A Day on the Farm

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As one of Groundwork Lawrence’s newest team members as an intern from Merrimack College, I have learned that the organization wastes little time in fully embracing you into the Groundwork family, including diving right into their extensive programming. My name is Paige Sorensen and I am a junior at Merrimack College pursuing an Environmental Studies & Sustainability degree. I began my work with GWL this September, and since then have actively participated in many different programs, worked with numerous GWL employees, and ultimately have felt at home when I walk through the doors. Although it is challenging to choose a favorite area of Groundwork, it is safe to say that I have enjoyed working at Costello Urban Farm above all else – so much so that I decided to bring the Merrimack Women’s Ice Hockey Team to share in two service days.

As a member of the team myself, I understand the dynamic that goes into being a contributing member and the work ethic that is required of each individual. On Sunday, October 15th, ten members of our team brought that exact mentality to Costello. Even though many women on the team had never held a garden tool before stepping foot into the farm that sunny morning, they all left with the same sense of accomplishment, appreciation, and acceptance that I feel at Groundwork on a daily basis. That morning, we assisted the Groundwork team in harvesting over sixty pounds of cherry tomatoes and onions and prepared the field for winter. We removed and composted the tomato plants along with the invading weeds. Finally, we cleared the field of tomato stakes, twine, and debris.

The response from the Merrimack Women’s Hockey Team was incredible. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting out of our comfort zones and contributing to something larger than ourselves in order to assist the Groundwork Lawrence team with much-needed work. Luckily, the remaining half of the team had a service day on October 29th and was able to experience similar feelings of value while beginning to understand the necessity for community involvement and service. I am very appreciative to work in an environment where the family atmosphere is extended to include my other family, and, that they both learned something from one another that day.

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Green Team Summer 2017 Newsletter

 

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After a successful seven weeks which included trips to the White Mountains and Yellowstone National Park, trail work with the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS), helping prepare and coordinating the Greenway 5K, growing food at Costello, stewarding parks across Lawrence, especially Ferrous, Den Rock, and those along the Spicket River Greenway, and so much more - Summer 2017's Green Team has concluded!

The 30 Green Team Members and 6 Green Team Leaders were phenomenal. They rose to every occasion and challenge in making Lawrence and the surrounding community greener, cleaner, and healthier. We are so proud of what they were able to accomplish, and we encourage you to read about it in their Summer 2017 Green Team Newsletter.

This newsletter, written and compiled by the Green Team leaders, shares the stories and successes of Green Team’s summer 2017 activities and service projects. Comprised of three groups, So Fresh, So Green Den Rock, and So Green Ferrous, 30 high schoolers from Lawrence worked and served for seven weeks in and around the city.
 

"Mountains to Main Street" in Lawrence

 

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In late August, after most of Groundwork Lawrence’s summer youth programming had wrapped up, our own DOI/VISTA AmeriCorps Member, Eric Lundquist, wrapped up his own summer project by hanging up a beautiful banner along a Groundwork office wall. It’s only a temporary home, and it’s going to see some travel in the future. This is the culmination of a summer’s long journey with an intrepid group of Lawrence youth who explored their history, the national park system, and their identities as civic leaders as a part of the National Park Service’s Mountains to Mainstreet program.

Mountains To Mainstreet is an initiative from NPS designed to create ambassadors to the National Parks System that will bring a diversity of users into the parks by more honestly addressing their needs. Eric was invited to a trip to the Grand Tetons National Park to join workshops involving community members from all over the country. The workshop gave the attendees tools to formulate a project that will engage members of their community in a trip to a National Park, and Eric was thrilled to bring his plan back to Lawrence at the start of summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press Release: Groundwork Lawrence Hosts Bank of America for Check Presentation

On Wednesday, August 2, Groundwork Lawrence (GWL) hosted the Lawrence branch of Bank of America (BOA) at the GWL Farmers Market located on Lawrence’s Campagnone Common for a check presentation and tour. GWL staff members and youth were proud to accept a $15,000 check from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support healthy food access programs. BOA employees enjoyed walking through the market and visiting with GWL Green Team high school summer employees, farm and craft vendors and food tastings prepared by UMass Extension. Bank staff were also greeted by middle school aged youth participating in GWL’s Urban Adventures summer program and learned about finding and harvesting edible plants.
 

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation advances economic mobility by addressing issues related to workforce development and education, community development, and basic needs. The Foundation has supported GWL’s healthy food initiatives since 2007 and GWL is grateful to have their continued support this year. Alicia Verity, of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation says, “Groundwork Lawrence and Bank of America have partnered for many years to address the basic needs of the Lawrence community through their healthy food access programs, and ultimately, helping to set families and individuals on the pathways to economic mobility. We are proud to partner with them and look forward to continuing this crucial work together.”

MA Attorney General Visits Lawrence!

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On Tuesday, July 19th, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey visited Lawrence to meet the youth whose summer positions are funded by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) Healthy Summer Youth Jobs grant program. AG Healey was joined by local and state delegation and Mayor Daniel Rivera in her visit to congratulate the youth. This is Green Team's second year participating in the AGO's Healthy Summer Youth Jobs program, and were thrilled to meet with her and discuss their experiences in Lawrence working as a part of the Groundwork Lawrence team.

A huge thank you goes to the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club for hosting this event and the Attorney General's Office for funding such an important program. We look forward to inviting the Attorney General back to Lawrence to work one on one with Green Team in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2017 Garden Workshop Series Starting Soon!

The garden workshop series is back and better than ever! This summer, Groundwork Lawrence is offering three FREE workshops for aspiring gardeners. Generously supported by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Groundwork Lawrence invites both beginners and experts to learn how to grow healthy, fresh food in their own backyard! Topics covered in the series include: How to Start a GardenStarting Seeds, and Soil & Compost, and all are free!

Public Meeting for Open Space Plan

Please join us to review the plan's draft goals and the action plan that will guide the city's investments in parks and open spaces over the next seven years.

Por favor únase a nosotros para revisar el borrador de las metas del plan y el plan de acción que guiará las inversiones de la ciudad en los parques y
espacios abiertos durante los próximos siete años.

Wednesday, May 17th • Miércoles 17 de Mayo
6:30 - 8 pm
Lawrence Public Library, 51 Lawrence Street, Lawrence

Open Space & Recreation Plan Public Meeting this Wednesday March 1st

Please join us for the Open Space & Recreation Plan Public Meeting this Wednesday March 1st

We will present preliminary findings from the survey and take some time to discuss our action plan and some recommendations. We would love to hear your thoughts! What should be our priorities, goals and objectives for the next 7 years?

We will meet at the Lawrence Public Library at 51 Lawrence Street from 6:30 - 8 pm