Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
4 minutes, 30 seconds

Did you know that wildlife is present in urban settings, and not just remote forests? Join Ranger Haillie and learn why urban environments can be beneficial for the survival of some species as well as some of the challenges they face along the way.


Exploring Nature in an Urban Park

Lowell National Historical Park is a proud division of the Naitonal Park Service, whose goal is and always has been "...conserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations." Because of its location in an urban downtown, Lowell has traditionally focused on its cultural connections and resources. However, even urban settings house a variety of complex ecosystems filled with interesting flora and fauna, and it is our duty and pleasure as a National Park to share these with you - in person and here, online.

People do not often think of cities and nature as being able to coexist, but in fact there are a variety of ways in which plants, animals, and humans have learned to adapt to the urban lifestyle. Exploring the walkways and waterways of Lowell, you can find all kinds of plants unique to the Northeast!

Lowell's history is inextricably linked to U.S. environmental history - and not always in very flattering ways. You can also explore how the same mills which drove the Industrial Revolution also began centuries of water and air pollution, and established trends that put nature last and human enterprise first. But just as Lowell has had its economic ups and downs, so too has Lowell's environment rebounded, such that its Natural Features and Ecosystems have started to return though the work is far from over.
A Great Blue Heron stands tall alongside one of Lowell's canals


All of Lowell's creatures by land, air and stream play an important role in keeping our environment happy and healthy!

A clump of purple loosestrife with the Merrimack River running in the background


Beautiful, enjoyable, and essential - plants are an important part of even a city's ecosystem!

A line of Lowell's mills pouring black smoke into the air with canals in the foreground

Environmental Factors

Throughout history and today, Lowell has struggled to keep its environment stable and protected.

Looking down the Merrimack Canal with trees lining either side during autumn

Natural Features and Ecosystems

Across Lowell there are different environments that you will encounter nature in, so we have highlighted a few here!

A ranger sits facing the camera holding up a jar with craft supplies scattered on the table below

Nature Observations Program

Full of great activities for all ages, the Nature Observations Program can help you become a nature observer in your own backyard!

Last updated: September 26, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

67 Kirk Street
Lowell , MA 01852


978 970-5000

Contact Us

Stay Connected