Protecting nature through research, education, and outreach

Lloyd Center Celebrates its Past, Present, and Future

by Douglas McCulloch, Dartmouth Week

Al & Joanne Humphrey accept George G. Haydock award. Photo by Douglas McCulloch.

This past year was a busy one at the Lloyd Center with building projects, fundraising, and an ever-growing list of events and educational programs. And there’s even more to look forward to in 2020.

That was the message from Lloyd Center officials at the center’s 2019 annual meeting, held on May 2. During the meeting, Lloyd Center Executive Director Rachel L. Stronach highlighted all that went on in the past year — including two major construction projects. Construction crews made up of New Bedford Vocational Technical High School students are putting the finishing touches on the exterior of the center’s new Welcome Center.

Construction of the building began in 2017, and, once complete, it will comply with the “Living Building Challenge.” It is one of the most stringent environmental building codes in existence, with a goal of creating buildings that generate more energy than they use. “You are being what you are believing in,” explained newly appointed board member Jonathan Lash during a presentation on the challenge. “You are being the change by building this building.”

The center’s visitor center — an iconic treehouse-style building dating back to the 1970s — is also nearing completion of the first expansion phase.

It will open up for summer programming before closing down in the fall for an additional construction phase, with the goal of making the building more energy efficient.

“The site as many of you know is under construction,” Stronach said. “It’s a very exciting time but we still have a number of visitors who are coming.”

Visitors came from 40 states and a dozen countries. Stronach noted word is getting out about the Lloyd Center and its mission. Even more people participated in educational and outreach programs, which makes up two of the Lloyd Center’s key mission areas.

Since 2006, center staff have reached 160,000 students as part of educational programming thanks to partnerships with schools from across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The center also hosts public events which attracted 3,000 people.  In research, the third key area the center focuses on, monitoring of endangered species, research into moths, winter waterfowl, and biodiversity is ongoing.

Construction projects and funding for educational programming is expanding, and are funded by a $3 million “Transforming a Legacy” campaign. It began several years ago, and is close to hitting its target. Funding is divided into two areas: $1.5 million for construction, and $1.5 million for programming.

During the meeting, Lloyd Center officials also commended their staff, volunteer board members, and welcomed several new ones to the board. 

This year’s George G. Haydock Award, was presented to Joanne and Al Humphrey. The long-time volunteers received the award for their commitment to protecting the fragile nature of the region’s coastal environment.

For more information about the center, visit lloydcenter.org.

Photo: Joanne and Al Humphrey are presented with the award.