About UsSee Our Gifts
Planting trees, providing 'backyard adventures' for youth, creating parks from vacant lots, and historic preservation are some of the ways we create 'positive change on the ground' in the densely populated, ethnically diverse community of Lowell, Massachusetts. As one of the first urban land trusts in the country, we work to break down barriers to creating access to open space for those that live, work, and play in Lowell. Our small staff of 2 works effectively with a strong corps of volunteers and community partners to create to enable residents of all ages to feel a connection to place in this diverse community abundant with natural resources.
To improve the quality of life for the people of Lowell through the creation, conservation, and preservation of parks, open spaces, and special places.
The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (the Trust or LP&CT) was founded in 1990 by local conservation commissioners anxious to make a difference in their own backyard. Other regional groups were acting to protect local or regional watershed resources, but no specific group or entity was actively engaged in protecting local special places within Lowell. Several early actions included speaking out against the conversion of local parks into schools; creating the Edward Street soccer fields in partnership with the Trust for Public Land; and establishing a nationally recognized urban forestry program ("2000 for 2000").
The Trust fills a unique niche in environmental protection by focusing on urban land protection. Its rapid growth and broad support is reflected in our strong community support. We believe that people can be a positive force toward improving the environment around them if they feel a connection and responsibility for the land on which they live. We attribute our success to our grassroots personal contact and interaction with our members and volunteers. Our programs and volunteer opportunities provide active, hands on involvement that enriches people’s lives by making them feel like an integral part of the human and natural community. Developing a stronger connection to the land by working with each other through direct positive actions further enhances our constituents’ sense of responsibility for the environment.
Our members support projects that provide people with opportunities to remain connected to the land on which the city was built. We do this in four ways: 1) offering programs on the Concord River, 2) educating people about their current and historic impact on the natural environment, 3) planting trees in Lowell’s inner city neighborhoods to maintain a healthy urban forest, and 4) acquiring and protecting conservation lands where nature is left undisturbed.
Annually the Trust reaches 700-800 people through 15-20 various educational programs, including events as diverse as rafting, greenway walks, Spalding House tours, Riverfest, natural history tours/exhibits, and speakers. All of this is accomplished with an active, engaged board, two part-time staff, strong membership support, and efficient operations.
LP&CT is proud that we are a well known entity, involved in a diverse array of activities, all focused on promoting Lowell’s natural resources – “creating positive change on the ground”. We have developed credibility for tackling and accomplishing challenging projects (e.g. Jollene Dubner Park, 2000 for 2000 Tree Planting, Spalding House exterior restoration, Concord River rafting; acquisition of the Red Cross property [and transfer to the City], Concord River Greenway, Coburn Park). Among our peer organizations, we are unique as an urban land trust, and fill a unique niche. LP&CT also supports other local non-profits, either programmatically, through offering technical assistance, or by being a fiscal agent – for parks improvements, clean-ups, tree plantings, and environmental education programs.
Jane Calvin has been the Executive Director of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust since 1995. Ms. Calvin is active in coordinating statewide efforts to raise awareness of urban land protection issues, including planning two statewide urban land conservation conferences. Jane holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to graduate school, Jane was a science teacher, an Outward Bound instructor, and a forest policy specialist (Society for the Protection of NH Forests).
Dorothy Bickling – owns a local financial planning business.
Brian Chapman – company President of Mill City Environmental Corp., a waste management and remediation firm.
Christine Cole – Executive Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is also Chair of the board of the Lowell House, a substance abuse prevention center.
Stephen Conant – (Past President) Senior Energy Market Analyst with Energy Security Analysis, Inc. His prior work includes several planning positions with the state and City of Lowell.
Matthew C. Donahue (Treasurer) - Mr. Donahue is a native of Lowell, a former Chairman of the Lowell Conservation Commission, formerly a City Councilor, and is an attorney specializing in environmental law.
Lauris Donovan - Ms. Donovan is an active neighborhood member of the Pawtucketville Citizens Council and works for Curriculum Associates, Inc., an educational publisher.
Sheila Kirschbaum (Clerk) – School Liaison/Professional Development Coordinator for the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell.
Henri Marchand (President) – Program Manager UMass Lowell’s public radio station, WUML 91.5 FM. Prior to joining the UMass Lowell, he served as assistant director of the Lowell Plan, Inc., where he worked on economic and community development projects. William Martin, Esq. - Mr. Martin, a native of Lowell, is currently a City Councilor and Mayor, and is an attorney specializing in land use and real estate law.
Dr. Mark Romanowsky (Vice President) - Dr. Romanowsky practices family medicine in his hometown of Lowell and chairs our Land Protection Committee.
PO BOX 7162
LOWELL, MA 01852-0162
Phone: (978) 934-0030
A Gift Card
Your gift will provide one afternoon of Backyard Adventures! programming for up to 12 youth at a local school in Lowell, MA. Backyard Adventures provides experiential learning opportunities for disadvantaged youth in Lowell to help them gain self-esteem, leadership skills, and exposure to environmental career opportunities. Backyard Adventures provides ‘hands-on’ lessons in the out-of-doors to learn about the natural environment by exploring local habitats, conducting...