Blending Park and Community Values

LOWE Schoolgroup boarding the trolley
LOWE Schoolgroup boarding the trolley

NPS/David Byers

Lowell National Historical Park
Lowell National Historical Park has found a way to balance park and community values that leverages the full arsenal of NPS programs with local, state, and federal resources. Lowell's moniker, "the City is the Park and the Park is the City," describes the level of collaboration that has been embedded in Lowell since the park's establishment. Through this partnership, Lowell has attracted more than $1 billion in private investment and nearly 500 buildings have been restored with technical and/or financial assistance from the National Park Service over the park's 36-year history. The vast improvement in community pride and self-confidence is evident in the many initiatives that have revitalized this city—characteristics that were in short supply when the park was authorized by Congress in 1978. In addition to the preservation and rehabilitation of Lowell's infrastructure, programmatic partnerships in cultural heritage, education, and tourism have also been key to Lowell's economic development. Events co-produced by the Lowell Festival Foundation attract 100,000 –150,000 people each summer. The award-winning Tsongas Industrial Center and the Center for Lowell History, managed in collaboration with University of Massachusetts Lowell, host some 50,000 students annually and have been essential to the park's success in historic research and educational outreach.

Last updated: October 3, 2014