Contact: Phil Lupsiewicz, 978-275-1705
Lowell, MA. Having an opportunity to get their hands in the dirt is an eye-opening experience for many youth, one that helps them become invested in the world around them. Children need the outdoors to grow, and there are no more extraordinary and diverse outdoor places in our country than America’s national parks.
First Bloom was launched in 2007 for urban children and communities across the country, teaching them the science of native plants, encouraging them to protect the environment in America’s celebrated national parks and in their own backyards.
A collaborative partnership between the National Park Foundation, Lowell National Historical Park, Community Teamwork, Inc., and Community Gardens Greenhouse, the First Bloom project in Lowell provides opportunities for children from the Robinson Middle School to get outside and experience planting and gardening in their neighborhoods and our national parks. The goal of the project is to introduce children to America’s natural resources as they become connected and invested in the world around them.
Beginning January 26th, Lara Hooper a Park Ranger at the Park and Deb Harding of the Community Gardens Greenhouse will be working with Community Teamwork Inc’s “Citizen Schools.” Students participating in the First Bloom project will learn about plants native to the area and then they will “dig in” by designing their own garden to be planted along the Western Canal, nurturing the natural habitats to show off the landscape and beautifying their neighborhood. Through hands-on immersion into the science of native plants and habitat restoration, First Bloom offers an avenue for youth to connect in new ways to their environment and develop an early passion for conservation.
In the spring, students will visit other Boston area national parks as well as host a planting event here in Lowell. First Bloom stakeholders in the Boston area include - Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center, managing partner of First Bloom in Boston, South Boston and Charlestown Boys and Girls Clubs, Community Teamwork, Inc., Community Gardens Greenhouse, Yawkey Club of Roxbury, Adams National Historical Park, Boston African American National Historic Site, Boston National Historical Park, Lowell National Historical Park, Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.