Tom Noble Training

hw awarded $10 million EPA contract

hw news release

Emergency preparedness, response and recovery programs to protect public drinking water supplies

Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, has been awarded a five-year contract valued at up to $10 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Under the terms of the agreement, Horsley Witten Group will develop, implement and support programs to protect the nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems from natural disasters, man-made incidents, and the effects of climate change.

Working with the EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Cyber Resilience Division (WICRD), some highlights of Horsley Witten Group support will include developing emergency response training and workshops, conducting risk assessments, developing cyber risk management solutions and identifying contamination mitigation strategies for community drinking water systems.

The contract represents the EPA’s latest engagement with Horsley Witten Group since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, when the agency initiated federally mandated activity to protect the nation’s drinking water supplies against terrorist attacks.

In 2022, the EPA honored Horsley Witten Group with its Small Business Award, recognizing the organization for its exemplary customer support, technical adaptiveness, and responsiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to continuing our longstanding and productive partnership with the U.S. EPA to help safeguard the nation’s drinking water supplies and wastewater treatment facilities. For more than two decades we have worked closely together to create sustainable solutions to ensure that water and wastewater utilities are resilient from a wide range of natural, man-made, and nefarious threats.”
Thomas Noble, Sr. Project Manager, Principal, Horsley Witten Group



Chicopee Develops First-Ever Comprehensive Plan:
Envision Our Chicopee: 2040

news release

SANDWICH, Mass., December 4, 2023 – Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, has partnered with the City of Chicopee to develop its first-ever comprehensive plan. The community-driven plan, called Envision Our Chicopee: 2040, will guide the western Massachusetts city for the next two decades, and includes an actionable blueprint to achieve its community defined long-term vision for future growth and development.


Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 plan components include

  • brownfield redevelopment
  • zoning reform
  • land use and development
  • affordable housing
  • open space and recreation
  • historic preservation
  • public health, and transportation

“The beginning of a renaissance for the City of Chicopee, which is often referred to as ‘The Crossroads of New England,’ is underway and will continue for the next 20 years and beyond,” said Jeff Davis, Project Planner at Horsley Witten Group.

–  Jeff Davis, Planner



“Chicopee has conducted neighborhood-level planning in the past, but the time had come for a broader, comprehensive vision for the future of the city,” said Chicopee Director of Planning & Development Lee M. Pouliot. “Developing Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 was a remarkable opportunity to make the things we love about Chicopee even better and fix the things that need to be fixed over the course of the next 20 years. The plan prioritizes future investments in community services and infrastructure that promote fairness and equity throughout the city.”

Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 addresses several land development and socioeconomic issues affecting the former mill city that was built around distinct neighborhood centers, borders two rivers, and has significant transportation infrastructure including railways and major highway routes.

Developing resiliency solutions for the effects of climate change were included throughout the plan, as were initiatives to maintain a strong sense of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the city, its facilities and services.

The final comprehensive plan is the culmination of a four-year effort that began in the summer of 2019 and continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, Horsley Witten Group worked with the Chicopee Department of Planning & Development and a Steering Committee established by former Mayor Richard Kosto to solicit feedback and input from city residents and community stakeholders. Due to pandemic restrictions, the typical planning activities and processes had to be adjusted and creative solutions implemented, including online and paper surveys, digital open houses, and use of a “meeting in a box” kit that enabled community members to lead their own small group meetings either in an outdoor setting during the warmer months, virtually or indoors according to state guidelines.

The Chicopee Planning Board unanimously approved the comprehensive plan in late September. “An immediate priority of the plan’s implementation will be a complete rewrite of the city’s zoning code, which hasn’t been substantially updated since 1974,” said Pouliot. “We need to be more creative with mixed-use development, infill development, address minimum parking standards, and consider the future of the exclusive single-family only Residential A District.”

In addition to Chicopee, Horsley Witten Group has participated in the long-term planning processes for more than a dozen New England municipalities, as well as communities in Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, and South Carolina. The Horsley Witten approach to comprehensive planning begins with compiling a complete inventory of existing conditions that serve as the foundation for analysis and public education. An engagement process is then initiated to determine and articulate a community’s values and priorities, culminating with an implementation plan that incorporates best practices, science, and innovation.

View the Plan

Comprehensive Planning


Lily pond park design wins award from ri-asla

HW News Release

Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, was honored with a regional American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Merit Award-Planning and Analysis for the Lily Pond Park Master Plan on Nantucket.

ASLA Rhode Island presented the award to Horsley Witten, recognizing its vision for restoring the ecological and recreational function of the park, a 6.5‐acre property located within the residential outskirts of historic downtown Nantucket and owned by the Nantucket Land Bank.

Though the park itself encompasses only 6.5 acres, the plan presents a preferred approach to clean runoff from 90 acres of residential land surrounding the site using green stormwater infrastructure. In recent years, both the health of surrounding wetlands and park usage have been negatively impacted not only by unmanaged stormwater runoff, but also clogged drainage infrastructure, and invasive vegetation. The key design elements include a new looped boardwalk system over the restored wetland for improved accessibility, additional seating areas, park entrance enhancements, and restoration of a shallow marsh system. Constructed wetlands will be used to treat stormwater runoff coming into the park.

In granting the Merit Award, ASLA Rhode Island offered the following praise for the Horsley Witten Group, “The Lily Pond Park Master Plan presents a preferred approach to restore and diversify wetland habitats, treat runoff with green stormwater infrastructure, and enhance the user experience with improved connectivity. Blending of the visitor experience with water quality and habitat enhancement and analyzing the site within its overall watershed makes the Lily Pond Park Plan a unique example of how we should be designing all sites within their larger ecological systems.”

The team completed the plan in August 2021. Since plan adoption, The Nantucket Land Bank secured a 2023 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Stormwater and Natural Infrastructure Grant to help fund the construction and monitoring of proposed improvements. Due to the success of the Lily Pond Master Plan, the Nantucket Land Bank has also partnered with the town on a Stormwater Feasibility Study for Downtown Nantucket, using a similar planning approach. Advanced design development and permitting for the Lily Pond Improvements are expected to get underway in spring 2024.

“We are honored to receive recognition from ASLA Rhode Island for our work with the Nantucket Land Bank for the restoration of Lily Pond Park,” said Nathan Kelly, President, Horsley Witten Group. “Our talented team of landscape architects, engineers, and wetland biologists are proud to be closely aligned with ASLA’s mission to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of cultural and natural environments.”

“We are grateful to be partnering with the Horsley Witten Group on the Lily Pond Park project,” said Jesse Belle, Executive Director of the Nantucket Land Bank. “Their master plan has provided us with an incredible opportunity to restore the wetland at this beloved public park, creating a space where both people and nature can interact and thrive. The project furthers the Land Bank’s goals of preserving scenic views, protecting ecological resources, and enhancing recreational experiences in nature for people to enjoy.”