Lowell, MA – Students from Lowell High School will present the first Environmental Youth Conference, hosted this Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Lowell High School’s Freshman Academy.  The students are part of an after-school program run in in partnership with Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust and Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.  The program, called TREES (Teens Representing Environmental Excellency and Stewardship), includes an ambitious group of young people who wanted to find out what other high school environmental clubs in the Merrimack River Watershed and the SuAsCo (Sudbury, Assabet and Concord rivers) Watershed have been doing to protect our shared environment.  “We felt that a conference would be the best setting, giving students an opportunity to meet, share their work, and learn more about our watershed,” said Sarah Silva, a Lowell High senior.  And so, the Lowell High School Environmental Youth Conference was born.

The conference focuses on sharing student projects, but will also include four rotating workshops covering topics including water quality, watershed pollution, urban outdoor spaces, and environmentally-related careers.  Another student group from the Compass program, WILD, run by LHS teacher Donna Newcomb, will be leading the workshop on urban outdoor spaces, and professionals from the area are generously donating their time to speak on the environmental career panel.  Groups that will be in attendance include: Concord Carlisle High School Environmental Field Studies Club, Groundworks Lawrence Green Team, Maynard High School Green Committee, LHS Compass Environmental Adventures, and Girls Go Green from YWCA Lowell.

TREES was founded by a group of students who participated in the LHS Compass program, a 21st-Century after-school program for freshman. Hoping to continue environmental service projects after their freshman year, the group continued to meet weekly after-school. Since their founding, these teens have started a recycling program at the Freshman Academy, raised threatened Blandings turtles, designed a project to promote Lowell’s parks, and volunteered monthly at a food pantry. 

This conference is partially funded by the SuAsCo Wild and Scenic Rivers Community Grant Program.

The Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LP&CT) is a private, non-profit land trust located in Lowell, Massachusetts that was founded in 1990.  LP&CT provides conservation leadership and programs which focus on four major areas: land protection, stewardship, environmental education, and special places.  LP&CT has a dedicated board of directors, a small staff, and over 300 volunteers who assist us in meeting our mission and stewarding our properties.  Annually, we offer over 40 programs to people of all ages, including after-school programming for urban youth, natural history programs, historic preservation initiatives, park stewardship, and tree-planting projects.  Check out our calendar of events for upcoming programs!