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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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