Brian's blog

2nd Annual Ellen Swallows Richard Lecture - October 12

The Ellen Swallow Richards (ESR) Lecture, held annually in Lawrence, Massachusetts, promotes women’s full access to science and engineering disciplines as well as ongoing efforts to solve environmental problems with insights from those disciplines.  Both concerns were quite important to Richards, the first female student admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (earning a B.S.

Green Team Summer 2017 Newsletter

So Fresh harvesting onions.7.21.17.jpgAfter 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.

Groundwork brings "Mountains to Main Street" to Lawrence

IMG_2731.JPGIn 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 sy stem, 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

GROUNDWORK LAWRENCE HOSTS BANK OF AMERICA FOR CHECK PRESENTATION AT GWL FARMERS MARKET

IMG_4829 (1).JPGOn 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.

MA Attorney General Visits Lawrence!

OIMG_4749_0.JPGn 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.

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!

Half the Grain and Half the Hay

Half the grain, And half the hay, Must still remain, On Candlemas day.

T3.jpgThat might be a strange (and from a quick Google search) rarely-quoted rhyming quatrain. Candlemas Day, a Christian holiday that falls between Christmas and Easter, has largely been shadowed by a furrier holiday here in the United States. While it might be strange for a Lawrence organization to bring up a holiday more popularly celebrated in the Keystone State, or even to reference this old English holiday, it held an important spot in early colonial American agricultural society.

Candlemas Day, or February 2nd, marked when farmers would look at their stores and make sure they had at least half of their supplies (e.g. grain and hay) to ensure they would survive to harvest.

With more than a few advances in preservation (namely refrigeration), as well as grocery stores, contemporaries of our time aren’t really bound by this logic. However, with the Urban Farm at Costello, we find that February 2nd is a great time for us to evaluate our planting plans, as well as look at ways we can preserve and extend our growing season. 

Green Team Visits Eagle Eye Institute

Eagle Eye Shelter.JPGOn Saturday, November 5th, the Green Team traveled out to Eagle Eye Institute in Peru, Massachusetts. Green Team walked a mile to what seemed like an ordinary work site. Then, they were separated into two groups, one which was building a shelter while the others were building a bench; all while using the materials around them. In the shelter group, they used fallen trees and branches.

Groundwork USA Youth Summit at Grand Canyon

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The annual Groundwork USA Youth Summit was recently held at the Grand Canyon, AZ on September 28 - October 2. Groundwork Lawrence Education Program Director Stephanie Cross shares her insights:

Groundwork Voices From Yellowstone: Juana Lopez

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The hike up Yellowstone’s Specimen Ridge from the Crystal Creek trailhead is challenging for even experienced hikers. The steep sandy slope makes the journey difficult, but the coveted views of petrified trees against the backdrop of a deep, wide valley filled with bison are definitely worth the arduous trek. Carrying tools and heavy metal signs to guide tourists away from eroded social trails certainly adds to the challenge, as does digging post holes into the rocky outcrop, but one worker seems to move at twice the pace of others. At 4’10”, Juana Lopez, 16, remains a dynamo of energy the whole work day, scrambling around others as the call goes out for “pick-mattocks” or “shovelers!”

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