Developed open space for families, in the dense urban environment that is Lawrence, is a rare commodity. That is why, from the beginning, the North Common “Reviviendo” strategy targeted vacant lots and Brownfield for redevelopment into parks and playgrounds.
Since 2002, with our partner Groundwork Lawrence, we have now developed almost 3 acres of passive parks, playgrounds and community gardens in the North Common. These spaces are now contributing to the quality of life of families and children.
In 2000, as the new LCW was getting off the ground, we recognized that we needed robust community partners to enact the ambitious “Reviviendo Vision” for the North Common. With funds from then Fleet Bank, LCW provided support to Groundwork Lawrence, then a project of the Merrimack River Watershed Council, to establish itself as an independent non-profit organization. Groundwork Lawrence is open space preservation, design and development organization that is a part of an international “Groundwork’s” network of groups working in urban areas in the US and the UK. In a short 5 years, under the leadership of 3 outstanding women, Marianne Paley, Maggie Super-Church, and now Kate O’Brien. Groundwork Lawrence has emerged as the flagship Groundwork entity in the United States. Among their innovations has been the use of the “covenant not to sue” provision with the Mass State’s Attorney General that provides prior owners of Brownfield long term legal protection if they contribute to the clean up and development of contaminated land.
Through an extraordinary partnership, LCW and Groundwork Lawrence have worked side by side to tackle some of the toughest land use issues in the city, turning vacant land, Brownfield, and long neglected alleyways into developed open green space.
Here are some of our major accomplishments: