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March 23, 2011

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March 23, 2011

LP&CT is an amazing organization. We found out about the organization (where we met Jane!) during a new-residence orientation the city put together when we moved here over 5 years ago - and have since volunteered both in-kind and within the annual fund. We liked everything the organization stood for; including helping build walkways along the water front, planting more trees in urban neighborhoods, and cleaning up parks and other open spaces. After doing many volunteer activities, we quickly realized that one of the main reasons we love the organization is because it truly causes notifiable change and improvements year after year that everyone around, including ourselves, can enjoy and make use of. We have been land stewards for a couple properties, taken part in various land/park /cleanups, helped renovate and clean one of the cities oldest homes with rich history (the spalding house), took part in group hikes and helped clear some hidden trails along the Merrimack river, and taken nature tours with LP&CT and other volunteers on Kayaks on the Concord river. We have seen for our own eyes that new beautiful walking paths have been created (along the Concord River), public artwork designed and now outside for all to enjoy, teaching and showing the public how to tap maple syrup (I learned myself!), raising public awareness about the asian long-horn beetle and the many benefits of protecting and adding trees to urban areas, constructing a new park along the banks of the Merrimack River, and helping renovate the Spalding house. I'm very selective of organizations I belong to, and this one is a no brainer because of the results delivered and the passion they have to really make the area a better place.

LP&CT also coordinates with other local non-profits to create synergies and link walkways. This organization also collaborates with similar land trusts in different cities/states to help improve other parts of the country as well. As long I keep seeing tangible improvements, I know my time and money is well spent.

I'm also a huge fan of water in general - and this organization really protects, cleans, and works hard to make the beautiful waterways truly accessible via new walk-ways and cleanups. I am very thankful we have an organization like LP&CT in our city, truly looking after making the city greener, and improvement the quality of life of its resistants - of which I am one of many!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my improved quality of life in the city. I live in walking distance to downtown Lowell and often visit and walk through the Concord River Greenway. What was once exclusively an ugly parking lot, is now a beautiful path that all residents in the city can enjoy and take in breathtaking views of the Concord river which in the past has been a very hidden gem. I also frequently use the Concord and Merrimack rivers for water recreation, and so the frequent cleanups LP&CT has done has really helped.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it even bigger so that the many different visions the organization has can be completed even sooner.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Met many new people, explored and cleaned open spaces/parks in the city I never knew existed, learned how to (and did!) tap my own maple syrup, learned many things about the asian long horn beetle

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very good and self satisfying. Having a common purpose of Improving the environment by cleaning it up, helping create new public walk-ways along the water, protecting trees, and educating the public about all the benefits really brings a large sense of accomplishment.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 23, 2011

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March 23, 2011

The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust is an amazing organization because it succeeds in turning bold creative ideas into real accomplishments that benefit everyone who lives in or visits the City of Lowell. Here are just a few of its accomplishments that I've been privileged to enjoy personally over the years: It's development of the Concord River Greenway, which I can walk to in minutes; its commitment to regular cleanups along the Concord River and other green spaces in the city; its beautification work at parks in all city neighborhoods including Rogers Fort Hill Park where I volunteer; its "2000 Trees for 2000" campaign that planted well over 2000 trees throughout the city by the year 2000... and the Trust continues to plant trees; its outdoor environmental education programs for school children, adults, and families (I've enjoyed its White Water Rafting, Winter Tracking, Bird Watching, and Maple Sugaring events); its protection and preservation of land for much needed pocket parks in Lowell including Jollene Dubner Park near my neighborhood. The Trust has built extensive community partnerships and friendships over the years with all of Lowell's neighborhoods groups, numerous civic and non-profit organizations, schools, and City Government. It's this passion and commitment to community and wanting to make Lowell the best place to live that makes the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust my favorite non-profit in this city!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

... at Rogers Fort Hill Park where I volunteer. The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust has been our greatest supporter over the years in our work to restore and improve the park. Specifically, the Trust has planted more than 30 trees at the park and organized an Arbor Day even; led educational programs at the park including an annual Maple Sugaring Workshop; and marshaled many volunteers over the years to help us with seasonal cleanups and beautification projects.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...make it even bigger and give it more money! It's amazing how much its small staff accomplishes year in and year out.

March 10, 2011

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March 10, 2011

I have been a Volunteer with the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust (The Trust or LPCT) for at least 10 years. Their mission to protect green spaces in an urban environment has opened my eyes to all that Lowell has to offer. Lowell isn't just a city. It is a city that has many small parks and open spaces which the Trust helps maintain with Land Stewards. There are also two rivers that flow through Lowell, the Merrimack and the Concord, which provide habitats for many species of fish, birds, and other wildlife. The Concord River is especially important to the Trust in that the Concord River Greenway is the major project being worked on right now. A multi-use trail along the Concord River will be used by many people within the city. And to help promote and support the Greenway, LPCT, along with Zoar Outdoor, run Whitewater Rafting trips down the Concord River. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the country where you can raft Class III and Class IV rapids through city limits then be lifted up in a lock system built in the 1850 into one of the many canals that run through Lowell. Come try it some time. Running the locks is one of the many volunteer jobs I have participated in with The Trust. Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust has a very dedicated and loyal volunteer group. Like a bag of potato chips where you just can’t eat one, once you volunteer for the LPCT you keep coming back for more.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being a Lock Tender, Spalding House clean-up and park planning, park cleanups, manning an information booth at the Lowell Folk Festival and River Fest, alewife monitoring on the Concord River, and many other wonderful opportunities that have presented themselves for volunteering.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not Change a thing.

March 4, 2011

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March 4, 2011

Thank you for the opportunity to share my observations on the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust. The Executive Director and members of the staff and Board of Directors are dedicated and proactive in all that they do in and for the city of Lowell. Their proactive activity has created many unique partnerships (with the city, the National Park Service, Massachusetts Audubon, the Trustees of Reservations, and Neighborhood Groups) and opportunities for the citizens of Lowell and for visitors from all over the world.

There are a few focus areas that impress me about the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust and why I thoroughly enjoy volunteering for the Trust and participating in their activities.

Historic Preservation
• The Trust has partnered with the family that owned Hawk Valley Farm way back when it was an active 70 acre farm. Over the years the ownership changed and there was development of most of the property. The Trust also partnered with the Trustees of Reservations to secure a conservation restriction that will protect the farm from future development. The family is now restoring the property to a working farm.
• The Trust has preserved a unique part of Lowell’s history in the Spaulding House by taking steps to maintain and restore the former tavern / home. Now, working with the National Park Service and the city, they are creating a park in back of the House on the Merrimack River that will connect with an existing walkway through the city.
• In the spring they offer white water rafting on the Concord River in partnership with Zoar, a rafting company based in western Massachusetts; and the National Park Service. The rafting is unique in many ways – first, it is in the middle of the city; second it showcases the Concord River and the Merrimack River; and third, the rafting concludes the rafting with a trip back in time as the rafts enter a set of working canal locks in the center of the city. Volunteer lock tenders operate the locks as the rafters move through two locks and end their trip in the center of the city. I don’t know of another city in the country with a similar opportunity for a history lesson from the industrial revolution.
• The staff has worked with the city, the National Park Service, the University of Lowell, and many local and national artists to develop the Concord River Greenway. Historical markers in four languages highlight the rich history of Lowell as different ethnic groups from around world moved to Lowell for employment opportunities during and after the industrial revolution. Two sections of the Greenway and a Park at one end of the Greenway have been opened with a formal dedication.

Environmental Projects
• They have an active program to plant trees throughout the city often partnering with neighborhood groups to provide and plant trees in local parks and along roadways.
• There are volunteer land stewards that help to watch over special places (land and parks) within the city. They have been preserved for all to use and to enjoy the environment.
• Volunteers have assisted in alewife monitoring in the Concord River.

Educational Opportunities
• The staff and volunteers have partnered with the Massachusetts Audubon Society to offer programs on animal tracking in the snow, maple sugaring, the fascinating world of vernal pools, and more.

Volunteer Opportunities
• The Trust offers many volunteer opportunities in all areas noted above and more! I have been a lock tender, land steward (including my amateur photography), a volunteer in the office and more.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to show why I enthusiastically support (financially and as a volunteer) the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust.

Charles Cutler, Volunteer

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.. lock tending, land stewardship, wildlife tracking, a history lesson at Hawk Valley Farm, the Spaulding House, the Concord River Greenway, landscaping, park cleanup, and in seeing the tiny creatures in vernal pools under a microscope.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would encourage the Trust to do more of the same - expanding into more neighborhoods and making more people aware of their activities (They already do receive lots of publicity in the local paper, at the Lowell Folk Festival (non-profit displays), and in other venues.).

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