Request for Qualifications – Design of Exhibits for Worcester Visitor Center

Request for Qualifications – Design of Exhibits  – Click for Proposal PDF

Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center at Worcester
May 2, 2017
BHC seeks qualifications from companies interested in developing content, fabricating and
installing exhibits for the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center @ Worcester, under
construction off McKeon Road, Worcester, MA.
Review Process:
BHC anticipates a swift review process. It is anticipated that contractors will be prequalified
by May 19, 2017 or sooner, that bidding will follow immediately thereafter, that a
bid will be accepted and a contract executed by approximately June 30, 2017.
Submission:
Qualifications must be submitted in a single PDF document less than 5 MB. Submit
qualifications by email to DKurtz@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org. Proposals are due no
later than 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 15, 2017 All submissions will receive
an acknowledgement of submittal, generally within 24 hours, sent via “reply” to the
submission.

Uxbridge to Kick Off Blackstone Heritage Corridor Cleanup Season

Whitinsville, MA (March 13, 2017) – In preparation for the annual spring cleanup season, Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) reached out to each community within the National Heritage Corridor and has a couple of exciting new additions this year. For starters, the Town of Uxbridge is kicking off the 2017 cleanup season with a town-wide cleanup on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to Noon.

“The Uxbridge community came together very quickly on this one,” noted Bonnie Combs, Marketing Director at BHC, who also manages its Trash Responsibly™ program. “The Board of Health and DPW were very supportive, as well as Boy Scout Troop 25, Koopman Lumber, Premeer Real Estate, and First Night Uxbridge, Inc., which is providing free hot dogs to all volunteers. Premeer Real Estate is providing music and entertainment and is debuting its new Green Team, and Koopman Lumber has donated trash bags. The celebration starts and ends on the Town Common, in the heart of Uxbridge. Volunteers can register in advance and select a street at tinyurl.com/UxbridgeCleanup.”

In preparation for its 350th Anniversary this year, the town of Mendon, MA, is hosting its community cleanup on Saturday, April 8 from 9 a.m. to Noon, meeting at the Clough School. Volunteers will be treated to a free lunch, compliments of the Mendon Lions Club, and Southwick’s Zoo is giving volunteers a coupon for a free admission to the zoo. “The momentum is building in Mendon after last year’s cleanup where over 75 volunteers came out,” noted Combs. “We’re pleased to see such enthusiasm from the community to keep it clean.” Volunteers can register and select a street at www.Mendonma.gov/cleanup.

April 8 is also a busy day in Worcester, MA, where the Regional Environmental Council hosts its 28th Annual Earth Day Cleanup from 8 a.m. to Noon. According to organizers, this is a city-wide cleanup of parks, gardens, and neighborhoods involving more than 1,000 volunteers who will pick up more than 50 tons of trash at more than 60 locations throughout Worcester. The same day, the Ten Mile River Watershed Council is hosting its Earth Day Cleanup at Slater Park in Pawtucket, RI. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. and will disperse along the Ten Mile River. April 8 is also “Yellow Bag Day” in the Town of Cumberland, RI, and is presented by The Valley Breeze. Residents can pick up yellow trash bags ahead of time from The Valley Breeze office in Lincoln and the town collects the bags the following Monday… Click Here to continue reading full press release.

Little Red Shop Museum Completes Historical Archive

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charlene Perkins Cutler, Executive Director
508-234-4242
ccutler@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org

Hopedale Historical Commission Benefits from BHC Partnership Grant
Little Red Shop Museum Completes Historical Archive

Whitinsville, MA (March 8, 2017) – Important historical documents and artifacts in Hopedale, MA, have been successfully archived thanks to a Partnership Grant from Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC). The Grant was awarded to the Hopedale Historical Commission and allowed the Little Red Shop Museum to properly preserve a collection of artifacts, documents and photos.
“The proper cataloging and display of these important materials will help us to better tell Hopedale’s story,” explained Sue Ciaramicoli, curator at The Little Red Shop Museum. “This includes Hopedale’s role in the industrialization of America, and the town’s rich history told through the public lives of a number of prominent Hopedale families whose impact was felt far beyond Hopedale.”

An added benefit of the grant, Ciaramicoli noted, is that it helped create interest in the project from the community. “Many new partners and volunteers came forward which made a significant impact,” Ciaramicoli added. “We grew from a team of four to a team of 12 volunteers, and even more continue to join us.”

BHC provided $3,725 in grant funds and was matched by cash, in-kind donations and volunteer time. Funds from the BHC portion allowed for the purchase of archiving equipment and the storage of a loom which was removed from the Museum to allow more space for the cataloging project. The Grant helped cover storage fees until the loom could reach its final destination at the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation (NCCHP) in Granville, MA. Local companies including Howe’s Welding and G&U Logistix helped with the trucking and logistics in addition to NCCHP.

According to Ciaramicoli, the temporary storage of the loom prevented it from being scrapped. “Now it is safely housed at NCCHP with the other six Draper power looms that were moved there in 2015. Collectively, they can continue to tell the story and link back to Hopedale.”
In addition to the need to scan photos and documents and catalogue them, a bookcase was needed to allow the Museum to properly store showcase important artifacts. E.W. Tarca Construction built and donated a custom bookcase.

“This grant was a catalyst,” Ciaramicoli remarked. “It brought life back to this museum and revitalized its mission. We are better able to tell the important story of Hopedale, which is why it was included in the new National Historical Park.”
The Hopedale Village Historic District was identified as one of the “nodes” of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. Established in 2014, the new Park will help preserve, protect and interpret the nationally significant resources that exemplify the industrial heritage of the Blackstone River Valley.

BHC Executive Director Charlene Perkins Cutler applauded the work. “While there is much work to do before the vision of the Park comes to life, BHC was pleased to provide Partnership Grant funding to the Hopedale Historical Commission to accomplish their important work, and assist Hopedale as it becomes part of the new National Historical Park.”
About Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.:

An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities, businesses and residents to ensure the long term vitality of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

Birding on the Blackstone

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charlene Perkins Cutler, Executive Director
508-234-4242
ccutler@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org

BHC Announces Bi-State “Birding on the Blackstone” Program

Volunteers will lead spring bird walks in MA and RI parks of the National Heritage Corridor
A flock of volunteers will lead a “Birding on the Blackstone” program this spring in parks in both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island portions of the National Heritage Corridor. Pictured here (left to right) are Paul Milke, Beth Milke and Rosanne Sherry.
Whitinsville, MA (March 8, 2017) – Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) announces a spring birding program that will take curious birders to parks in the National Heritage Corridor during the height of migration season.

The weekend bird walks will fall on Saturdays and Sundays between April 23 and June 4 and will run from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. The walks are led by BHC’s Volunteers-in-Parks program members Rosanne Sherry of N. Smithfield, RI, and Beth and Paul Milke of Uxbridge, MA. The three of them met during a bird walk program last fall and are collaborating on this new program and other events throughout the year.

Birding on the Blackstone kicks off on Sunday, April 23 along the Blackstone River Bikeway in Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI. The walk begins at the I-295 Visitors
Center in Lincoln and is led by Rosanne Sherry. Participants will watch for territorial activity and early nest building. On Saturday, April 29, Beth & Paul Milke lead a bird walk at River Bend Farm at the Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA. The Milkes will take birders along the field and woodland edges of the farm looking for bird species that usually arrive in early spring such as Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Towhee and possibly Yellow-Rumped Warbler. On Sunday, April 30, Rosanne returns to the Blackstone River Bikeway in Lincoln, RI, when she expects migration and nesting will be in full swing. “Baltimore Orioles and Rose-Breasted Grosebeaks may be in the area,” she predicts. “We’ll likely see Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles fighting for territory in the marsh area under Route 295.”

On Sunday, May 7, Rosanne, Beth and Paul join together at the new Blackstone River Greenway, meeting at the Blackstone, MA, parking lot on Canal Street. This is the first official bird walk on the newly completed section of the Greenway. The trio will lead walkers to search for Bald Eagles, water birds, and song birds. On Sunday, May 21, Rosanne travels to a new location at the Ten Mile River Greenway in Pawtucket, RI, where birders will meet her at the parking lot by the Loof Carousel in Slater Park. According to Rosanne, the river is calm in this location and birders may see many Warblers and other land birds in the woodland and marshes. “We’ll look and listen for Common Yellowthroat, Carolina Wren and Eastern Bluebirds,” she notes. On Saturday, May 27, Rosanne, Beth and Paul meet up at River Bend Farm again in Uxbridge, MA, to take birders out to the fields where the trio expects participants will view Orioles, Flycatchers, Grosbeaks and Warblers. “There’s a chance we’ll also hear and see Black-billed Cuckoo and Indigo Bunting, too!” they announced.

On Saturday, June 3, the Milkes will take birders to West Hill Dam and Park in Uxbridge (518 E. Hartford Ave.). “The West Hill Park walk will take us from the top of the dam, over the river and through the woods to survey birds on the park’s reclaimed grassland,” Beth notes. “We’ll hope to find Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting, Eastern Towhee, and Field Sparrow. Warbling Vireos should be calling near the marsh where we’ll look for Wood Ducks and Great Blue Herons.” The spring birding series concludes on Sunday, June 4, at the Blackstone River Bikeway in Lincoln, RI, with Rosanne, who predicts the walk may be quiet as birds nest or feed their young, but that the group will look for signs of productivity. “We will follow up on the Eastern Phoebe and the Northern Rough-Wing Swallow who nest near the foot bridges,” she points out. “American Robin and Gray Catbird nests may be spotted, and we may even see who is fishing in the river.”
According to Suzanne Buchanan, Volunteer Coordinator at BHC, this program speaks volumes about the possibilities for volunteers who join the program. “Rosanne came forward over a year ago, expressing interest in offering bird walks to share her knowledge and passion for birding,” she explains. “After her first series in Rhode Island along the Blackstone River Bikeway, she created one at River Bend Farm in Uxbridge, MA, that fall and that is where she met Beth and Paul Milke. It was kismet. The three have become great friends and plan programs together. Whatever skill or interest you have, chances are we can find an opportunity for you to share that through our Volunteers-in-Parks program.”

To participate in one of the scheduled bird walks in Rhode Island, register at BlackstoneBirds@gmail.com or call BHC at 508-234-4242. To register for one of the bird walks in Massachusetts, email BlackstoneBirdsMA@gmail.com or call River Bend Farm at 508-278-7604. Further directions will be sent upon registration. If there is rain at the time of the program, it is canceled. Binoculars and field guides are suggested. Children 12 years and older are welcome on all programs. A complimentary Blackstone Valley Adventure Pack will be given to those who pre-register, while supplies last. All walks are listed on BHC’s events page at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org/events.

The Birding the Blackstone program is presented by BHC in partnership with the National Park Service Volunteers-in-Parks, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM), and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR).

Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Construction Services

Kelly House Replica Barn BHC seeks qualifications from companies interested in constructing a replica barn at the site of the Captain Wilbur Kelly House and Transportation Museum located off Lower River Road in the Blackstone River State Park, Lincoln, RI.

Click Here for Full Details

Please note:

Qualifications must be submitted in a single PDF document less than 5 MB. Submit qualifications by email to MDiPrete@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org. Proposals are due no later than 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, March 10, 2017. All submissions will receive an acknowledgement of submittal, generally within 24 hours, sent via “reply” to the submission.

BHC Awards Volunteers During Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park’s 2nd Anniversary

Receiving awards for volunteer service from Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) at the 2nd Anniversary celebration of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park are (left to right): Jack Crawford and Annika Bangma, both of Youth Unlimited Serve Project; Suzanne Buchanan, Volunteer Coordinator at BHC; Benjamin Cote of Ten Mile River Watershed Council; Sarah Carr and Anne Conway, both of the Museum of Work and Culture, and Rosanne Sherry. Not pictured is Steve Emma. BHC manages the Volunteers-in-Parks program for the National Park Service and recognized these volunteers and groups for their outstanding contribution to the volunteer program in 2016. To learn more about the program, visit BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

Whitinsville, MA (December 14, 2016) – Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) presented awards to several volunteers for their outstanding service with the National Park Service’s Volunteers-in-Parks program that it manages. The awards were presented during the second anniversary celebration for the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.

Among those recognized for their individual impacts were: Benjamin Cote, Rosanne Sherry, and Steve Emma. Groups recognized for outstanding service include the Museum of Work & Culture and Whitinsville Serve 2016.

Benjamin Cote, a resident of Pawtucket, RI, and also president of the Ten Mile River Watershed Council, is a new volunteer with BHC and signed on to present walking tours for BHC’s 2nd Annual GO! program this past September. Cote received the “Outstanding GO! Tour 2016” award for his “Lanterns, Ghosts and King Philip’s War” walking tour at the Cumberland Monastery in Cumberland, RI. The event drew the largest audience of a volunteer-led GO! experience with nearly 100 attendees.

Rosanne Sherry, a resident of N. Smithfield, RI, a lifelong-birder and career horticulturalist, received the “Outstanding Interpretive Program Award.” Rosanne presented “Birding on the Blackstone” walking tour series in both Lincoln, RI, at the Blackstone River State Park, and in Uxbridge, MA, at the Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park. “It was an exceptional program that educated people about the fauna of the Blackstone Valley and it inspired new stewards,” Charlene Perkins Cutler, BHC’s Executive Director noted.

Steve Emma, a resident of Providence, RI, has made Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI, his second home and volunteers to maintain the Blackstone River Bikeway by fixing broken posts and cutting back invasive weeds such as poison ivy and bittersweet. Emma received the “Outstanding Natural Resource Volunteer” for 2016. “He is poison ivy’s worst enemy, and the Bikeway’s best friend,” noted Suzanne Buchanan, volunteer coordinator at BHC. “He is out there in all kinds of weather and has helped recruit new volunteers to our program. People see him in action and ask how to get involved.” Buchanan added that Emma has been outfitted with special orange gear for all kinds of weather and special safety signage to display that helps identify him as volunteer with the Volunteers-in-Parks program and warns passersby of the work zone.

The Museum of Work and Culture (MOWC) in Woonsocket, RI, received the “Outstanding VIP Group Partnership Program Award.” According to Buchanan, this award recognizes MOWC volunteers for their knowledge, inspiration and graciousness. Over the past year, MOWC volunteers contributed 1,437 hours of service with an in-kind donation value of $33,856.

Whitinsville Serve 2016 received the “Outstanding Special VIP Project Award” for 2016. The award recognizes the 104 volunteers who participated in the Youth Unlimited service project hosted by the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church of Whitinsville, MA. They logged a total of 3,168 volunteer hours and volunteered in the communities of Northbridge, Uxbridge, Millville, Douglas and Grafton over the span of one week in July. Their service resulted in an in-kind donation valued at over $73,000. “They came to visit, not to stay, but their impact is felt here every day,” Buchanan commented upon presenting the award.

To learn more about the Volunteers-in-Parks program, visit BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org/doing/vipprogram or considering attending BHC’s next Volunteer Open House on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at BHC’s office at 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA. To register, RSVP to Suzanne Buchanan at Volunteer@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org or call (508) 234-4242.

About Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.: An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities, businesses and residents to ensure the long term vitality of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

Volunteerism on the Rise in Blackstone Heritage Corridor

                                                                                                    

 Press Release              

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Charlene Perkins Cutler, Executive Director

508-234-4242

ccutler@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org

 

Volunteerism on the Rise in Blackstone Heritage Corridor

BHC Releases Inspiring Year-End Volunteer Report

Blackstone Valley (October 27, 2016) – A year-end report filed by Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) for its National Park Service Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program reveals that volunteerism is on the rise in the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

For fiscal year 2015-2016, a total of 1,283 volunteers donated their time to a number of programs for a total of 13,431 hours, a significant increase from the previous year with 6,651 hours recorded for 146 volunteers. The dollar value of a volunteer’s time for fiscal year 2015-2016, at $23.56 per hour, came to the considerable sum of $316,434.

“We are thrilled to see the increase in volunteerism here in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor,” remarked Charlene Perkins Cutler, BHC’s Executive Director. “Since our relocation to Whitinsville, MA, this past spring, interest in our organization has spiked considerably.”

BHC manages the Volunteers-in-Parks program for the National Park Service. Nationally, VIPs work side-by-side with National Park Service employees and partners in parks across the nation to help preserve the nation’s most precious natural, historical, recreational and cultural treasures. Locally, volunteers are placed throughout the 25 communities of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the historic nodes of the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.

With the launch of its Trash Responsibly™ program last fall, volunteer numbers started to increase with the cleanup events BHC spearheaded and partnered with throughout the National Heritage Corridor. With this program alone, 907 volunteers signed up as one-day volunteers for 22 cleanup events and gave 4,066 hours of their time. BHC also launched a corporate “Day of Service” program, working with local companies and employees to make a difference in the communities that they live or work in. From cleaning historic sites inside and out, to landscaping the grounds, 58 employees from five companies gave 203 volunteer hours.

According to Suzanne Buchanan, BHC’s Volunteer Coordinator, many of BHC’s long-term VIPs incorporated the Centennial celebration of the National Park Service into popular programs including weekly paddles with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club, exploring many tributaries of the Blackstone River. In partnership with the VIPs, three National Park Service Ranger interpretive paddles were held this past season, highlighting Slatersville Reservoir, Hopedale Pond and the Blackstone Canal. In addition, there were weekly bike rides with the Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol, exploring all the bikeways within the boundaries of the National Heritage Corridor, including three “Ride with a Ranger” interpretive tours on the Blackstone River Bikeway highlighting the historical significance of the Blackstone River and Canal.

“This was an exciting year for the volunteer program,” remarked Buchanan. “Several people came forward wanting to offer new programs, including “Birding on the Blackstone” by VIP Rosanne Sherry offered in the spring at the Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI, and in the fall at Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park (River Bend Farm) in Uxbridge, MA. Volunteers from Trout Unlimited Chapter 737 in Rhode Island partnered with the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone and offered a day-long fly fishing school along the banks of the Blackstone River.”

BHC’s second annual GO! program in September gave the opportunity for 66 volunteers to lead experiences throughout the National Heritage Corridor, ranging from a full moon walk, guided tours through historic cemeteries, interpretive walking tours at places like the Millville Lock and Triad Bridges, and much more.

A big jump in volunteer numbers came by way of a youth service project sponsored by Youth Unlimited of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Volunteers, 104 in total, were hosted by the Pleasant Street Christian Reform Church and registered as VIPs for a week of service in the communities of Northbridge, Uxbridge, Millville, Douglas and Grafton, MA. A total of 3,168 volunteer hours were tallied as they tended to site maintenance at the Millville Lock, trail work at Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park/River Bend Farm, and more. This was the first of a three-year commitment from Whitinsville Serve, with more volunteers returning the summer of 2017.

The VIP program also benefitted financially from one volunteer’s former employer. Joe Richer, a Woonsocket, RI-resident, worked for Pfizer prior to his retirement and when he decided he wanted to volunteer to stay active, he remembered the Pfizer Foundation Volunteer Program which encourages volunteerism among Pfizer colleagues and retirees and helps them obtain grants for non-profits where they regularly volunteer. Richer volunteered at Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park/River Bend Farm and at the Capt. Wilbur Kelly House Transportation Museum, and after meeting Pfizer’s requirements (employees must volunteer for at least six months and serve an average of six hours per month for a minimum of 72 total hours) Richer worked with Buchanan to apply for the grant. BHC received a check for $1,000 from Pfizer in October, which will be applied to the volunteer program for supplies.

“We are also pleased to play a part in helping volunteers move along their career path by way of volunteering with us,” Buchanan added. “I just got an email from one of our volunteers, Blake Stone, letting me know he was just accepted into a Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) program at Death Valley National Park. He used his experience volunteering this summer with Coes Zone in Worcester, MA, helping with water quality programs.”

“I knew that practicing skills in water resource management would be beneficial to both myself and the watershed,” Blake Stone said. “I enjoy researching water quality, and having the opportunity to volunteer as a citizen scientist in the Blackstone River Valley helped me in preparing my application to the Geoscientists-in-the-Parks (GIP) program at Death Valley National Park.  I am proud to have begun my VIP experience with the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, and I recommend getting involved with your local park no matter what your background and interests may be.”

BHC hosts monthly Volunteer Open House events with the next ones scheduled for Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:30 p.m., and again on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 6:30 p.m., at its offices at Linwood Mill, 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA. To register, call Suzanne Buchanan at 508-234-4242 or email volunteer@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org. To learn more about BHC, visit BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

 

About Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.:

An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities, businesses and residents to ensure the long term vitality of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

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Trash Responsibly Summit

Join BHC, Inc. for a conversation about litter and recycling in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor. We will bring together representatives from the 25 communities of the Heritage Corridor to talk about litter in our cities and towns and create coordinated efforts to keep our Corridor clean, healthy and beautiful!

Become a part of the solution through education on recycling, organizing litter cleanups and more! Even the simplest of efforts goes a long way to spreading the Trash Responsibly frame of mind.

Summit is Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon (light lunch reception to follow) at the Singh Performance Center at Alternatives, 60 Whitinsville, MA 01588. 

RSVP by October 14 to Bonnie Combs at bcombs@blackstoneheritagecorridor.org or call 508-234-4242.

trash-responsibly-summit-invitation

BHC Announces 2017 Calendar Contest Winners & Release Party

Whitinsville, MA – (September 6, 2016) – In celebration of its new 2017 Blackstone Heritage Corridor Calendar featuring the work of 10 local photographers, Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) is hosting a Calendar Release Party on Wednesday, October 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at its offices at Linwood Mill, 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA. Guests can meet the photographers and purchase calendars on site.

“The emphasis of our 2017 Calendar is on our industrial heritage,” notes Charlene Perkins Cutler, executive director of BHC. The Calendar is “2017: The Innovative and Industrious Blackstone Heritage Corridor.” Carefully curated facts about the region’s contribution to the American Industrial Revolution punctuate the pages. On each month’s page, there are facts celebrating the innovation that had been fostered in the National Heritage Corridor from hundreds of years ago to the present. For instance, in the 1830s, the Knowlton Hat Factory in Upton, MA, was the largest manufacturer of straw hats in the world.

“The Blackstone Heritage Corridor is one of the Nation’s richest and best preserved repositories of landscapes, structures and sites that recall a neglected era of the American past:  the Age of Industry,” Cutler points out. “Thousands of structures and whole landscapes still exist which represent the entire history of the American Industrial Revolution and the complex economic and social relationships of the people who lived and worked here.”

The photos for the 2017 Blackstone Heritage Corridor Calendar where chosen in a blind contest and offer a mix of scenes showcasing the National Heritage Corridor’s natural, historical and cultural resources.

The new year begins with a beautiful snowy scene, taken late in the afternoon with the sky lit by stunning pink tones cast against what looks like a carefully hand-painted landscape. January’s photo was submitted by Frances Guevremont of Lincoln, RI, who revealed that the scene lasted only about 10 minutes as she photographing it. February follows with another snow-filled landscape taken along the canal tow path below the Ashton Dam in Quinville, RI. David Newton of Cumberland, RI, shared his photo that beckons one to cross the wooden bridge with snowshoes or cross country skis. Carol Dandrade of Uxbridge, MA, spent some time along the rail trail in Millbury, MA, and captured a reflection of a metal bridge that was cast onto the track. The picture offers a unique perspective that one might never see.

Cormier Woods, a property in Uxbridge, MA, preserved by Trustees of Reservations inspired Wendy A. Henschel of Linwood, MA, to pack a camera. She captured an historic homestead along the trail with beautiful stone work and complementary colors in the roof and wood siding. It sits in surrounded by lush landscape just calling out for spring. The month of May is ushered into the 2017 Blackstone Heritage Corridor Calendar with a captivating photo of two cygnets whose sudden movement cast a spiral around them, offering the light an opportunity to dance around the new creatures. Tiny beads of water on the swans make one think the calendar is wet. Ernest Berube of Lincoln, RI, captured May’s photo along the banks of the Blackstone River in Lincoln, RI. Further north in his hometown of Douglas, MA, Scott Harwood stopped along the Southern New England Trunkline Trail on Wallum Lake Road and zeroed in on aging stone arch bridge that beckons the admirer to continue on down the lush green path.

An iconic symbol of freedom, the American Bald Eagle, graces the page in July, submitted by Don McKenzie of Worcester, MA. Titled “Papa Bald Eagle Fishing in the Blackstone River,” the powerful image was taken in Riverdale, a village of Northbridge, MA. It is no secret that the Blackstone River offers photographers a wide variety of subjects. For the month of August, a photo submitted by Allan Siuzdak of Cumberland, RI, of a trio of painted turtles walking up a fallen log also captured their reflection being cast in the water below. With the sun shining off their backs, one can almost feel the August heat pulsing off the page. The golden hues of September inspired Wendy A. Henschel to submit a photo taken at River Bend Farm at Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, MA. Henschel captured a Fritillary butterfly resting with its wings wide open, appearing to be having a conversation with a nearby pencil dragonfly. River Bend Farm was also the scene for October’s picture taken by Robert William Mielke of Uxbridge, MA. Miekle spotted a picnicking couple enjoying the view of a stone arch bridge embellished with autumn color. Carol Dandrade visited the Hannaway Blacksmith Shop in Lincoln, RI, and submitted a vignette of blacksmith tools with a roaring fire in the background, appropriate to offer some warmth to November’s calendar picture with a nod to history. The month of December is celebrated with a picturesque winter scene of the Blackstone Canal at the Capt. Wilbur Kelly House Museum in Quinville, RI. David Newton captured the shot after a snow squall had moved on and the sun started to break through the clouds casting a reflection on the water below.

The coveted cover shot, “Pond Mist Sunrise,” was submitted by Leon Droby of Uxbridge, MA, at Voss Farm (River Bend Farm), also in Uxbridge. Standing near the shore looking at the tow path in the distance, Droby captured the daybreak with the sun’s citrus-colored hues reflecting into the canal through a layer of fog dancing above it. The barren trees are reflected in the canal creating a captivating photo at a very popular visitor location in the National Heritage Corridor.

“I look forward to this calendar contest every year because I get to see hundreds of photos that capture the uniqueness of the National Heritage Corridor,” Cutler explained. “They are all submitted by local photographers, and it’s always inspiring to see what they discover and choose to submit to help us tell our story through the months of the year. We are grateful for the passion and generosity.”

BHC’s 2017 Calendar will be available at the Calendar Release Party on October 17 and can be purchased for $10 each. The calendars will also be available for sale on BHC’s online shop. To learn more, visit BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.

About Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc.:

An energetic nonprofit, the Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. partners with organizations, local communities, businesses and residents to ensure the long term vitality of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. Learn more at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org.