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Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust's mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces and special places.

Target demographics: Improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces, and special places.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 300 youth receive after-school STEM-based environmental education; plant169 trees; and hosted 41 events which 2,550 attended.

Geographic areas served: Lowell, MA

Programs: urban forestry, youth and adult environmental education, whitewater rafting, land protection, historic preservation

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first experience with LP&CT was attending a winter scavenger hunt with my children at Hawk Valley Farm-- a special place I didn't even know existed in Lowell. I knew right away this was an organization I wanted to be a part of and immediately became a member. My family has attended many events over the years and they've all been fun, educational, and well-run. LP&CT's work has a significant impact on the city of Lowell and has opened my eyes as to how much nature and beauty abounds here. They are committed to engaging our community and protecting these special places, and for that I am grateful.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was born 67 years ago in Lowell and continue to live here. I am teacher and realize the importance of education for our children. This non-profit though takes education to another level as it provides an exciting opportunity for Lowell's inner city children a chance to experience the outdoors. They might be looking for animal prints at Hawk Valley Farm, identifying trees and exploring along the Concord River, playing in the beautiful urban parks, or visiting an old house from the 1700's. Most of all this non-profit encourages the children to have pride in the open spaces by respecting the land that has been so beautifully maintained by the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust. I always find it exciting to watch the faces of children as they explore in nature. Hopefully they will pass their excitement and respect of the land and these special places down to their children.
Recently the Trust offered a great program called Forest Therapy at Hawk Valley Farm. There were 17 middle aged people that attended this program. It was a great way to relieve stress as well as enjoy nature.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was born 64 years ago in Lowell and continue to live here. I am teacher and realize the importance of education for our children. This non-profit though takes education to another level as it provides an exciting opportunity for Lowell's inner city children a chance to experience the outdoors. They might be looking for animal prints at Hawk Valley Farm, identifying trees and exploring along the Concord River, playing in the beautiful urban parks, or visiting an old house from the 1700's. Most of all this non-profit encourages the children to have pride in the open spaces by respecting the land that has been so beautifully maintained by the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust. I always find it exciting to watch the faces of children as they explore in nature. Hopefully they will pass their excitement and respect of the land and these special places down to their children.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust is an amazing organization with a lot of heart! They are committed to their mission of connecting people to the nature in their own backgrounds. LP&CT is also an amazing resource for the community. When I reached out to LP&CT about an upcoming class project in which I need to research and analyze a historic home in my area, they were a huge help in connecting me with the Spalding House, the 1764 historic home that LP&CT owns. Staff members were supportive of my project and made the time to meet with me and share resources about the Spalding House.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being with the T.R.E.E.S or the Environmetal Adventures program has been very important and helpful to me. Since I have been with them in my freshman and now I am a junior at Lowell high. I have gotten the opportunity of being a leader in ny community and helping other through community service like; the food pantries or arts and crafts at the Wichita office afterschool, but just getting me involved in my community, and teaching me about the environment in a way that I can also tell people like my family about climate change and how to decrease our carbon footprint . These programs have really inspired me to be more outgoing and knowledgeable about my environment. I have had a lot of amazing opportunities like ; building a rain garden at the lowell high freshman building, The Environmental Youth Conference and so much more due this program.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member of 5 years, I know all the great things that the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust does in Lowell, MA.
For the second year in a row, my team of 7 went out to one of the local properties with the LPCT staff and a volunteer steward of the property to clean it up. For my team, it was a great eye opener to some of the beautiful, hidden gems within the City. Emily gave us some background on the property as well as how it fits into the other properties that the Trust cares for. We look forward to seeing more properties.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust is a pillar of the Lowell community. We have partnered with them on environmental education projects several times to engage students and youth in Lowell, each time with sterling results. Each member of their organization is truly committed to enhancing the lives of Massachusetts residents through a variety of means, from outreach efforts to preservation and maintenance of natural resources. Our team looks forward to continuing our partnership with them for many years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I saw a notice in the local paper about a outdoor clean up project so I went. Little did I know it would lead to becoming a steward for a local park for the past 3 years through the Trust. Lowell Park and Conservation Trust offers a wide range of activities and ways to get involved. It’s a small but effective organization making a difference in the Lowell area. The people are wonderful to work with. And they have wonderful community support. The activities truly benefit my home city and it’s nice to be a part of that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a former fisheries biologist who participated in long-term environmental impact studies of power plants and the impacts on Hudson River (NY) fish populations. I also organized a herring festival to promote a better understanding of the herring species (Alewife, Blueback herring, and American Shad). Now living here in Massachusetts, I am thrilled to have become a volunteer for the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LPCT) Herring Monitoring Program for the Concord River (a major tributary of the Merrimack River) . Herring (especially Alewife) play a major role in our ocean and estuarine ecology, however, so many Merrimack tributaries had dams built that restricted or eliminated herring spawning migrations. The Concord River is one these tributaries. LCPT is one of the organizations working on herring restoration program for the Concord River. As a volunteer, I participated in a series of observation periods at the Centennial Island Fish Ladder watching for fish to move upstream through the ladder. I will be thrilled to see sustained herring spawning migrations return to the Concord River and I hope you will be too. --Allen Beebe

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was born and raised in Lowell, a lifelong reader and English major, and I am embarrassed to admit that I was barely aware that the Concord River, Henry David Thoreau’s Concord River, flowed through my city. When I became a volunteer land steward for the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, it became my duty to observe a short segment of the river called the Concord River Greenway, near the Lowell Cemetery.

Walk just three minutes along the path and the rush of Wamesit Falls will tune out the hum of traffic. Take a look into the trees and observe goldfinches, Baltimore orioles, catbirds and, one early morning, a splendid bald eagle perched on a city tree on a city street, observing the Concord whitewater. Great blue herons and cormorants and ducks of all sorts abound.

The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust has carved out a walking path and arranged for whitewater rafting in the spring. There are morning birdwatching walks and teen activities. Families and seniors enjoy a little walk in the country in the middle of their city. This particular land steward has enriched her life immeasurably by slowing down and looking closely at the slice of the Concord River that has been made accessible by the Parks and Conservation Trust.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust provides high-quality educational programming to students in our after-school program at Lowell High School. The staff that we have worked with over the years continually demonstrates supreme dedication towards our students. They have built lasting and meaningful relationships with our students. They have all worked tirelessly to provide unique educational experiences that help to promote the ideal of environmental stewardship. Because of the strength of with this community partner and the ability to easily collaborate, our students have been able to experience a wide array of opportunities for leadership and service in our community. This includes the hosting of an annual Environmental Youth Conference, volunteering in the Lowell Earth Day Parade as well as the monthly food bank, hosting workshops on food justice at WIC, as well as designing and building a zen garden/water purification project outside of the school. The work that the LP&CT does in the Lowell Public Schools is critical to youth development. By building strong relationships and teaching them about current environmental issues, the staff of LP&CT has empowered our students to become leaders in their community. We feel fortunate and grateful to work with this excellent non-profit!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Trees, wildlife, river, history, people, and important places. The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust strives to connect people to the place where they live. Through their evolving and innovative programming, the Trust builds a sense of place for the people of Lowell.

The dedication from staff and leadership is unmatched by any other organization. They always strive to connect people to the place in which the live, getting folks to understand that they don't have to leave the city limits to find beauty, intrigue, and nature right in their backyard.

I am a proud donor to LPCT and continue to be impressed by their ability to innovate, create, and succeed in such an efficient way for such a small organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Constellation, an Exelon company, is strongly committed to giving back to the community. In 2014, the Constellation-Lowell office decided to partner with a local non-profit as part of this effort. Through careful research, we identified the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LPCT) as a likely deserving organization. Our initial activities began with a Concord River Greenway cleanup on a section of the River within walking distance of our office. We now treat this section of land as “ours” and steward it carefully. Since 2014, we have completed 2 Greenway clean-ups, and one “make-over” day at Lowell’s Spalding House, an LPCT property requiring garden clean-up and window-washing, Currently, Constellation plans to build a viewing platform adjacent to a vernal pool at LPCT’s West Meadow conservation land. Volunteers will assist with everything from drawing up plans to building the platform on site. LPCT’s breadth of positive impact upon Lowell, with a small and dedicated staff, continues to impress both experienced and new volunteers at their well-organized events.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust has evolved over 25 years.Although it started as a land bank it soon redefined itself as a proactive group seeking and protecting green space,planting trees ,and driving large and ambitious projects such as the Concord Greenway, and protecting and refurbishing The Spaulding House, one of Lowell's historical landmarks.These endeavors have been a collaboration with City,State, other non-profits and especially with the community.The Trust has continued to expand its goals from its many community special projects,to 'afterschool' educational programs.It has been able to accomplish much with significant financial support form businesses and the greater Lowell community.The highest level of standards and financial integrity has been recognized by being given National Accreditation.The future remains bright and open for further evolution.Mark Romanowsky

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust does a great job of protecting Lowell’s special places, be they of natural, cultural, or historic value or all of these. And they connect the community to these places through their educational programming and outreach. The Trust partners with many governmental and civic organizations to be most effective and inclusive and is creative in pursuing approaches to accomplish their mission. They are a model of what an urban land trust should and can be.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust has been connecting people to the hidden gems of Lowell for over 25 years. The services, events, and education they offer to the community showcase the beautiful areas of Lowell that many don't know about. By connecting the urban layout of the City with the natural elements of rivers, parks, and land shows such a great side of the City. Jane and her staff have made incredible progress making sure more and more people are connected.

Donor

Rating: 5

Explore the urban environment with new eyes. With LP&CT you can learn how to maple sugar, track wildlife, or identify birds. You can also get involved as a land steward, join a river clean-up, or be a mentor in the after-school program. Their work with youth is truly impactful - going deep, not just trying to reach as many kids as possible.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I want to convey that the programming work, and partnership work, that Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust does is top notch. Investing in urban kids and schools -- and using conservation as a tool to teach leadership, self-esteem, and educational success -- is something that more nonprofits (and other conservation groups) should emulate.

Conservation work that matters--that changes lives, and enriches the lives who live in Lowell--that's what this nonprofit is about.

1 Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I want to share how impressed I am with the staff and programming at Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. Jane and her staff are a pleasure to work with and are making a real difference in their community. I am particularly moved by the quality of the after school program and recommend those interested watch the video from the Land Trust Alliance's Rally in Providence, RI.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Lowell Film Collaborative has been honored to work together the last several years with Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust on an annual environmentally-themed film series. As excited as we were to join with LPCT on this initiative, we never imagined we'd still be going strong 5 years later! This inspiring organization epitomizes community and has become a beloved event partner AND supporter. We look forward to growing our relationship with LPCT and to celebrating their mission and their impact on the City of Lowell!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first joined Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust because it was working to protect open space in the city, but I soon learned that their mission goes beyond just saving open space. LP&CT has partnered with the Mass. Audubon Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, the Lowell Public Schools, and now the Lowell National Historic Park. The educational programs created in conjunction with these organizations for the youth of Lowell are grooming the environmental stewards of the future by helping the students explore Lowell's natural resources and learn more about the environment at large.
In addition, the Trust sponsors an eco-film series, nature walks, a maple-sugaring event, a bird-watching walk, white-water rafting on the Concord River. It maintains its properties throughout the city, some with on-going help from volunteer land stewards and some with clean-ups pulling together volunteers from many different groups. The Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust truly does a lot with a little!

2 Bruce44

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization with a great mission. They focus equally on historical, cultural, and environmental preservation while maintaining a strong educational ideal. The mix of open land and historical holdings speak well to the variety of preservation missions and their outreach events are well organized and attended. I am proud to be a volunteer for this organization.

Their recent acceptance as a fully accredited land trust highlights their drive and dedication.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Whether it's a beautiful row of street trees, or happy, engaged youth learning about nature and conservation, or a lovingly conserved 18th-century house overlooking the Pawtucket Falls, the evidence of the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust's work is all around Lowell, enhancing the quality of life in the city. This year's eco-film series, one of many partnerships that help the LP&CT reach out to new audiences, has helped us expand our vision and shown us how connected we all are!

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust quietly but steadily adds to the quality of life in Lowell. You may drive past a lovely park with beautiful flower gardens and enjoy the touch of country in the city but not know that little oasis exists thanks to LP&CT. You can join a bird watching expedition, a riverway walk, or a whitewater rafting adventure, all courtesy of LP&CT. That stretch of woods or patch of field that remains untouched and serves as a habitat for animals might also be part of LP&CT's legacy to the city. Certainly thousands of Lowell's trees shade us thanks to LP&CT. The Trust is all around us in Lowell, though we might not know it. What we do know is that these special places and activities bring us satisfaction, and that's a very good thing.

Read more
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher/naturalist at Drumlin Farm, I have been working with the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust (LPCT) for over five years. Together with the Stewardship through Leadership program (STL),we have been doing programs with Lowell schools, Spindle City Core and other community organizations. Our joint programs have involved activities like urban ecology. The students at both the Robinson Middle School and Daley Middle School have planted trees made available by LPCT.
Another nexample of the STL program: Last summer STL worked with the Spindle City Core. These high school and college youth removed invasives and trash, created a new trail (Cardinal Flower Trail) and an interpretive guideguide for the Concord River Greenway (CRG).
LPCT was very involved in the the creation of the CRG a beautiful open space along the Concord River.
I could add many other examples.
I wish every community had a Land Conservation Trust like the LPCT

2 Phillipe L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust is a professionally run organization doing great work in conservation and environmental education in the city of Lowell. Their work is literally transforming this amazing city through increased greenspace and sharing these natural resources with the residents of Lowell.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1 Jim W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We are working with home owners who have completed our training program and purchased a home with down payment assistance. We are encouraging these new home owners to "Plant - a - Tree" to celebrate home ownership. This collaboration with the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust is a wonderful way for two organizations to partner in an effort to make Lowell a greener community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

LPCT does amazing work in the City of Lowell and the greater Lowell area. what other organization sponsors wildlife tracking in the snow, maple sugaring, white water rafting, tours of canals and a historic inn along a river trading route, creates walkways along scenic and wild rivers and does land preservation?? Participating as a member is easy as the LPCT offers something for nearly everyone who cares about the outdoors, preservation, the City, and the quality of life in the whole area. I am proud of the work and excited about the opportunities!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The LPCT was founded in 1990 to preserve open space in the City of Lowell and to create an endowment for city parks recognizing shrinking municipal resources for City's parks. With both the Merrimack and Concord Rivers running through this historic city, there is surpising amount of wetland resources, brooks and streams that needed protection and the LPCT does it. They have built a network of volunteers that are planitng trees, educating children, purchasing land and reaching out in collaborative effort with boh the City of Lowell, other non profits and businesses to create a lasting impact on the City of Lowell and the region.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The LPCT has grown exponentially over the last twenty years.Besides planting trees, and aquiring open space, 4 parks are now endowed.One of the oldest historical houses is being restored,and endowed.Large walkway projects are being driven by the Trust.After school programs for enviromental education is offered.We have grown our memership and have many voluteers.It is exciting to develope green ways in an old dense city.Check us out.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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