GLWIB Member Corner
Name: Beverly Woods
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Northern Middlesex Council of Governments
Beverly is a life-long resident of Westford, MA. She attended UMass Amherst where she received degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies. While at UMass, she began her career at NMCOG as a student intern. Except for a two- year hiatus at the Central MA Regional Planning Commission, she has worked at NMCOG for over thirty years, the last four as the Executive Director.
In addition to the GLWIB, Beverly is on the Board for Lowell Development Finance Corporation, and the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council. She represents the MA Association of Regional Planning Agencies on the Statewide Implementation Plan for Air Quality Steering Committee and the State Hazard Mitigation Interagency Committee. Beverly is also a member of the Housing Committee, the City of Lowell’s Campaign to End Homelessness, the Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness, as well as the MA Climate Change Adaptation Infrastructure Subcommittee.
The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG) works with the communities of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough and Westford, to support and enhance a wide range of planning objectives. NMCOG was established in 1963 under Chapter 40B of the MA General Laws and is one of 13 regional planning agencies in Massachusetts.
With a staff of fourteen employees, NMCOG provides technical assistance to communities on transportation, economic development, land use, community development, historic preservation, permitting, housing, smart growth, open space and conservation, environmental protection, geographical information systems (GIS), municipal service delivery, and pre-disaster mitigation.
Ongoing or Upcoming Projects:
NMCOG has several projects in the works, including the Regional Transportation Plan Update (RTP), a long range planning document for the Northern Middlesex Metropolitan Planning Organization (NMMPO) that identifies the region’s transportation needs over the next 25 years, and offers recommendation on how to best meet those needs. Projects addressed through the RTP include transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and roadways.
NMCOG serves as an economic development partner of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NMCOG recently received a Short-Term Planning contract from the EDA and will begin work on the Annual Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Update for 2010-12 for the Greater Lowell region. The CEDS document is an economic development blueprint for the region that is focused on growing the local economy and creating job opportunities for area residents.
NMCOG is updating the region’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan through a grant provided by FEMA. The Northern Middlesex region is susceptible to many types of natural hazards including floods, severe thunderstorms, winter storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The economic cost of these types of disasters can be staggering. The plan summarizes actions that can be taken now to reduce the impact of natural disasters when and if they occur.
It these difficult economic times, NMCOG has been working with local communities to study the feasibility of providing select municipal services on a regional basis. Studies are in progress to examine the feasibility of regionalizing programs like 911 dispatch services and animal control.
NMCOG is also providing technical assistance to the City of Lowell on the Green Restaurant Certification Program. The Lowell Green Restaurant Certification Program is a ‘grass-roots’ effort of the Lowell Green Building Commission and participating local restaurants. NMCOG has assisted in the development of the certification program, and will continue work with the City to support and advance this initiative.
To learn more about NMCOG please visit their website at: http://www.nmcog.org/