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Significant Progress Made on Concord River Greenway Project

Construction Begun, Film Nearly Complete

Chad Montrie, associate professor of history, has created a documentary film about the rich history of the Concord River that is nearly complete. The film is part of a larger effort to create a greenway along several miles of the river, and share its importance with residents, students, teachers and visitors to Lowell.

By Sheila Eppolito

The rich history of the Concord River is more accessible and exciting thanks to a close collaboration between the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust (LPCT), Sheila Kirschbaum and the Tsongas Industrial History Center (TIHC), the Lowell National Historical Parks (LNHP) and Chad Montrie, associate professor of history.

Construction on an accessible greenway on the Davidson and Lawrence Street ends of the project is complete, two in a series of educational signs describing the history of the river have been placed near the Middlesex Falls, an educational module developed by Montrie and colleagues from the LNHP and TIHC called “Classroom by the Concord” has been created and a documentary film is nearly complete.

Last month, Montrie and Kirschbaum received a grant for $159,999 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bring teachers through a variety of site-based explorations of the history of the Industrial Revolution next summer. Educators will tour the Lawrence Street end of the greenway, learn about the area’s history and review writings from mill girls. Then, they will travel to Concord, see a different section of the river, visit the Concord Bridge and study Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to chronicle the river’s significant social, economic and environmental history and share information with students, educators, residents and visitors to Lowell,” says Montrie.

Opening up the last two miles of the river will connect the city’s major public spaces, including Shedd and Rogers parks, and the collection of walkways developed by the LNHP.

Earlier funding for the Concord Greenway Project was provided through a Creative Economy grant from the UMass President’s office.

Construction is expected to be complete by 2011. For more information, visit