“CHOOSE YOUR BIKE ADVENTURE” WITH MILL CITY GROWS & THE BIKE CONNECTOR ON SATURDAY, JUNE 25

“CHOOSE YOUR BIKE ADVENTURE” WITH MILL CITY GROWS & THE BIKE CONNECTOR ON SATURDAY, JUNE 25

“CHOOSE YOUR BIKE ADVENTURE” WITH MILL CITY GROWS AND TOUR LOWELL’S GROWING SPACES BY BICYCLE ON SATURDAY, JUNE 25, FROM 1PM-3PM

Self-guided bicycle tours start at North Common Community Garden and include bike tune-ups with The Bike Connector

[LOWELL, MA] – Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG) is partnering with The Bike Connector for “Choose Your Own Bike Adventure,” an afternoon of self-guided bicycle tours of Lowell’s gardens, farms, and urban agricultural spaces in commemoration of MCG’s 10th Anniversary. The event takes place from 1pm-3pm and starts at North Common Community Garden, 465 Fletcher Street in Lowell. Attendees are invited to bring their bicycles and visit with volunteers from The Bike Connector who will be on site to help with bicycle tune-ups and bike repair questions. Tour maps featuring bike routes created for different cycling levels will be available, and complimentary snacks will be provided by Golden Girl Granola. Attendees must provide their own bicycles, bring water for hydration, and should wear good-fitting helmets. The event is free and open to the public. Event details are available at MillCityGrows.org and on the Facebook event page. For more information, please contact Enrique Vargas at Enrique@millcitygrows.org or call 978-455-2620.

The self-guided bicycle tours will include stops at the following spaces:

Mill City Grows staff and volunteers will be stationed at each urban agricultural tour site to answer questions and share information. 

Mill City Grows’ “Choose Your Bike Adventure” is one of 10 signature events in 2022 throughout the City of Lowell commemorating MCG’s 10-Year Anniversary. Mill City Grows started as a single community garden in Lowell’s Rotary Park in the Back Central neighborhood. After a decade of working with residents, businesses, and city officials, MCG now manages 24 school and community gardens, more than five acres of Urban Farm land, and a range of food distribution and food education programs that engage over 15,000 residents per year. Mill City Grows is committed to ensuring that local foods, from our own urban farms and sourced from other regional growers, is accessible to residents of all income levels. 

MCG’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is made possible with the generosity of Mill City Grows’ 10th Anniversary Event Sponsors: Bank of America, Nancy L. Donahue, Jim Waldo & Susan Mitchell, Plenus Group, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Microdesk, Verizon Foundation, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, and Enterprise Bank. Additional support is provided by the Mass Cultural Council. MCG is a recipient of the Cummings Foundation $25 Million Grant Program. 

 

About Mill City Grows

For the past 10 years, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS ANNUAL SPRING PLANT SALE ON SATURDAY, MAY 21, AT UML’s RIST URBAN AGRICULTURE FARM

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS ANNUAL SPRING PLANT SALE ON SATURDAY, MAY 21, AT UML’s RIST URBAN AGRICULTURE FARM

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS ANNUAL SPRING PLANT SALE ON SATURDAY, MAY 21, AT UMASS LOWELL’S RIST URBAN AGRICULTURE FARM

 

Dozens of locally grown plant varieties will be available for sale, including flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit!

 

[LOWELL, MA] – Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows will host its Annual Spring Plant Sale outdoors on Saturday, May 21, from 10am to 2pm, at UMass Lowell’s Rist Urban Agriculture Farm at 91 Pawtucket Street. An abundant variety of Lowell-grown plants – herbs, vegetables, flowers, and fruit – will be available for sale at this free, public event presented as part of Mill City Grows’ 10th Anniversary Celebration. The Spring Plant Sale will accept cash, debit, and credit, and SNAP/HIP will be accepted as payment for fruit and vegetable plants. Masking and physical distancing is strongly encouraged. All proceeds from the event will benefit Mill City Grows programs providing food access and education for residents of Lowell. Event details are available at MillCityGrows.org or by calling 978-455-2620.

All the plants available at the sale, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, kale, leafy greens, basil, cilantro, parsley, herbs, and flowers, were seeded and nurtured by Mill City Grows at the Rist Urban Agriculture Farm, the location of the Spring Plant Sale. The 1,800 square foot greenhouse on the farm site was built in 2017 in partnership between UMass Lowell’s Office of Sustainability and Mill City Grows, and operates year-round. 

Mill City Grows’ Spring Plant Sale is one of 10 signature events throughout the City of Lowell commemorating MCG’s 10-Year Anniversary. Mill City Grows started as a single community garden in Lowell’s Rotary Park. After a decade of working with residents, businesses, and city officials, MCG now manages 24 school and community gardens, more than five acres of Urban Farm land, and a range of food distribution and food education programs that engage over 15,000 residents per year. Mill City Grows is committed to ensuring that local foods, from our own urban farms and sourced from other regional growers, is accessible to residents of all income levels. 

For details on Mill City Grows’ Spring Plant Sale, please contact Maddie Grant at Maddie@millcitygrows.org or call 978-455-2620. The Spring Plant Sale and MCG’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is made possible with the generosity of Mill City Grows’ 10th Anniversary Event Sponsors: Nancy L Donahue, Jim Waldo & Susan Mitchell, Plenus Group, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Microdesk, Verizon Foundation, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, and Enterprise Bank. Additional support is provided by the Mass Cultural Council. MCG is a recipient of the Cummings Foundation $25 Million Grant Program. 

 

About Mill City Grows

For the past 10 years, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS FREE VIRTUAL DISCUSSION ON THE 2022 LOWELL COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT REPORT ON APRIL 21 @ 4PM EDT

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS FREE VIRTUAL DISCUSSION ON THE 2022 LOWELL COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT REPORT ON APRIL 21 @ 4PM EDT

 

MILL CITY GROWS HOSTS FREE VIRTUAL GUEST PANEL DISCUSSION ON THE 2022 LOWELL COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT REPORT, APRIL 21 AT 4PM EDT

 

The complete 2022 Lowell Community Food Assessment Report is now available to the public at MillCityGrows.org.

 

[LOWELL, MA] – Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG) will host a free Virtual Guest Panel Discussion on Thursday, April 21 at 4pm EDT, to present an in-depth review of the newly released 2022 Lowell Community Food Assessment (CFA) report. Registration for the Guest Panel Discussion is now open at MillCityGrows.org, and the event is free and open to the public. The Lowell CFA was a collaborative project implemented by Mill City Grows with funding, support, and participation of the REACH LoWELL initiative and the Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA). More than 1,000 Lowell residents were interviewed for the assessment, which evaluated the city’s food system, determined the food security of Lowell residents, and proposed solutions to barriers and challenges to accessing food.

 

Event updates will be posted on the Lowell CFA Guest Panel Discussion Facebook Event Page and at MillCityGrows.org.

 

The Lowell CFA Guest Panel Discussion will feature five panelists – Solimar Berrios, Jeanmerli Gonzalez, Tara Hong, Ali Jacobs, and Edith Parekh – and will be moderated by Mill City Grows Co-founder, Francey Slater. Together, they will share and expand on the results of the CFA and how this information will impact and guide citywide efforts to increase healthy food access.

 

Mill City Grows’ Lowell Community Food Assessment Guest Panel Discussion is the second of 10 signature events throughout the City of Lowell commemorating MCG’s 10-Year Anniversary. Mill City Grows started as a single community garden at Rotary Club Park in Lowell’s Back Central neighborhood. After a decade of working with residents, businesses, and city officials, MCG now manages 24 school and community gardens, more than five acres of urban farmland, and a range of food distribution and food education programs that engage over 15,000 residents per year. Mill City Grows is committed to ensuring that local foods, from our own urban farms and sourced from other regional growers, is accessible to residents of all income levels.

 

MCG’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is made possible by the generosity of Mill City Grows’ 2022 Annual Sponsors: Nancy L Donahue, Plenus Group, Inc., Microdesk, the Verizon Foundation. Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, and Enterprise Bank. Additional support provided by Community Business Sponsors: Market Basket, Golden Girl Granola, Alpine Butcher, and Red Antler Apothecary. MCG is a recipient of the Cummings Foundation $25 Million Grant Program.

 

For more information and to view Mill City Grows’ 10th Anniversary Event Series lineup, please visit MillCityGrows.org/10th-anniversary-events.

About Mill City Grows

For the past 10 years, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

MILL CITY GROWS LAUNCHES 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH FREE COMMUNITY SEED SWAP

MILL CITY GROWS LAUNCHES 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH FREE COMMUNITY SEED SWAP

MILL CITY GROWS LAUNCHES 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH FREE COMMUNITY SEED SWAP ON SATURDAY, MARCH 19, FROM 10AM TO 1PM

MCG’s “10 Events Celebrating 10 Years”  series commemorates the organization’s milestone anniversary in 2022

[LOWELL, MA] – Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG) will host its Annual Seed Swap in person and outdoors on Saturday, March 19, from 10am to 1pm, in the parking lot at 19 Hall Street in Lowell. Event attendees are invited to select from and take home a variety of flower, fruit, herb, and vegetable seeds for their personal, school, or community gardens. The event is free and open to the public, and there is no cost for seeds. Attendees are welcome to bring their own saved seeds to share, but this is not necessary for participation. For the additional safety of the community, all staff and attendees are required to wear masks and be respectful of personal space. In case of inclement weather, Seed Swap will be moved to Saturday, April 9, from 10am to 1pm, at the same location. Event updates will be posted on the 2022 Seed Swap Facebook Event and at MillCityGrows.org.

Mill City Grows’ Seed Swap is the first of 10 signature events throughout the City of Lowell commemorating MCG’s 10-Year Anniversary. Mill City Grows started as a single community garden in Lowell’s Rotary Park. After a decade of working with residents, businesses, and city officials, MCG now manages 24 school and community gardens, more than five acres of Urban Farm land, and a range of food distribution and food education programs that engage over 15,000 residents per year. Mill City Grows is committed to ensuring that local foods, from our own urban farms and sourced from other regional growers, is accessible to residents of all income levels. 


For more information and to view Mill City Grows’ 10th Anniversary Event Series lineup, please visit MillCityGrows.org/10th-anniversary-events.

The Annual Seed Swap and MCG’s 10th Anniversary Celebration is made possible by the generosity of Mill City Grows’ 2022 Annual Sponsors: Nancy L Donahue, Microdesk, Plenus Group, Inc., and Verizon Foundation. MCG is a recipient of the Cummings Foundation $25 Million Grant Program.

About Mill City Grows

For the past 10 years, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

A NEW FUTURE FOR ROLLIE’S FARM IN LOWELL

A NEW FUTURE FOR ROLLIE’S FARM IN LOWELL

LOCAL LAND TRUSTS AND FOOD JUSTICE ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCE PLANS TO PRESERVE HISTORIC LOWELL FARM

Contacts:

Jane Calvin, Executive Director – Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust
jcalvin@LowellLandTrust.org
978-934-0030
www.LowellLandTrust.org

 

Bob Wilber, Director of Land Conservation Mass Audubon
bwilber@massaudubon.org
781-925-2155
www.massaudubon.org

 

Jessica Wilson, Executive Director – Mill City Grows
jessica@MillCityGrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

Lowell’s “Rollie’s Farm” slated to become a wildlife sanctuary and premiere site for urban agriculture and environmental education. 

[LOWELL, MA] – Three organizations — Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, Mass Audubon, and Mill City Grows — are working in partnership to protect a historic Lowell farm, owned by the Perron family, and known locally as Rollie’s Farm. The farm is located at 1413 and 1415 Varnum Avenue. The intent of the partnership is to create an urban wildlife sanctuary and education center dedicated to local agricultural and community-based environmental education.  

The two Varnum Avenue parcels have been operated for years as a Christmas tree farm. When acquired, the parcels, comprising ~20 acres, will be managed in perpetuity as protected conservation land, open to the public. Construction of an energy efficient green building, with office and program space for the three partner organizations, is planned on the site. 

Mass Audubon and the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LP&CT) will acquire these parcels which will have conservation restrictions placed on them. Both Mass Audubon and LP&CT are nationally accredited as land trusts committed to permanent land conservation and program excellence. 

Mill City Grows will establish a variety of programs on the space, including urban agriculture, community gardens, greenhouses, a food forest, farmer’s markets, and educational programming. 

“Establishing this community space will give Mill City Grows the opportunity to bring many of our food access and education programs to a single location, creating a way for people to envision and engage with all of the parts of a local food system, and intertwine them with excellent environmental education delivered by our partners. It’s a step towards greater food sovereignty for Lowell,” says Jessica Wilson, Executive Director of Mill City Grows. 

“This unique partnership provides the opportunity for community-based conservation on a larger scale, enabling us to impact more people close to home.  We’re excited to expand our programming and amplify our land conservation and environmental education programming for the greater Lowell community,” says Jane Calvin, Executive Director of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust.

“During the pandemic, it has become obvious to us all just how important nature is for our health and well-being, as well as for addressing the threats of climate change,” said David J. O’Neill, President of Mass Audubon. “Protecting and enhancing Rollie’s Farm is especially important as we focus on providing more green space and greater access to nature in urban communities—work that can only be done with the type of deep partnerships this important project represents.”

The uplands will provide woodland trails for recreation, a scenic overlook, a nature playscape for children, and a connection to the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsborough State Forest. These properties, combined, provide a critical corridor to the Merrimack River from the state forest. The protection of this land will provide benefits that expand beyond just the neighborhood of Pawtucketville and will benefit the city as a whole.  

 

About Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust

Since 1990, the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LP&CT) has provided conservation leadership in Lowell, Massachusetts. LP&CT was founded by residents with a vision to protect the natural resources upon which the city of Lowell was built. LP&CT is a nationally accredited land trust and focuses on creating community through conservation by providing programs that focus on four major areas: land protection, stewardship, environmental education, and special places. Join us for an upcoming program. Learn more at LowellLandtrust.org, or at Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.  

 

About Mass Audubon

Mass Audubon protects more than 40,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.

Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org

 

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

TAKE THE LOWELL COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT SURVEY

TAKE THE LOWELL COMMUNITY FOOD ASSESSMENT SURVEY

Mill City Grows, REACH LoWELL, and Greater Lowell Health Alliance are working together to analyze and strengthen Food Security & Healthy Food Access throughout Greater Lowell

[LOWELL, MA] – Mill City Grows, REACH LoWELL, and Greater Lowell Health Alliance have joined in partnership to create a Community Food Assessment Survey that is open to all City of Lowell residents. The ultimate goal of the Community Food Assessment is to increase Lowell residents’ access to nutritious, high-quality foods that are culturally connected and affordable. The public survey is completely confidential, and closes on September 30, 2021.

Multilingual versions of the survey can be accessed using this link and at MillCityGrows.org.

The Community Food Assessment Survey was created to gather important data on how residents shop, eat, select, and access food for themselves and their families. Survey results will help local nonprofits and city officials understand the problems related to food insecurity and how best to address, and solve, inequities within our local food system. Most importantly, residents can use the survey as a platform to demand better policies and programs to meet community food needs.

“The goal of the 2021 Lowell Community Food Assessment is to ensure that all voices in our community are heard, and that the information we have, and recommendations that come from our findings are rooted in racial equity and inclusiveness. A Steering Committee made of community members is ensuring that all of our decision making, and survey design reflects community voices,” said Ali Jacobs, Director of Programs at Mill City Grows, and Project Director for the CFA.

Mill City Grows, as a convening member of the Lowell Food Security Coalition, helped to conduct a similar survey in 2013. The resulting data showed that while residents were interested in eating more produce, they had difficulty accessing the products they wanted at affordable prices. Those findings drove the creation of Mill City Grows’ programs and partnerships throughout Lowell.

For questions about the Community Food Assessment Survey, please contact Mill City Grows Director of Programs Alison Jacobs at Ali@millcitygrows.org or call 978-455-2620.

 

About Mill City Grows

Since 2011, Mill City Grows (MCG) has worked towards food justice in Lowell, Massachusetts, using the following strategies and programs: education in and out of schools, supporting community leadership through community gardens, increasing urban agriculture through urban farming, implementing a mobile market, and empowering people to produce their own food. MCG infuses food production spaces with food education to support their belief that a community that understands how to grow, access, and prepare healthy food will have better quality of life and deeper investment in their local environment. Visit MillCityGrows.org to learn more, and follow MCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

About REACH LoWELL

REACH LoWELL is an initiative funded by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which focuses on effective racial and ethnic approaches to community health. REACH LoWELL seeks to eliminate disparities among the Southeast Asian and Hispanic/LatinX residents of Lowell, MA, with an emphasis on those who are at high risk of uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes. REACH LoWELL strategies include culturally tailored health promotion activities, systems change to increase physical activity and access to healthier foods in the community; and increased community-wide education, with the aim of increasing knowledge of health care systems.

 

About Greater Lowell Health Alliance

The Greater Lowell Health Alliance of the Community Health Network Area 10 (GLHA) is composed of healthcare providers, business leaders, educators, civic and community leaders with a common goal to help the Greater Lowell community identify and address its health and wellness priorities. The Greater Lowell Health Alliance was founded in 2006 through collaboration of the following partner organizations: Lowell General Hospital, Saints Medical Center, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Lowell Community Health Center, VNA of Greater Lowell, City of Lowell, and Lowell Public Schools. In 2008, the GLHA merged with the Community Health Network Area 10 (CHNA 10).

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Contact:
Katherine Davis, Mill City Grows Director of Development
Katherine@millcitygrows.org
978-455-2620
MillCityGrows.org

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