Dear Friend,

We are writing to alert you to our extreme concern that the actions of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration signal a complete shift in national funding priorities and how the proposed budget slashes decimate the funding of important national programs on which Groundwork relies: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Park Service (NPS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). We need your help. 
We currently have 5 AmeriCorps members, making up 25% of our staff. Our members teach in Lawrence schools, support community partnerships, grow food on our urban farm, and manage volunteers. President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts CNCS entirely, ending AmeriCorps, jeopardizing our ability to change places and change lives in Lawrence.
Budget cuts to HUD's Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and NEA directly limits our ability to hire youth. Each year, through Green Team and Urban Adventures, we hire more than 50 young people to steward our parks, provide summer programming, and grow food. The City utilizes CDBG funds to match grants to build new parks and redevelop open spaces. Without CDBG the Spicket River Greenway would still only be a dream. 
We use EPA funding to transform brownfields into safe, green spaces. Without funding from the EPA, we would not have the Ferrous Site, Manchester Street Park, Oxford Paper site, or Dr. Nina Scarito Park. Gutting the EPA's budget means they will be unable to curb future pollution and illegal dumping, creating more challenges for us to tackle with even less funding.

Through the USDA, Lawrence's low-income residents can use their SNAP benefits (food stamps) to purchase fresh, locally grown food. With the Groundwork Share-a-Shareâ„¢ we double these funds, making SNAP benefits go twice as far when used for community supported agriculture, or shopping at our farmers markets. These programs support local jobs and improve the health of our community. 
Our mission has been, and will always be, a commitment to environmental equity and the public health of Lawrence. Our programs are expanding outward, as we cross into Methuen, Haverhill, and Andover, following our rivers' paths.

Almost twenty years ago, Groundwork was created with support from NPS and EPA because of the environmental concerns and the history of disinvestment in Lawrence and the community's commitment to redeveloping the city. Our commitment continues, even as future government funding appears bleak.
You can help. You can make a difference today in Lawrence. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate for our parks, rivers and open spaces, for access to fresh food, for our youth. 


Heather McMann                      Sarah B. Young
Executive Director                     President