BHC’s Birders Record a Robust Spring Migration

66 bird types found in volunteer-led bird walks throughout the National Heritage Corridor
Whitinsville, MA (June 30, 2017) – It was a spring like no other, thanks to a few passionate volunteers from Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC). Three avid birders came together to lead a series of nine bird walks between April and June during which 66 different varieties of birds were identified between Uxbridge, MA, and Pawtucket, RI. The weekend bird walks attracted over 80 participants on the adventures through lush bird habitats including Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, West Hill Park in Northbridge, MA, the Blackstone River Greenway in Blackstone, MA, Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI, and the Ten Mile River Greenway in Pawtucket, RI. To celebrate and recognize this new volunteer activity in a special way, BHC hosted a festive “Flock Party” at the end of June, inviting participants to hear presentations from the volunteer guides recapping the season’s findings.
The bird walks were 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 the trio continue to collaborate on birding activities throughout the year. Word flew out about their adventures and they were invited on Upton Cable Television’s “Be My Guest” show in April.
“I always thought it was about bird watching,” Ryan Whetsone, a bird walk participant shared. “But it’s really about bird listening. I could go for a walk by myself and maybe see a bird, or not. But on these walks you are with over 20 pairs of eyes and you see and hear things you’d miss if you were by yourself. These volunteer guides are experts at recognizing the bird calls.”
Beth Milke was charmed by Whetstone’s feedback on the program. “Paul and I remember how exciting it was to learn about birds–how many different kinds there are, what their songs are like, where to find them–from a terrific birder, Strickland Wheelock of Uxbridge,” she shared. “His enthusiasm rubbed off on us, and we’ve had so much fun sharing the experience with those who joined us for the bird walks.”
The types of birds identified on the walks include:

Canada Goose, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Mute Swan, Osprey, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Killdeer, American Woodcock, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Chimney Swift, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Blue Jay, American Crow, Common Raven, Tufted Titmouse, Black capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Gray Catbird, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Eastern Bluebird, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Cedar Waxwing, European Starling, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue winged Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, American Redstart, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Common Grackle, Scarlet Tanager , Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Indigo Bunting, American Goldfinch, Eastern Towhee, House Finch, Song Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, and House Sparrow.
“A special sighting for me was watching an Eastern Wood Pewee, a type of Flycatcher, literally going to the four corners of its territory and calling,” Sherry noted.  “Its territory may only have been about 200 feet by 100 feet, but the Pewee was vigorously declaring it.”
More bird walks are planned for BHC’s GO! program this September.  VIPs Beth and Paul Milke will lead walks at:  Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI, on September 2; Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, MA, on September 16; and at West Hill Park in Northbridge, MA, on September 30. Participants will be watching for birds preparing to migrate south, where they find food during winter.  All walks will be on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. with rain dates the following day.  Pre-register at BlackstoneBirdsMA@gmail.com.

 

Blackstone Heritage Corridor Seeks Photos for 2018 Calendar Contest

The Blackstone Heritage Corridor is looking for photos for the 2018 Calendar Contest. The theme of the contest is The Blackstone River and Blackstone River Watershed.

“We are celebrating the hard-working Blackstone River in our 2018 Calendar. The historic river, which powered the birth of the American Industrial Revolution, is this region’s most popular feature and is enjoyed by many who live, work and visit here. The Blackstone River and Canal, and its many tributaries which make up the 640- square mile watershed, provide endless opportunities to view history and stunning scenery in addition to providing many different forms of recreation. We look forward to receiving photo submissions which capture the beauty of this most precious natural, historical and recreational resource,”  said Megan DiPrete, Executive Director at Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC).

The annual photo contest receives hundreds of entries each year, but only 13 images will be picked for the 2018 calendar.

The deadline to enter is Monday, August 14, 2017.  The contest entry form is located here.

Submitting Photos 

Photographers are asked to submit photos taken of the Blackstone River Watershed and focus on the Blackstone River, one of the tributaries, the Blackstone Canal or other water features.

Photos must be submitted in high resolution (300 dpi minimum), horizontal JPG format, 10 inches wide and 8 inches high. No black and white or altered images.

Each individual photo for the contest must be submitted with a signed entry form.

Winners will be notified in early September.

New Summer Hours for Saturday!

 

 

In addition to being open Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 4:00, Blackstone Heritage Corridor (BHC) will now open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon during the summer.

Looking for information?  Need a map?

Want to stamp your NPS passport?  Need a new hat?

If you’re looking for ideas on how to Get Lost in the Blackstone Valley, or planning on where to GO!, drop in for assistance or ideas.

Saturday morning is a great time for travellers and trekkers, as well as vacationers and valleyites to stop by and get all the maps and guides for exploring the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor!

 

Located at 670 Linwood Ave, Unit #10, Whitinsville, MA.

Saturday hours are 9:00 – 12:00 noon.

 

Blackstone River Bikeway Blasts, May 9

The ride started out gray , overcast and dreary – wasn’t looking too great for a bike ride . However, as the afternoon went on the sun eventually came out just in time to warm us a bit on our bikes and provide a spectacular pink and gold sunset after the bike ride.  Wildlife abounded, muskrats, mallards and a blue heron – Oh My!  We also learned many interesting things from Mark Dennen , especially about the rock formations along the way.

Woonsocket is the start of next week’s Bikeway Patrol ride. As you pull in to the driveway for the bikeway, notice the veteran’s monument and the old smokestack from the Glendale Mill. The land once owned by them has been repurposed into soccer fields and a mini golf course. We will be riding to Manville where you can find a kayak/canoe launch to the Blackstone River at Sycamore landing. Friends of the Blackstone claim this as their landing spot and will be having a monthly meeting at the environmental center there.  Come join us as we explore the history and current events happening in this vibrant wooded corridor!

BHC Gears Up to Celebrate National Bike Month in May

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan DiPrete,

Executive Director
508-234-4242

mdiprete@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org
BHC Gears Up to Celebrate National Bike Month in May
Festivities Include Bike Rack and Repair Station Installations and Launch of Bikeway Patrol Rides

Whitinsville, MA (May 12, 2017) – Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) is celebrating National Bike Month in May with a series of bike rack and repair station installations and the launch of its Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol, which offers group rides with the public as well as information and assistance along the Bikeway.
Beginning this month, a total of 58 bicycle racks will be installed in the Massachusetts communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Leicester, Millville, Upton and Uxbridge. In addition, Fix It bicycle repair stations will be installed in Auburn, Grafton and Leicester. These racks and repair stations were made available through a state grant. Douglas is the first community to report having them installed in downtown areas, near the Library, near the town offices and at local recreation fields.

A special cycling repair station and exhibit in Worcester will be unveiled at a public event on Tuesday, May 30 at 11:00 a.m. along the Blackstone River Bikeway in Worcester in the parking lot across from 1265 Millbury Street. This location is near the future site of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center @ Worcester (scheduled to open late summer, 2018).
According to Devon Kurtz, Director of Audience Engagement at BHC, the cycling repair station provides basic tools, a tire pump and advice on prepping your bike for a safe ride. This special exhibit and repair station is supported in part by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and the National Park Service.
“The colorful exhibit is created from 2-inch COR-TEN steel and uses evocative images to explore the history of biking in the Worcester area since the late 1800s,” Kurtz noted. “The coolest feature is a life-size silhouette of a cyclist on a high wheel bike who may spring to life during the unveiling!”
Meanwhile, BHC’s Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol kicked off its riding season earlier this month riding the new Blackstone River Greenway, a 3.7 mile paved trail from Blackstone to S. Uxbridge, MA. The volunteer group will host weekly public rides on Wednesday evenings on bike trails throughout the National Heritage Corridor, departing at 6:30 p.m. from each location. Upcoming rides include May 17 at the Blackstone River Bikeway, riding from Woonsocket, RI, to Manville (Lincoln), RI; May 24 at the Burrillville Bike Path in Burrillville, RI, and May 31 at the Blackstone River Bikeway, riding from Millbury, MA, to Worcester, MA. In June, the Wednesday rides are scheduled for June 7 at the Blackstone River Bikeway, riding from Lonsdale (Lincoln), RI, to Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI; June 14 riding from Slater Mill to Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI. On June 21, the group ride will be along the Ten Mile River Greenway from Pawtucket, RI, to East Providence, RI, and on June 28 the ride will be along the Blackstone River Greenway from S. Uxbridge, MA, to Blackstone, MA. All rides are round-trip and helmets are required. For specific details and future dates, visit BHC’s website at BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org or contact Suzanne Buchanan, BHC’s Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@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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Blackstone Heritage Corridor Celebrates Its Volunteers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan DiPrete, Executive Director
508-234-4242

MDiPrete@BlackstoneHeritageCorridor.org
Blackstone Heritage Corridor Celebrates Its Volunteers
Southwick’s Zoo Hosts Behind-the-Scenes Experience for BHC’s Volunteers-in-Parks

 

Whitinsville, MA (May 10, 2017)- Blackstone Heritage Corridor, Inc. (BHC) celebrated National Volunteer Week with its volunteers at Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA, with a behind-the-scenes tour led by Betsey Brewer Bethel, executive director of Earth Limited at the zoo.
BHC manages the Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program for the National Park Service and currently has 197 active volunteers. Over the past year, a total of 1,274 volunteers participated in the program, including single-day service events. In fiscal year 2016, volunteers served a total of 13,431 hours contributing a value of $316,440 in volunteer services to the organization. Since moving its office to Whitinsville, MA, from Woonsocket, RI, one year ago, BHC’s Volunteers-in-
Parks program has grown considerably, both in number of volunteers and new programs led by those volunteers.
One of the new volunteer-led programs is the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Trail Ambassadors. According to BHC’s Volunteer Coordinator, Suzanne Buchanan, this new program complements the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club, now in its 17th season, and the Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol, now in its sixth season. “We have had the good fortune of providing volunteer programs offering recreation on our rivers and our bikeways, and now we have one for our beautiful trails,” explained Buchanan. More than a dozen people responded to Buchanan’s call for interested VIP’s. A schedule of more than a dozen hikes, walks and events through the end of 2017 is still growing and is posted on the events page of BHC’s website.
Meanwhile, BHC’s Birding on the Blackstone series has expanded this year. First introduced by VIP Rosanne Sherry in 2016, the program grew once she met Beth and Paul Milke on one of her walks. Now the trio have worked out a schedule offering bird walks throughout the Corridor through June 4. Other new volunteers have come forward offering their skills in photography, graphic design, assisting with BHC’s Trash Responsibly™ program, and much more.
“Volunteers are the backbone of stewardship throughout the National Heritage Corridor and it’s a pleasure to watch BHC’s volunteer program grow and flourish,” noted Megan DiPrete, BHC’s new Executive Director. “There is certainly a range of new energy being directed in many exciting directions.”
The volunteer appreciation event also served as a time to recognize the VIPs for some milestones for their years of service in the program. Recognized for five years: Mark Dennen of Lincoln, RI, who volunteers with the Blackstone River Bikeway Patrol and is also certified to teach CPR and First Aid to BHC’s volunteers. Recognized for serving 15 years: Julie Riendeau of Harrisville, RI, who volunteers with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club and also brings the Junior Ranger program to area schools. Also serving 15 years, and with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club are Steve Riendeau of Harrisville, RI, Ben Thompson and Cheryl Thompson, both of N. Scituate, RI; Lee Parham of Norton, MA, and Robert Martin of Cumberland, RI. Keith Hainley of
Woonsocket, RI, and Judy Hadley of Lincoln, RI, have both served 15 years as members of the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone. Hainley serves as its environmental coordinator, leading cleanups along the Blackstone and the Rhode Island section of the Blackstone River watershed and Hadley serves on its board and creates public programming for the organization. Nancy Weigmont of Woonsocket, RI, and Robert Taylor, of N. Attleboro, MA, both reached their 15 year milestone and both volunteer at the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, RI. Kent Cameron of Warwick, RI, was also recognized for his 15 year volunteer milestone.
During BHC’s National Volunteer Week celebration, those recognized for volunteering for 20 years including Ethel Halsey of Harrisville, RI, Irene Blais of Woonsocket, RI, and Robert Charpentier of Harrisville, RI. Blais volunteers regularly at the Museum of Work and Culture and is president of the Woonsocket Historical Society and Charpentier has been a fixture with the Blackstone River Watershed Council/Friends of the Blackstone and serves on its board.
To learn more about BHC’s volunteer program, attend the next Volunteer Open House on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of Work and Culture, 42 S. Main Street, Woonsocket, RI, or call Suzanne Buchanan at (508) 234-4242. 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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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.