stormwater. WSE will obtain a variety of permits, including a local Notice of Intent, MassDEP 401 Water Quality Certificate, Chapter 91 Authorization, Massachusetts Historic Commission submission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 404 Pre-Construction Notification, and others. A variety of public meetings and neighborhood outreach efforts were held to educate and inform area residents of these efforts.

Improvements to Horn Pond Brook and the rain garden will reduce flooding during heavy precipitation events and promote resilience for the area’s environmental justice communities who travel daily. The project will also create a more natural curvature to the brook to provide flood storage, improve habitat for alewife and blue back herring returning from the Atlantic Ocean, and stabilize failing bank slopes.

  • stormwater retrofit
  • resiliency evaluation
  • nature-based design improvements
  • green infrastructure
  • public & workgroup meeting facilitation
  • BMP site selection
  • hydraulic analysis
  • site design, ESD
  • GIS mapping
  • grant writing
  • complex permitting
  • field assessments


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Posted in Climate Resilience, Green Infrastructure / Low Impact Design, Industry-Municipal, Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness and tagged , , .