Lowell Great Brook Planning Unit

Resource Management Plan

The Lowell/Great Brook Planning Unit contains a diversity of DCR properties in northeastern Massachusetts that provide visitors with a wide variety of experiences. Great Brook Farm State Park includes a working dairy farm with a “smart” barn, over 20 miles of trails, and a cross-country ski center, providing year-round recreational opportunities. Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsborough State Forest is aprimarily wooded, 1,100-acre property, providing over 30 miles of trails for recreational opportunities and respite from the city. Lowell Heritage State Park includes riverside parklands, 19th century canals,and historic structures managed in partnership with the National Park Service and the City. Several smaller facilities in Carlisle and Billerica are also included in this planning unit, ranging from the 201-acre Warren H. Manning State Forest, which has a spray deck for summer use, to the 11-acre Governor Thomas Dudley Park, along with the small forested blocks of Carlisle State Forest and Billerica State Forest that provide valuable wildlife habitat in this densely populated region.

Lowell Great Brook Planning Unit

Resource Management Plans (RMPs) are working documents that consider the past, present, and future of a property. They draw on readily available, existing information to provide an inventory and assessment of existing conditions and activities, enabling the DCR to establish guidelines for future management. Results of this planning process include guidance for short and long-term management of properties and identification of priorities for capital and operating budgets. An RMP helps the agency achieve a sustainable balance between the conservation of important natural and cultural resources and the provision of quality outdoor recreation opportunities.

Public input is an important component of the RMP process, providing a forum for communication and cooperation with park visitors, partners, and surrounding communities, and ensuring transparency in the DCR’s stewardship efforts. An initial public meeting on the Lowell/Great Brook Planning Unit was held on July 23, 2012, to present information about the DCR’s resource management planning process and hear public comments on issues that should be addressed in the RMP.

Further comments should be sent by e-mail to dcr.updates@state.ma.us (please note “Lowell/Great Brook RMP” in the subject line) or by U.S. mail to the Office of Public Outreach, Department of Conservation and Recreation, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114. Please note that public comments received by the DCR will be posted in their entirety to the DCR website, and that personal information will not be redacted. Questions about the RMP can be directed to the above-mentioned email or mailing address or to the DCR Updates phone line at 617-626-4974.