This year's amazing Eco-Art for the Glow Gala

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I want to thank the artists that submitted eco-art for this year's Annual Glow Gala and Fundraiser. All the submitted art was excellent and I know the jury had a hard time selecting the pieces to include for the silent auction. I want to especially thank and congratulate Rebecca Veilleux's students for doing wonderful eco-art projects. While we couldn't include all the pieces, we were impressed by the thoughtfulness, creativity and inspiration they exhibited. Rebecca is a Biology teacher in the Humanities and Leadership High School at Lawrence High and a Board member of GWL. Below are a few quotes from Rebecca and her students about the eco-art projects.

GWUSA Youth Summit in New Orleans

Lawrence Youth participate in Groundwork USA Youth Summit in New Orleans

Support GWL's youth members and programs at the Glow Gala, Dec. 10, 2009

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New Orleans, LA. November 13, 2009 - Two youth from the Groundwork Lawrence Green Team, a year-round environmental stewardship program that offers part-time, paid employment for 10 Lawrence high school students each year, joined an assortment of 80 youth, Groundwork Executive Directors, National Park Service staff, and youth Green Team leaders in New Orleans, Louisiana to tour the City, explore nature, take part in a service project, and to share experiences about their cities as the Groundwork program continues to grow across the country. Download the press release.

City of Lawrence FY11 Consolidated Plan CDBG and HOME Programs

The City of Lawrence, through its Community Development Department, will conduct Public Hearings and a Workshop regarding the development of the Consolidated Plan and the use of approximately $2.5 million in Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME grant funds available on or about July 1, 2010. Download English flyer(pdf).

La Ciudad de Lawrence, por medio de su Departamento de Desarrollo de la Comunidad, realizará Audiciones Públicas y un Taller con respecto al desarrollo del Plan Consolidado y el uso de aproximadamente $2.5 millones de fondos Federales para el Desarrollo de la Comunidad (CDBG) y subsidio HOME disponible alrededor de 1 julio de 2010. Más en español (pdf).

The City is soliciting proposals for Fiscal Year 11 CDBG funding. The December 8, 2009 Public Hearing will review the accomplishments of programs and projects receiving funding in the previous year, solicit ideas and recommendations for priorities in the new Consolidated Plan, and provide information on the CDBG funding for the upcoming year. The CDBG Workshop will explain the application process of for FY2011 CDBG funding. The hearings and workshops are fully accessible and open to all.

Completed applications must be received at the City of Lawrence Community Development Department no later than Monday, February 8, 2010 by 3:00 p.m.

Below is the schedule of 3 meetings related to the RFP process:

  • Public Hearing: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library (51 Lawrence Street)
  • CDBG Workshop:Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6-7:30 p.m. at Lawrence Heritage State Park (One Jackson Street)
  • Public Hearing and Presentations by Applicants: Thursday, February 18, 2010, 5-8:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library (51 Lawrence Street)

The City of Lawrence is in the process of developing a new five-year Consolidated Plan that will establish community goals and guide resource allocations. The Consolidated Plan is a document required by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). The Plan will cover the period 2010-2014. The Consolidated Plan serves as

  1. a planning document …which builds on a participatory process
  2. a submission for Federal funds;
  3. a strategy to be followed in carrying out HUD programs; and
  4. a management tool for assessing performance and tracking results.
  5. Complete the online survey.

    Individuals requiring Spanish translation or American Sign interpreters are asked to contact the office at (978) 620-3510 in advance of the meetings. Technical assistance in preparing your proposals will be available upon request.
    For more information contact the Community Development Department at 978.620.3510

LCW and Movement City Fundraiser-Friday wine tasting December 4

Support our friends and partners at Lawrence CommunityWorks!
This Wine Tastes Like What?
A Unique Evening of Wine and Laughs

To benefit Lawrence CommunityWorks and its Movement City Youth Network.

Friday December 4, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Jackson Kitchen Designs, Butcher Boy Marketplace.

Tickets are $30 and can be mailed to
Lawrence CommunityWorks
Our House Campus
168 Newbury Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

2010 CSA Registration Now Open for Returning CSA Members!

Groundwork Lawrence and Farmer Dave's are please to announce to opening of registration to returning CSA members! This year's CSA will continue to feature Farmer Dave's fabulous fresh produce as well as several new and exciting changes which have been made based on member feedback, including "choice-style" delivery, a longer CSA season (20 weeks, starting in mid-June!), new share sizes ("small" and "super family" in addition to "regular"), and winter shares available for November and December for the first time ever this 2010 season.

Read more about these changes on our CSA Program page. Returning members can download the 2010 registration form below, and registration will open for new members stay tuned! It's going to be another delicious season!

Download the 2010 registration form here:
PDF version
Microsoft Word version

Mid-June shares will likely include:

Arugula, lettuce, baby beets, radishes, snap peas, bok choi, cilantro, summer squashes, garlic scapes, chives, spinach and scallions.

Winter shares will likely include:

Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, celeriac, turnips, different winter squashes, spinach, winter greens, leeks, apples, cranberries, parsnips, and lettuce.


Workshops, conferences and outreach, oh my!

I have spent the past week traveling a bit and sharing Groundwork Lawrence and our experience as well as learning about placemaking at a workshop in New York City.


The workshop was titled "Streets as Places," and was one of several that the Project for Public Spaces organizes. PPS is a non-profit urban planning and design organization who works around the world helping people and communities improve parks, plazas, public squares and transportation infrastructure. The training was designed to encourage participants to think differently about how streets and public ways can create and enhance community. We focused on transit plazas or hubs, intersections in dense urban networks and how analysis tools as well as pilot projects are all important in creating places that people want to engage in. I love Lawrence's street network-we have a dense streetscape with many pedestrians. How can we encourage community through improvements in our streets? How can we focus street improvements on pedestrians-many young people-and their safety and community? How can we focus park improvements on creating community and responding to existing needs and future adaptation of our spaces?

Sunday, I attended the "Greening the City" Conference at Lesly University. The conference was organized by Mass Audubon and Lesley University at Porter Square in Cambridge. I spoke about Groundwork Lawrence and the Groundwork USA network with our sister trust, Groundwork Somerville. GWS spoke about their involvement in the community corridor planning for the extension of the Green Line (Boston T) into Somerville. We spoke on community involvement, outreach, and tools for successful partnerships and engagement.


Yesterday was the celebration of 20 years of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. MET has distributed over $17 million to municipalities and organizations to support, protect and enhance Massachusetts water resources. Did you know that purchasing one of their license plates directly impacts the work that they are able to do? You can buy a plate (for $40 for two years) online at the RMV. MET has supported GWL many times over the years in our alleyway LID project, our Green Team and other projects.

This weekend Rose, Heather, Kate and a few Green Team members will be attending the Groundwork USA Youth Summit and the 2009 Brownfields Conference in New Orleans, LA. The Brownfields Conference is the nation's largest conference focused on brownfield revitalization and economic development. Groundwork USA's Youth Summit will bring young people from Green Teams across the country to share their experiences from their communities and to develop leadership skills to bring back to their Team. Our crew attending will get to explore a Louisiana bayou, work with Groundwork New Orleans and other conference attendees in re-vegetating a school rebuilt after Katrina, and share and learn from other youth.

Dear Friends

"Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." - Theodore Roosevelt

Dear Friends,

It is in this spirit that I reach out to let you know of my decision to resign from my role as Executive Director of Groundwork Lawrence, where I've been truly blessed to have worked for the better part of the past seven years. As most of you know, I recently took on a new role for myself as mother to my son Owen; and as I am not one to do things half-heartedly, I've decided to pursue this new and exciting chapter in my life by devoting my time and undivided attention toward raising him, much the same way I've approached my work in Lawrence.

During my tenure at Groundwork, I've enjoyed the honor of meeting and working side by side with talented and dedicated colleagues, as well as numerous partners and friends like you. I've been fortunate to experience the satisfaction of helping transform decay into beauty, by seeing through to completion several projects with tangible results -- especially the ones that stand today as beautiful parks and gardens. I've also born witness to the power of people connecting with their neighbors, rolling up their sleeves, and getting things done together. Indeed, while it has been the hardest I've ever worked, my professional endeavors at Groundwork Lawrence have been the most satisfying of my career. Without a doubt, it is and has most certainly been work worth doing.

Because the undertaking of community development is never done, I take heart in the fact that the mission and goals of Groundwork Lawrence live on, the struggle to raise and leverage funds for our projects and programs will continue, the doors will remain open, and the work worth doing will keep emerging and evolving. To continue steering the ship, particularly as our economy struggles to right itself, it is with great pleasure and pride that I introduce to you Groundwork Lawrence's new Executive Director, a talented and thoughtful woman who has also been my esteemed colleague and friend for four years, Heather McMann. Heather is someone many of you already know and have worked with, but in case you didn't know, she has long been the glue holding together the operations at Groundwork Lawrence! I trust you will enjoy working with her and the rest of our team as much as I have over the years, and I encourage you to get to know her better if you haven't already.

I hope to see you at Glow on December 10 (more details below). Please stay in touch, either via LinkedIn, or by reaching out through the Groundwork family. My love for Lawrence and this powerhouse of an organization remains strong, as I hope yours does, too.

With my sincerest gratitude,
Kate (Gormly) O'Brien

Last day of 2009 Farmers Market

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It has been a great 2009 Farmers Market Season and we're a long way from the warmth of this summer market picture! Thank you to all of our vendors (food, craft, and information) and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Visit the Market today to stock up on those fall storage crops like carrots, potatoes, squash and onions. There are pumpkins too-just in time for Halloween!

Thank you to the Two Ten Footwear Foundation

IMG_9582Small crew at Reviviendo Playground

Last Thursday, Oct. 22nd employees from local shoe companies came together for the New England Two Ten Foundation Day of Service.

Close to 150 employees from New Balance, Clarks, Puma, Converse, and came to Lawrence for the day to work on service projects at Den Rock Park, Jacques Pond, the Greater Lawrence Boating Program, Lawrence History Center and in other parks around the city. The group did an amazing job planting bulbs, blazing trails at Den Rock, raking leaves, pulling invasive plants at Jacques Pond, moving historic documents and picking up litter. I think my favorite comment was when a regular visitor to the Boathouse asked if the group had been volunteering for a full week, when they had only been working one hour! The volunteers were fantastic - really happy to work and fantastic at it. When you see bulbs come up in the spring at Den Rock, Reviviendo and the Boathouse think of them!

IMG_9585Lunch at the Abe Bashara Boathouse

Each year GWL manages multiple service events in the City in partnership with local schools, businesses and nonprofits. Our next large scale volunteer event will be to celebrate Earth Day in April! We also are happy to provide bags and gloves for smaller groups who are interested in doing a park clean-up in their neighborhood. We also occasionally need help in the office and will probably need some volunteers for Glow. Contact Kathrynhref=> at the office if you are interested in helping out.