Proposed Fee Changes at Lowell National Historical Park

Lowell National Historical Park is seeking input from visitors, stakeholders, and community members regarding proposed changes to interpretive fees for canal boat tours and Tsongas Industrial History Center education programs. To submit a comment on the proposal outlined below, please visit The 30 day open comment concludes at 11:59 p.m. EST on January 10, 2015.

In the summer season, the park offers 1 1/2 - 2 hour boat tours through Lowells historic canal system. The boats are operated by U.S. Coast Guard-certified captains, and tours include trolley rides, locking demonstrations, and a guided experience presented by a park ranger. The last fee increase was 10 years ago, in 2004. The proposed fee increase will supplement the current costs of the boat tour operation.

The park is proposing to increase canal boat tour fees to $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for students and youths (6-15 years), and free for children 5 and under. The current rates are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $6 for youths. The fee increase is proposed to take effect for the 2015 summer season.

The Tsongas Industrial History Center (TIHC) is a unique partnership between the University of Massachusetts Lowell Graduate School of Education and Lowell National Historical Park. The Center presents a wide range of hands-on educational programs that provide students and teachers with full-day experiential learning opportunities in both history and science. Programs include on-site interactive workshops, on-site river or canal programs on the parks boats, and off-site programs that bring museum teachers into school classrooms. Fees for TIHC programs have not been increased since 2007, and the proposed fee increase will supplement the current costs of program operations.

The TIHC is proposing to increase fees for On-Site Workshops to $225 per class, On-Site Boat Programs to $280 per class, and Off-Site Programs to $150 per class (with additional same-day off-site programs at $100 per class). Current education program fees are $195 per class for all On-Site programs, and $110 per class for Off-Site Programs (with additional same-day off-site programs at $85 per class). With the new fee pricing, all on-site programs can accomodate class sizes of up to 30 students (Boat programs were previously capped at 20 students). The fee increase is proposed to take effect for the Fall 2015 season.

"We are committed to keeping the park affordable and we also want to provide visitors with the best possible experience," said Superintendent Celeste Bernardo. "Fees collected will be invested directly back into these programs so visitors can continue to enjoy them in the future."

Lowell National Historical Park will continue to offer many visitor experiences and activities that are free of charge. Visitors may explore the Visitor Center Exhibits, watch the orientation video presentation, and tour the Mill Girls & Immigrants exhibit free of charge. Seasonally, the park will continue to present free walking and trolley tours, and the parks trolley system will offer free rides between the Visitor Center and Boott Cotton Mills Museum. Current fees for the Boott Cotton Mills Museum will remain unchanged. For more information on sites and activities at the park, please visit

Comments on the fee change proposal may be submitted online at or mailed or hand-delivered to Superintendent, Lowell National Historical Park, Attn: Fee Change, 67 Kirk Street, Lowell, MA 01852. Comments may also be submitted by filling out a comment card at the Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, Lowell, MA.
Comment Period: Closed        Dec 5, 2014 - Jan 10, 2015
Document Content:
15-03_Fee_Increase_Proposal_final.pdf   (63.1 KB, PDF file)
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