A snow-painted landscape and P&W Railroad bridge at the Blackstone River Greenway in Blackstone.
Corridor News - March 1, 2023

BHC Announces New Board Appointments
The Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (BHC) announces new appointments made to its Board of Directors during its annual meeting in February.

The Board of Directors elected new officers, including Dennis H. Rice, Chair; Lee Dillard Adams, Vice-Chair; Harry T. Whitin, Vice-Chair; Bill Beitler, Treasurer; and Todd Helwig, Secretary. In addition, BHC's Immediate Past-Chair is Richard Moore.

Directors re-elected for a three-year term on BHC's Board include Richard Moore, Lee Dillard Adams, Jeannie Hebert, Harry T. Whitin, Donna Williams, and Robert Billington. The Board also elected a new Director, Jon Roberts. Other Directors include Michael Cassidy, Richard Gregory, and Daniel DaPonte.

Pictured above is Dennis H. Rice, BHC's new Board Chair.

Volunteer News
Volunteer Opportunities!

There are many volunteering opportunities coming up over the next several months. Volunteers should check their Inboxes. If you'd like to get involved with our Volunteers-In-Parks program, reach out to Molly Cardoza, Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement, at mcardoza@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.
Thank you to our amazing volunteers for supporting Maple Sugar Days last weekend at River Bend Farm. Sixteen volunteers served 88 hours at a total value of $2,635.60. To view more photos, visit https://photos.app.goo.gl/o3su3cJLfPx648Hk6.
Crossroads of the Underground Railroad
On February 12, 2023, the Uxbridge Historical Society hosted Suzan Franz to present her "Crossroads of the Underground Railroad - Part 2" program and we were there to capture a video.

To view Part 1 filmed by Uxbridge Community Television, visit https://www.uxbridgetv.org/video/2019-11-05/uxbridge-ma-crossroads-underground-railroad.
Monthly Heritage Walks With NSHA
The North Smithfield Heritage Association (NSHA) offers its next Heritage Hike on Saturday, March 11, visiting Union Village. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at Union Cemetery on Smithfield Road. Find details here: https://fb.me/e/2oGe3xXjR.

The NSHA offers the Heritage Walks as a means to promote the town’s amazing multi-faced heritage. Admission is free. 
NSHA is also offering Nature Walks with the following schedule:
1st Saturday - High Rocks Gorge 3-mile Loop meets at Martha Road.
3rd Saturday - Booth Pond Preserve Trail 2.4-mile loop meets in Aldi parking Lot.
4th Saturday - Fort Wildlife Refuge 3.3-mile loop on Providence Pike.
To learn more, visit the North Smithfield Heritage Association Facebook Page or contact them via email at nsha@nsheritageassn.org.
Hike with Ernie!
Save these dates for hikes with Ernie. Details and registration will come in the next newsletter and will be posted to our events calendar.

  • Saturday, April 8: Cumberland Monastery Hike - Cumberland
  • Sunday, April 30: Mowry Farm Hike - Smithfield
  • Sunday, May 28: India Point/Fox Point Historic Walk - Providence
  • Saturday, July 8: Ten Mile Greenway/Slater Park Walk - Pawtucket
  • Saturday, September 9: High Rock Farm Hike - Cumberland
  • Sunday, September 24: Turner Reservoir Hike - East Providence
  • Saturday, October 14: Moshassuck River Hike - Lincoln
  • Friday, November 24: Wolf Hill Hike - Smithfield

Ernie also leads hikes at the Hunts Mills trail on the second Sunday of each month (March through November) at 1:30 p.m. during the East Providence Historical Society's Open House at 65 Hunts Mills Road, East Providence, RI.
New Hiking Partnership!
Queer Hike in Smithfield
Saturday, March 18
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

BHC is partnering with Queer Hikes to host a Queer Hike in Smithfield, RI. Let's get together and take a walk in the brisk March air. There will be uneven, unpaved terrain.

Exact location of the hike will be announced closer to the event to provide more safety for attendees. This will be a leisurely paced hike to enjoy winter outdoor time. Free to attend. While we appreciate allies, we ask for queer attendees only to further create a safe space.

Reserve a spot for each queer hiker in your group! Ages 18+. Remember that spots are limited, so please attend if you've claimed a spot.

March 3 is World Wildlife Day
Did you know that bat boxes are installed along the Blackstone River Greenway between Blackstone and Uxbridge? Learn more about bat boxes and other bat resources at https://www.mass.gov/guides/bat-houses.

If you're looking for a way to celebrate, the EcoTarium in Worcester is hosting a World Wildlife Day event on Saturday, March 4th. Learn more here: https://ecotarium.org/event/world-wildlife-day/.
March 14 is National Learn About Butterflies Day
In preparation for National Learn About Butterflies Day on March 14, BHC's Bonnie Combs started reading "Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration" by Sara Dykman.

To learn more about Monarchs and what you can do to help their population, visit https://monarchwatch.org/.

You can also sign the Blackstone Heritage Corridor's Pollinator Pledge. Learn more at https://blackstoneheritagecorridor.org/protect-our-pollinators/.
Celebrate World Water Day - March 22
EnviroScape Training Skills Workshop
Wednesday, March 22
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Blackstone Heritage Corridor
670 Linwood Ave., Whitinsville, MA

What is an EnviroScape? 
The EnviroScape is an interactive tabletop teaching tool. Educators can demonstrate how pollutants affect a watershed. With food, sprinkles, and other "pollutants," the EnviroScape illustrates how fertilizers, pet waste, oils, and toxins can be introduced into our watershed. 

Why learn how to use an EnviroScape? 
We have many requests for this program, and on World Water Day, we want to build a cadre of knowledgeable volunteers so that the EnviroScape can visit elementary schools, public programs, and scout troops. No previous experience with science is necessary. VIP Julie Riendeau will be our trainer. 

Blackstone Valley Home & Community Expo - March 25
Historical Society & Museum Events
Friday, March 3
Grafton Historical Society hosts "First Friday Tea"
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
71 Main Street, South Grafton MA
Learn more at https://fb.me/e/3efjVYyEL.

Saturday, March 4
Mendon Historical Society Hosts "World War Women: The Unsung Heroines of
World War II"
2:00 p.m.
Unitarian Church Goss Hall, 13 Maple Street, Mendon, MA

Saturday, March 4
Woonsocket Historical Society Hosts "What Happened to the Most French-Canadian City in the United States?"
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
American-French Genealogical Society, 78 Earle St., Woonsocket, RI

Sunday, March 12
East Providence Historical Society Open House
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
John Hunt House, 65 Hunts Mills Road, East Providence, RI
Learn more at http://ephist.org/.

Sunday, March 12
Grafton Historical Society Host's "Catherine's Cadeau" Book Signing
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Grafton Historical Society, 71 Main Street, South Grafton, MA

Thursday, March 23
Grafton Historical Society Hosts "The Blackstone Canal"
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Grafton Public Library, 35 Grafton Common, Grafton, MA

Saturday, March 25
Mendon Historical Society Hosts "Antique Appraisals"
12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Mendon Historical Society, 15 Hastings Street, Mendon, MA

Sunday, March 26
Uxbridge Historical Society Hosts Nathaniel Philbrick "Travels with George and the Importance of Preserving Local History"
2:00 p.m.
Main Street Church, 23 North Main Street, Uxbridge, MA
Learn more at https://fb.me/e/3olbP3g57. RSVP is required at https://bit.ly/3ZHEXon
Walk & Clean Up the World!
Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful is starting a walking group to walk and clean up our environment.

KBVB will hold a walk in each of our ten RI Blackstone Valley communities on Thursdays @ 1:00 p.m. (Note: The North Smithfield walk was held in February). Weather delays will push the walk to Friday of the same week. Schedule and sign up links below.
Walks will last approximately an hour. Each route will be around 2 miles, except the Burrillville route is 3 miles. KBVB will bring all the supplies needed, so you just need to come. These walks are on traveled roads and are geared mostly for adults, but children are welcome with supervision. Residents can join any community they would like, so no need to stay only in your city or town.
Thursday, March 2nd – CUMBERLAND (2-mile route) Cumberland walking route
Thursday, March 9th – GLOCESTER (2-mile route) Glocester walking route
Thursday, March 16th – SMITHFIELD (2-mile route) Smithfield walking route
Thursday, March 23rd – PAWTUCKET (2-mile route) Pawtucket walking route
Thursday, March 30th – LINCOLN (2-mile route) Lincoln walking route
Thursday, April 6th – BURRILLVILLE (3-mile route) Burrillville walking route
Thursday, April 13th – WOONSOCKET (2-mile route) Woonsocket walking route
Thursday, April 20th – CENTRAL FALLS (2-mile route) Central Falls walking route
Thursday, April 27th – EAST PROVIDENCE (2-mile route) East Providence walking route
Spring Cleanups Around the Valley
Get Your Events on Our Calendar!
What's Going On?
Share your events with us by listing them on the Blackstone Heritage Corridor's events page.

Click on the blue tab that says Submit Community Events!

Need help? Call us at 508-234-4242 or email bcombs@blackstoneheritagecorridor.org.
Wade Institute & BHC Offer Workshop for Educators
Back By Popular Demand!
Cumberlandite and Elder Ballou Cemetery Tours
Saturday, April 29
Tours at 10 a.m., Noon, and 2 p.m.

RSVP required. Register here:

If you can't make it, we recorded the tour we hosted in January. Check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wO9r-237qMc.
News From Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
The Park Now Has Its Own Newsletter!
Explore America's national parks from the comfort of home!

Every park has a story. During this virtual series, we’ll connect with people from across the country to talk about special places and complex stories at National Park Service sites. Join us to learn more about a place that might be close to home, or in a destination you dream of visiting. Each hour-long program includes a presentation and opportunities for questions and answers.

All Parked at Home programs are free and will be hosted on Thursday evenings at 7:00 PM (eastern) from March 2nd through April 13.

Learn more and register here:

Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 p.m. EST

“The national parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” - Wallace Stegner, 1983

In documentaries and popular media, National Park Service sites are often called America’s “best idea.” During this program, we will consider this argument with historian and author Megan Kate Nelson. Dr. Nelson is the author of several books, including Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America (2022). Learn about the origins of Yellowstone National Park and join us for a conversation on the history of public lands in the United States.

Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. EST

How far have you traveled for work—or for a dream?
For centuries, people have moved to the Blackstone Valley for new opportunities. Some of the immigrants seeking a new life in the Valley first passed through Ellis Island Immigration Center. During this program, rangers from Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park will discuss this process with a ranger from the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Learn how immigration has changed over the past century and hear stories of local individuals who first came to the United States at Ellis Island.

Thursday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves the farm of General and 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Adjacent to the Gettysburg battlefield, the farm served the president and first lady as a weekend retreat and as a meeting place for world leaders.
Join Park Rangers to discuss President Eisenhower's legacy and his vision for a “postwar” America. Learn about how the Blackstone River Valley served as a major industrial hub that aided the war effort during World War II and the long-term repercussions of the military-industrial complex.

Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST

What makes a place a land of opportunity? During this Parked at Home talk, rangers from Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and Reconstruction Era National Historical Park will discuss issues related to land and labor at two historic sites.

In the years following the end of the Civil War, workers in the Blackstone Valley continued their struggle to secure basic rights in the workplace. Thousands of miles away, recently liberated people in the South Carolina Lowcountry pursued the opportunity to own land and to exercise the rights of citizenship. How did the trade in cotton connect these two places, and what social conditions set them apart?

Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Get the inside scoop on one of the newest national parks in the United States!
Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, was established in 2020. It is the 422nd unit of the National Park Service.
Learn about the many people who have called Ste. Geneiveve home through a discussion of its history. During this talk, a ranger will explore the patterns of migration, displacement, and cultural blending that make this place unique. Discover connections between the distinctive French architecture and ways of life in Ste. Genevieve and industrial communities in Rhode Island.
This program is presented as a collaboration between Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, and Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Have you ever taken a big risk?
From Rhode Island’s early mill villages to Alaska’s company towns, people throughout United States history have taken great risks to make more than just a living. Learn about the blueprint for America’s industrial communities, Slatersville, RI, and hear thrilling stories from the Klondike Gold Rush.

Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST

Music can make us feel fully present. It also has the power to transport us back in time. Learn about the history of Jazz in New Orleans and the rhythms of New England's mills from the comfort of home. Rangers will discuss how music has been part of workers’ lives for the past two centuries. Tune in to learn about the role of rhythm and blues in national parks.

Learn more and register here:

"Explore, Discover, Protect, and GO!"

The Junior Ranger motto is recited by children around the country, each taking an oath of their own to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share their own ranger story with friends and family. Here in the Blackstone River Valley, Junior Rangers are called GearHeads. What's a GearHead, you might ask?

GearHead (n.): a kid, powered by the gears in their brain, who explores nature, discovers history, protects the environment, and goes on adventures throughout the Blackstone River Valley.

Click through the GearHeads website and claim your Junior Ranger status today! Submit a completed activity, and we'll send you a Junior Ranger badge!
Navigate & Explore the Blackstone River Valley
With Our Interactive Map!
What Should Be On the Blackstone Bucket List?
Share Your Favorite Things to See and Do in the Blackstone Valley
Help us update our Blackstone Bucket List by sharing your favorite experiences in the Blackstone River Valley. Click to take our survey! Your feedback is most appreciated!
Blackstone Heritage Corridor, working with community partners, provides strong leadership to preserve, promote, and celebrate the Valley’s historic, natural and recreational resources for current and future generations.
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670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA 01588
(508) 234-4242