The Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park formed in 1999 to support the Park and its activities.
The Friends of Lawrence Heritage State Park formed in 1999 to support the Park and its activities. The principal founding member was Mary Girouard, a long-time volunteer at the Park as well as a long-time member of the Park's Advisory Board. The first President was Jonas Stundza, another experienced Park volunteer and avid local historian. We quickly became a 501c3 non-profit corporation.
The Friends first service to the Park was to act as a fiscal agent, receiving grant funds to support Park programs. Over time the Friends have gradually increased our activity to the point that we now conduct or support several events per year, as well as raising money to support Park maintenance and improvements. The Friends elect Officers and other Board members who meet monthly, and hold an annual meeting in the Fall.
The Friends keep membership fees low, and have approximately 75 members. If you appreciate the Park, and the work the Friends do to support it, please consider joining. Friends members are kept up-to-date on events by mail or email notices.
Lawrence Heritage State Park opened to the public in 1986. As a part of the state's system of Heritage Parks, it has a broad mission: to preserve and reuse historic structures in the city: to celebrate local history and culture; to offer educational and cultural programming; to provide a community meeting space; to provide recreational green space in the city; to offer these amenities to Lawrencians and to visitors, and by doing all of the above, to be a catalyst for the city's revitalization.
Starting with the Visitor Center in an original mill worker boardinghouse, the Park has grown to include Visitor Center Park, the North Canal Walkway, Pemberton Park, Riverfront Park and the Bashara Boathouse.
The Park is a unit of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, successor to the Department of Environmental Management, under which the Heritage Parks were created.