Youth Programs Division

“Trades Skills” Actively Engages Youth in Historic Preservation

Trades Skills students restoring toll sign at Lowell NHP

Trades Skills students restoring a canal toll sign at Francis Gate

Lowell NHP collection

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Step by Step
Also Promotes:
Next Generation Stewards
Year Accomplished:

Parents of skilled trade students at the Greater Lowell Vocational High School constantly call the Cooperative Education Placement Coordinator at home to request that their children be placed in the Lowell National Historical Park Trades Skills Program for their coop field experience.  Students in the Trades Skills Program engage in field-based historic preservation experiential learning opportunities working alongside NPS carpenters, painters, electricians and mechanics in park resources.  Part of the successful program formula is Rich Hansen, a recently converted from Pathways to permanent NPS Electrical Worker and a former Trades Skills coop student, who mentors coop trades students from his former high school.  

Program goals include providing hands on education opportunities in preservation trades and exploring NPS career opportunities.  Trades Skills Program students have restored historic toll signs viewed by visitors along the canals, preserved gatehouses, assisted with the installation of photovoltaic panels  on the Boott Mills, rebuilt engines in trolley cars, and repaired windows on historic boardinghouses.  The youth also engage with youth in other park divisions by attending trainings and enrichment sessions to broaden their understanding of how their stewardship efforts contribute to Lowell NHP, the NPS mission and their local community.