A number of laws and policies guide the management of the park, starting with the enabling legislation that created Lowell. We have included this early legislation here, along with selected federal regulations. More information about the policies that guide the National Park Service as a whole is available through the NPS Office of Policy website.
Enabling Legislation and Public Laws
The Park's enabling legislation can be read in 16USC 410cc. This articulates the original significance, role, and scope of the Park.
Lowell National Historical Park was established on June 5th, 1978 via Public Law 95-290. Congress passed H.R.11662 to create the Lowell National Historical Park, Historic Preservation District, and Preservation Commission.
President Jimmy Carter's remarks upon signing H.R.11662
Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service (NPS) determines that the activities involved will not impair park values and resources. View detailed permit information to download an application.
Firearms in National Parks
The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010. Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws.
The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting. Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances.
For more information about Massachusetts firearms laws, please visit the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Security website.
Park rangers enforce a number of federal regulations in the park, including the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36 (36 CFR), and the United States Code, Titles 16, 18 and 21.
Superintendent's Compendium (updated December 2019)
The Superintendent's Compendium is a compilation of rules, regulations, and policies that apply specifically to Lowell National Historical Park. It includes regulations and policies on hours of operation, park closures, permits, fishing, camping, swimming, pets, smoking, First Amendment demonstrations, and other recreational activities. Updates in August 2014 incorporated new rules on the use of unmanned aircraft (ie, drones) in the park.