The above photo of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Bridge crossing the Blackstone River in Millville, MA, was captured by April Gouveia during the Photography Walk we hosted last week. It was taken standing on the Blackstone River Greenway (formerly the New York and New England Railroad), which cast a shadow over the railroad bridge below.
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor
October 28, 2022
Thank You, Volunteers, for an Incredible Year!
Drum roll, please! The numbers are in for the Blackstone River Valley Volunteers-In-Parks program for Fiscal Year 2022! Volunteers logged an impressive 30,607 hours at a total value of $916,679! Thank you, VIPs, for the incredible work you do!
A Message from Molly Cardoza, Director of Volunteer & Community Engagement

I continue to be blown away by our Volunteers-In-Parks volunteers and their incredible commitment to the work they do in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. Thank you to everyone who has led programs, conserved historic cemeteries, cleaned up our watershed, maintained our natural resources, and so much more this year!
 
A personal thank you for the warm welcome you have given me in my first year at BRVNHC. This first year has exceeded my expectations and goals for the volunteer program. I cannot wait to see what we can achieve this year! In the words of Suzanne, "Imagine the Possibilities!"
Millbury Scouts from Troop 109 Earn
Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Badge
Congrats to Troop 109 in Millbury, MA! Five scouts earned their Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Badge, and two earned their Scout Ranger Certificate. These scouts, led by Eagle Scout Candidate Adam Moroney, worked to create a path and make the spillway of the former Asa Waters Armory, a gun manufacturer in the 1800s, accessible as a recreational space. This spillway historically flowed into the Blackstone River, which is visible from this location behind the present-day Millbury VFW. 

Pictured above (left to right) at a ceremony held on October 27 are:
Troop Leader Richard Bien, Isaiah Leclerc, Tyler Dupre, Jordan Hunt, Luke Rutkiewicz, Christian Dupre, and Dominic Testagrossa. Not pictured: Adam Maroney.
 
Scouts who work with us on volunteer projects to preserve and promote the Blackstone Valley’s historic, cultural, natural, and recreational resources are eligible to earn a Scout Ranger certificate or badge. For more information, contact us at scouts@blackstoneheritagecorridor.org.
Click here to learn about the Boy Scout Ranger program.
Click here to learn about the Girl Scout Ranger program.
Margaret M. Carroll Remembered and Celebrated
at Memorial Dedication in Millville
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, October 27, at the Blackstone River Greenway in Millville, MA, to remember and celebrate Margaret M. Carroll for her many years as town historian, educator, preservationist, and charter member of the Blackstone River Valley Volunteers-In-Parks program and the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Recent legislation created the Margaret M. Carroll Memorial Greenway Access Area in Millville. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation is working on installing a sign and a memorial bench.

Front row (left to right); Carroll McGahan, Maureen McGahan, Senator Richard T. Moore, Jody Madden, Jeannie Hebert, Helen Kennedy, Representative Mike Soter, and Jack Carroll. Back row (left to right) Kylie Gibbons, Donna Williams, Devon Kurtz, and Val Stegemoen. Not pictured: Senator Ryan Fattman and Joe Doherty. 
BE THE VOICE OF KITTACUCK - BRING THE HERRING BACK TO THE BLACKSTONE!
Bring your voice for Kittacuck (the Blackstone River) to an intertribal gathering planned for Sunday, October 30th, at Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket hosted by the Narragansett Tribe in collaboration with Friends of the Blackstone.

The special event will bring the community together to rally excitement for the fish ladder project and to bring the Herring back to the Blackstone. There will be music, speakers, and other activities taking place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Highlights include High Tide Drum, Jeffery Pegram from the Long Island Shinnecock Tribe, speakers from the Narragansett and Nipmuc tribes, as well as local river advocates.



Be sure to watch the video "Kittacuck Speaks," produced by Friends of the Blackstone: https://youtu.be/morPl5sxtTc.

The stunning film tells the story of the Blackstone from the perspective of the river itself. It was written and narrated by Bruce Curliss, aka Star, a member of the Nipmuc Tribe.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be at the Visitor Center across the street at 175 Main St.
New River Exhibit at the Museum of Work & Culture
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act last week, we visited the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket to explore their brand new interactive exhibit, "Flowing Through Time - Nature, Industry, and Communities of the Blackstone River."

Your journey begins by taking your photo or selecting an avatar that places you in a boat to flow through four themes: A River in Balance, A River in Conflict, Harnessing the River, and Flowing Forward. Each one offers informational slides and video content.

The easy-to-navigate exhibit is an exciting addition to the museum and fun for all ages. For more info on the Museum of Work & Culture, including hours and tickets, visit https://www.rihs.org/locations/museum-of-work-culture/.
Saturday, October 29 - Pascoag, RI
Saturday, October 29 - Monday, October 31 - Mendon, MA
Explore Blackstone Valley's Mills Through Photography and Video
Blackstone Valley Mill Explorations
Photography by James Hunt and David Lawlor

Artists' Reception & Video Screenings
Friday, December 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Spaulding R. Aldrich Heritage Gallery & Lexi Singh Performance Center
Alternatives' Whitin Mill, 50-60 Douglas Road, Whitinsville, MA

Tour Blackstone Valley's Mills Through Photography and Video

James Hunt explores the interdependent and often conflicted relationship between human activity and the natural environment. He is currently engaged in a long-term, multi-media exploration of the Industrial Revolution in the Blackstone Valley. The Draper Factory Demolition is the focus of his work in this exhibit. James has also created a video of the demolition that will premiere here in conjunction with this exhibit.

David Lawlor uses long exposure and drone photography in his urban exploration of old mill buildings to preserve their historical significance and capture their decaying beauty. He travels throughout the Blackstone Valley and beyond to explore and document these abandoned, destroyed, and repurposed structures. Preserving these mills through photography and video is his life’s mission. David will also be sharing a video of his work in conjunction with this exhibit.

Exhibit opens to the public on November 14 and ends December 23. Learn more at: openskycs.org/news-events/events/blackstone-valley-mill-explorations-/.
Celebrate the Holidays Blackstone Valley Style!
From tree lightings to holiday strolls, we curated a list of events to help you get in the spirit this holiday season!
Photo of the Sutton Gazebo by Linda Nelson.
"All Aboard!" For Holiday Train Rides & More!
Blackstone Valley
Polar Express Train Ride
Woonsocket, RI

Weekends: November 11 - December 23

The magic is back this holiday season for a three-hour experience at the Blackstone Valley Polar Express! Enjoy a 90-minute train ride to view the North Pole filled with singing, games, a reading of the classic children’s story “The Polar Express,” and a visit from Santa! The Conductor will be there to punch your special golden ticket, and you’ll all enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie during your trip. Plus, every child will receive a silver bell – the first gift of Christmas!

The Polar Express experience is expanded outside the depot, so the fun starts before you even get on the train with a stage show, photo opportunities with the characters, children’s activities, and more to fill you with the spirit of Christmas!

For more info and tickets, visit https://www.blackstonevalleypolarexpress.com/site/.
Winter Wonderland and the Festival of Illumination
at Southwick's Zoo
Mendon, MA


Festival of Illumination is running now, Wednesdays through Sundays, through December 31, from 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Beginning November 12, two amazing events come together: Winter Wonderland and the Festival of Illumination, creating an extraordinary and memorable holiday experience for guests of all ages!

Be immersed in the breathtaking world of over a million dazzling holiday lights and enchanting festival lanterns, showcasing fairytales, legends, and myths through the incredible handcrafted displays. Take a train ride through the Magical Holiday Forest, where you may spot a fallow deer or the Grinch himself! Enjoy live entertainment, including acrobat shows at the Cirque de Lumination tent. Visit Artisans Lane and warm up by the firepits while enjoying s’mores, hot toddies, and more from our special menu at the Kringle Cafe and Bakery. Visit with Santa beginning November 25th through to December 24th. 

For more info and tickets, visit https://www.festivalofillumination.com/.
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.
Let's Hit the Hiking Trails!
Save the dates for hikes with BHC Trail Ambassador Ernie Germani!

Sunday, November 6: Historic Providence - Part 2
Friday, November 25: Wolf Hill, Smithfield, RI
Hike in Massachusetts
with our new BHC Trail Ambassador Phil Johansen
Second Saturday Hikes With the North Smithfield Heritage Association
Join the North Smithfield Heritage Association for its History and Nature Walks series on the second Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m.

Find the complete schedule at https://www.nsheritageassn.org/historic-tours.

Additional details are posted on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northsmithfieldheritage.
ONE MORE NIGHT SKY PROGRAM!
Night Sky Program
Friday, November 18
6:30 p.m.
River Bend Farm
287 Oak St., Uxbridge, MA

Would you like to learn the constellations visible right now? Astronomers from Skyscrapers will be able to guide your way around the sky. Telescopes will be available for close-up looks of the moon and stars. Free event. 
Photo by Jim Hendrickson.
Nominations Open for John H. Chafee Heritage Awards
The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor (BHC) is seeking nominations for John H. Chafee Heritage Awards. This award honors individuals or groups who have worked on projects, programs, and institutions that promote the cultural heritage and the preservation of natural areas and strive to enrich the quality of life in the Blackstone River Valley.

BHC established the award to honor the late Senator John H. Chafee and recognize citizens and organizations whose work in the Blackstone Valley embodies Chafee’s vision and ideas. Recipients have included community leaders, preservation heroes, business partners, environmental advocates, or students whose achievements resulted in public benefit.

To nominate someone for the award, submit a nomination form citing their accomplishments. There is a separate category for students. Find the form at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org/john-h-chafee-heritage-awards. Nominations must be received by November 30, 2022, and can be mailed to John H. Chafee Award, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA, 01588, or emailed to Devon Kurtz at dkurtz@blackstoneheritagecorridor.org.
The Season of Giving Is Upon Us!
Tuesday, November 29
Please save the date of Tuesday, November 29, to join the global generosity movement!

To make a one-time or recurring donation to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, visit https://blackstoneheritagecorridor.org/product-category/donate-blackstone-heritage-corridor/.

Thank you for your support!
Shop Online and Support the Corridor

Did you know that if you shop on Amazon that you can support the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor with your purchases? By switching your browser to Smile.Amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. 

You can use this unique link provided by AmazonSmile to get started and have your percentage donated to BHC:
Another generous way to donate: volunteer your time!
People support non-profit organizations in a number of ways, including financially, by donating goods and services, and also by volunteering.

While the community and we benefit greatly from the volunteer outcome, it also has a dollar value that is considered an in-kind donation. The current value of a volunteer (national average) is $29.95 per hour. When volunteers report and log their hours, we are able to use them as an in-kind match when applying for grants.

Want to learn more about the Blackstone River Valley Volunteers-In-Parks program? Reach out to Molly Cardoza, Director of Volunteer & Community Engagement, at mcardoza@blackstoneheritagecorridor.org, or call
508-234-4242.
News From Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
Meet Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park's New Fall Intern!

Blackstone NPS has a Fall Intern! Adreishka Liz Luciano (Addie) has joined the team as a public history intern. Addie is a graduate student at Rhode Island College. In 2021, she earned her BA in History. Addie has been a tremendous asset at special events, including Archaeology Month Programs and the Roger Williams National Memorial birthday celebration.
Bat Night
Saturday, October 29
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Old Slater Mill
67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI

Celebrate Bat Week and learn all about these special mammals. Go bat-watching with a ranger and discover the importance of bat houses. No reservations are necessary. Free and open to all.
Kelly House Museum Closes for Season on October 30
If visiting the Capt. Wilbur Kelly House Transportation Museum is on your Blackstone Valley Bucket List, get there by Sunday, October 30, before it closes for the season. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Location: 1075 Lower River Road, Lincoln, RI, at Blackstone River State Park.
Ranger John McNiff to perform at Roger Williams Park's 150th Birthday on October 30

Join Ranger John McNiff from Roger Williams National Memorial at Roger Williams Park's 150th Birthday Celebration. Ranger McNiff will be portraying Roger Williams at the Roger Williams Memorial in Roger Williams Park.

Details:
Sunday, October 30
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, RI
The National Park Service Is Hiring!

Mark your calendars!

Seasonal jobs with the National Park Service for 2023 will be posted between November and December 2022. Jobs at Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and Roger Williams National Memorial are part of the Northeast region of the United States.

Where to apply: USAJobs.gov
Create a USA Jobs account and build your resume today.
slater mill
Visit Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark

Through December 3, 2022
Thursday - Sunday
10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM
Visit the calendar for details.

Join a Park Ranger on a tour of the mill that started the American Industrial Revolution. These 30-minute guided tours investigate the historical significance of Slater Mill and what valuable lessons the building is still teachings us. For more info, visit nps.gov/blrv. Free admission. The visitor center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Self-Guided Tours on the NPS Mobile App
Do you plan on visiting Slater Mill or Slatersville? If so, check out Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park's new self-guided tours.

These audio tours are available on the NPS Mobile App. The Mobile App can be downloaded for Apple or Google phones. Once on the app, choose Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, then select self-guided tours.

More self-guided tours will soon be available for the Blackstone River State Park and Ashton, Whitinsville, and Hopedale.

Do you enjoy learning about the history of the Blackstone River Valley? Subscribe to the park's YouTube page to see recordings of past programs, episodes of Along the Blackstone, and more. 

"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!
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.

670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA 01588
(508) 234-4242