History

The Lloyd Center’s 82-acres of estuary and maritime forest in South Dartmouth was donated to the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) in 1978 by Karen Lloyd as a living memorial to her mother, Katharine Nordell Lloyd. Originally a residence, our main building is a four-story modern structure which overlooks Buzzards Bay and the Slocums River estuary. Because of its unparalleled beauty, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs has identified the Lloyd Center’s property as one of the state’s 15 “Special Places.”

In 1980, the Lloyd Center first established its mission of environmental education and research, developed articles of operation, and hired a full-time Executive Director. The Lloyd Center was officially opened to the public in 1981 when it began offering its popular natural science programs and workshops to students, teachers and the community. By 1985, the Lloyd Center had received tax-exempt status as an independent entity. Full-time research and education coordinators were hired in 1986. That same year, the building which contains our research collections and wheelchair-accessible classrooms was donated and moved onto the Lloyd Center’s property.

In 1999, following the recommendations of its Vision Committee, the Board committed to a new growth strategy, recruited a new Executive Director and created two new positions – Directors of Education and Research. The Lloyd Center has evolved over the years into a regional hub for environmental research and innovative natural science education. Each year we’ve broadened our outreach, strengthened our collaborations, gained members, attracted more visitors to our exhibits and grounds, and increased the number of students involved in our programs; more than 15,000 students and adults participated in Lloyd Center programs during 2002. The Center has also formed or participated in a number of joint ventures and collaborations focused on environmental education for inner city and disadvantaged youth. We also are leading a unique partnership project of research and education focused on the restoration of Dartmouth’s nitrogen-clogged waterways. Today, the Lloyd Center’s initiatives are aggressively deepening and expanding in keeping with both our mission and strategic vision for environmental research and education.