Tag Archives: community

Lowell on water is down to earth

Free Association

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt:“Free Association.”

Down to earth people are the fabric of Lowell

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, – I make my home in Lowell, a small town in the Midwest. It lies at the crossroads of two major waterways, the Flat River in the northeast and the Grand River in the southern part.

What I’ve always liked about this hometown is the people who live here. They are down to earth folks who earn their living the hard way. Many of them work two part-time low paying jobs with no benefits.

The median family income is around $40,000.

Downtown Lowell.
Lowell rowing team on the Flat River.

But, what is most fascinating about Lowell are the people who care about each other. They get together to rejoice and celebrate their successes as in the annual Lowell Area Chamber membership gathering that awards the Person of the Year.

They mourn together when a great citizen passes such as recently Ray Zandstra, and many others who have made a difference in the community.

And in order not to forget community giants like Ivan Blough, the people of Lowell establish foundations and scholarships. The one that honors this truly down to earth man is called the Ivan K. Blough Vocational Scholarship.


KDL library
The KDL Engelhardt Library in Lowell sits right on the Riverwalk.Being fortunate enough, the town has received bequests from local philanthropists such as Mr. E., that is Harold Englehardt.

In May of 1996, Englehardt’s will set into motion a legacy that  benefited the Lowell area community forever. Known as a low-key, humble man who lived his life simply and without fanfare, Englehardt was a self-made millionaire who chose to give back to the community he loved.

Englehardt gave a $12.7 million bequest to the community which in turn created the Lowell Area Community Fund (LACF) See more at: http://www.grfoundation.org/lowell#sthash.4QQlenYl.dpuf

Another area philanthropist was late Peter Wege who donated money for farm preservation and nature education in the Wittenbach Wege Agriscience Center.

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Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience nature center

The community also fights together; in the fall it is the annual Pink Arrow Pride game that spreads awareness and raises money to fight cancer.

The community honors its veterans, late and alive, in the annual Memorial Day parade.

Lowell Main Street
Main Street before Pink Arrow game.

It stepped up in an uprecendented effort to fight hunger and poverty when local churches created the Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) in 1998.

The community collects food for the FROM pantry throughout the year in different food fights like the north side against the south side of the town. Residents bring cans of food to the annual Riverwalk parade in July.

“Can you imagine, all these people bringing cans to the parade,” said former pastor Roger LaWarre of the First Congregational Church of Lowell.

The community loves the arts and it has named the gallery inside Lowell Arts after another philanthropist King Doyle.

It preserves history as local businessman Greg Canfield saved three buildings on the bridge from demolition and turned them into the Main Street Inn,

People of the past, present and the future make up the fabric of this resilient community that is bound together by love and caring.

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