Lowell National Historical Park in partnership with Lowell Community Health Center, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, City of Lowell Senior Center, Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School, and YWCA of Lowell has been selected to receive a 2017 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. The partnership will continuously engage over 250 youth, adults, and elders in trail-related activities throughout the city, such as hiking, birding, photography, canal cleanups, learning about botany and ecology, and engaging in de-stressing activities such as yoga, meditation, and more.
Lowell National Historical Park’s canalway trails weave through Lowell’s industrial urban core to the mighty Merrimack River and connect the city’s most densely populated and socio-economically diverse communities to the park. While a majority of neighborhood residents live less than a mile from the canalway trails, only a fraction are frequent users. The Discover Lowell’s Urban Trails initiative will offer new outdoor recreational programming to Lowell’s canalway trails and will be targeted toward non-users in adjacent neighborhoods.
Celeste Bernardo, superintendent of Lowell National Historical Park offered her thoughts on the project, “Lowell's canal system is a national treasure to be enjoyed by all. We look forward to working with our partners to provide programming and activities to introduce our community to this unique resource.” Ruth Ogembo, Teen BLOCK Manager, Lowell Community Health Center added, “We are thrilled to serve as a partner on the Active Trails Grant with Lowell National Historical Park. The Discover Lowell's Urban Trails initiative will provide additional opportunities for our youth to explore their great city!"
Activities developed for and targeted to the Discover Lowell’s Urban Trails partners will encourage park neighbors to discover and explore its canalway trails in a variety of new ways. Activities will be developed with partners to meet shared program goals and interest. Products developed by participants and partners, such as exhibits, blogs, printed media, and events will be offered to all park visitors.