The Lowell Spindle City Corps: Service, Diversity, and Education
Working in partnership with Community Teamwork, Inc., Lowell National Historical Park offers opportunities for local high school youth to participate in the Trades Skills, Summer Maintenance and Community Action Team programs.
Trades Skills Program
Interns from local technical schools partner with LNHP maintenance employees in the painting, carpentry and electrical fields to develop skills in their chosen trades while working on historic preservation projects.
Vocational students from the Greater Lowell Regional Vocational Technical High School and Minute Man Regional Technical School participate in a job skills training program working on historic preservation projects in the park to develop skilled trades experience in carpentry, painting, electrical and HVAC.The students work alongside NPS skilled maintenance staff and receive additional training and development opportunities through exposure to NPS historic preservation and cultural resource management practices.
Trades Skills interns work on several park projects including painting railings throughout the park, the interior of the Kirk Street Agents House and the windows of the Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit.
The Trades Skills Program received the Lowell NHP 2014 Community Award for Student Excellence in Historic Preservation.Stacy Bezanson, the GLTHS Cooperative Education Director, Dan Hamel, Construction Cluster Technology Chairperson and Tim Duby, Painting and DesignInstructor, attended the park annual reception and shared how coveted the NPS coop positions are for the GLTHS students in painting, carpentry and electrical.
Summer Maintenance Program
SCC maintenance team members, dressed in the recognizable goldenrod t-shirts, paint fences along Dutton Street, cut weeds, remove brush, washed windows, and mulch sites throughout LNHP.LNHP staff depend on assistance from SCC members to set up and break down for the Lowell Folk Festival.SCC members provide approximately 1,000 hours of work towards festival prep and take down.
The summer maintenance team assisted with a trail management project with the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust and Mass Audubon.During this project they interacted with land stewards, learned about local wildlife, monitored eel traps on the Merrimack River and met with Representative Nikki Tsongas to share their experiences. Five youth attended a three-day financial literacy seminar hosted by Community Teamwork, Inc.
Community Action Team
During the summer of 2014 local high school and college students helped bring the stories of Lowell's past and present to life.Members researched, wrote and presented their own original vignettes.These short scenes included dialogue designed to engage park visitors in topics focusing on Lowell experiences, both past and present, such as life in the city, immigration, challenges and opportunities, and life as a teenager.The local youth were challenged to develop provocative historical and contemporary comparisons between youth experiences within the context of Lowell historically, as well as the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of Lowell today.
One of the many facets of the urban cultural park envisioned by Park founders is that Lowell National Historical Park reflects a "living laboratory" dedicated to exploring the social, cultural and economic lives of the people of Lowell.These students created pieces highlighting the long and varied history of Lowell.The scenes investigated the lives of Lowell citizens in the 19th, 20th, and 21st century.
Throughout the summer these young men and women grew as historians, researchers, interpreters and performers.For many of them this program was their first exposer to acting.Yet they quickly took on the challenge and performed before crowds throughout Lowell National Historical Park.By the end of the summer these students had developed skills that would aid them in the professional world, while engaging in meaningful dialogue and creating special memories for over 1,300 visitors to Lowell.