, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 25, 2011

Coming full circle

Landscape architect hopes to bring community together with labyrinth

NEWBURYPORT — Trent Lloyd loves circles. So when the landscape architect began brainstorming on uses for the open space adjacent to YWCA Greater Newburyport while bringing her children to swimming lessons there, she hoped a design featuring circles would someday come to fruition.

That day came this summer when Lloyd's labyrinth design was installed on the site, adding a new public open space to serve the city's residents.

Lloyd donated her services to the project, a reflection of her interest in the community and in devising spaces that make the city more enjoyable.

The Birmingham, Ala., native moved to Newburyport in 2004 with her husband, Stratton, and began their family, which includes three daughters, ages 6, 4 and 1. She and her husband, originally from Brookline, decided to root their life here, and especially love that Newburyport is a "walking town."

"Part of what we believe in is community and Newburyport is just that," she said, citing the city's friendly and diverse population of families and elderly across the economic spectrum. "For us, we wanted that community feel and Newburyport definitely has that."

The two met in Birmingham where they were both working in community service-oriented jobs. She was a community organizer, assisting neighborhood groups in grant writing, business planning and social programming, and he started First Look Inc., an organization that promoted volunteering and youth involvement in the community. He is now a vice president at EBSCO Publishing in Ipswich.

Her interest in circles stems from a time when she traveled to Rome and spent three hours by herself at the Pantheon, the famed circular temple. The all-encompassing circle brings people together and makes everyone feel included, she said.

"The public space to me is what creates the community, the nucleus, the heart," she said. "My goal is to create a sense of belonging for those who use the space, a sense of ownership in the space. It'll relax you, or you'll see your kids playing on it. You'll say, 'I participated in something on this site,' and you own it."

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