Pawtucket Farm Wildlife Sanctuary is a 20-acre productive landscape in Lowell, Massachusetts that has long provided Christmas trees and produce to the community. Mass Audubon, Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, and Mill City Grows have partnered to protect Pawtucket Farm. The vision is to establish an urban wildlife sanctuary, farm, and education center for the community of Lowell.
The partnership enlisted Agency along with architecture partner Marie Sorensen of Sorensen Partners to develop a framework plan to articulate this vision with design and translate it into tangible actions. The project included a robust community engagement process, including six in-person Community Listening Sessions in Lowell, and three virtual focus groups with research and technical experts. Understanding that nearly half of Lowell’s community speaks languages other than English, focused Listening Sessions were held in the predominant Lowell languages, including Khmer, Portuguese, and Spanish. These sessions created space for all community members to provide feedback and enriched the design’s approach to accessibility and cultural relevance.
The final Framework Plan includes a schematic design based on four main principles: accessibility, growing space, education and recreation, and ecological sanctuary. Working alongside Sorensen Partners, the plan proposes a system of ecologically mindful, culturally connected, multi-lingual and multi-generational spaces. This includes indoor/outdoor programming, community and market gardens, trails, and learning opportunities for the Lowell community regardless of physical ability or socioeconomic background.Project Images