Upon coming to Lowell, I was initially overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city. In my more wooded hometown of Grafton, MA, my main activities were hiking and trail running. Thankfully, the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust’s properties allowed me to find pockets of solace and nature where I thought there were none, giving me a taste of home, a place to relax, and the opportunity to strengthen my bond with nature!
-Sean Cloran, UML Student
The programming work, and partnership work, that LP&CT 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.
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 6/14/2016
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 (LP&CT) as a likely deserving organization. Our initial activities began with a Concord River Greenway clean-up 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 LP&CT property requiring garden clean-up and window-washing. Currently, Constellation plans to build a viewing platform adjacent to a vernal pool at LP&CT’s West Meadow conservation land. Volunteers will assist with everything from drawing up plans to building the platform on site. LP&CT’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.
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 10/28/2016
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 they 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!
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 10/28/16
Without this organization our thoughts would not have gone to planting those two majestic trees that will now bear witness to generations in our community.
– speaking at our Summer Solstice Soiree, June 2016
I was born 64 years ago in Lowell and continue to live here. I am a 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 [youth] 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 & 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.
Submitted to Great Nonprofits, 3/24/16
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
Submitted to Great Nonprofits, 3/24/16
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.
Submitted to Great Non-Profits, 3/22/16
Preserving and rehabilitating our diverse urban landscape is such a worthy cause. This city has given so much to me, I always want to contribute in any way I can. It’s so awesome when something you enjoy can help what you love.
– on selecting LP&CT to receive 100% of EBay sale proceeds, via Lynnderella Lacquers, February 2016.
I first joined Lowell Parks & 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 Historical 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 & Conservation Trust truly does a lot with a little!
Submitted to Great Non-Profits, 1/30/16
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.
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 1/21/2016
“I have been meaning to donate for quite a while now… as a little thank you for the work you have done and are doing which has made our 3 years in Lowell more enjoyable. We enjoy so much being able to walk by the Concord River, hiking, and all the other green spaces in Lowell. I never would have thought “oh, of course I would want to have raise a toddler in Lowell.” But then we soon learned about all the beauty and history of Lowell.
On my maternity leave, I loved walking the greenways and canals. And now that my son is 2, we love being able to walk to playgrounds and down to the Concord River. And it completely made his day when he saw the whitewater rafters coming down the river into the locks! “People in boats! Have Helmets!” he shouted.
So, we have benefitted so much from the work that groups like yours have done to protect conservation lands, making Lowell much more than a former industrial city, and we wanted to give a little acknowledgement of our thanks. I wish you all the best in your future efforts to preserve land and eventually connect the Concord River paths. I hope that someday when we bring our son back here to visit his birthplace, we will be able to say “this river path wasn’t complete when we lived here, but look what they’ve done with it now!”
Rachel McCord, after donating on Giving Tuesday
We just moved to Lowell a little over a year ago and we get a lot of donation requests… When you are able to give to your local community, especially conservation, you’re giving to something that impacts the entire community, young and old, and that could have an effect on future generations in the long-run.
– Cynthia Ibarra, new member
This organization and the work that you do is such a gift for our city and region as it enables everyone, no matter who they are, no matter where they live, no matter what their income level is or what their age is – it enables everyone to have the opportunity to experience nature right in their own backyard in an urban setting. They may have not known that it was here, but you have shown everyone the way.
– Kay Doyle, member, speaking at Accreditation celebration
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.
Submitted to Great non-profits, 3/28/11
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 residents – of which I am one of many!
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 3/23/2011
We are working with first-time home buyers who have completed our training program. 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 the Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership to partner in an effort to make Lowell a greener community.
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 3/22/2011
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.
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.
Submitted to Great Non-profits, 3/04/2011