National Urban Wildlife Refuge

DSC_0638On Friday, November 9, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Regional Director Deborah Rocque joined Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Mayor William Samaras and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust Executive Director Jane Calvin to announce the designation of Lowell as an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership city.

DSC_0583Lowell is one of 29 cities across the country designated under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, which connects urban residents with the outdoors and engages youth in wildlife conservation in their communities.

The partnership was developed over the last four years by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff and the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, and aims to provide access to nearby public lands as well as conservation programming for residents. A main goal of the partnership is to restore the Concord River and its banks within the Concord River Greenway, providing stewardship opportunities for local residents and DSC_0600.jpgenvironmental education opportunities for youth. Students from Lowell have been visiting the Service’s Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury, Massachusetts as part of the refuge’s urban education program. At the same time, Service staff visit Lowell to engage youth in environmental education programs, as well as work with the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust to provide conservation stewardship opportunities monitoring an anadromous fish passageway at the Centennial Island Fish Ladder.

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