Press & Media

Honoring Our History, Forging Our Future

The Blackstone River Valley of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is the “Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.” America’s first textile mill could have been built along almost any river on the eastern seaboard. But in 1790, the forces of capital, ingenuity, mechanical know-how, and skilled labor turned the Blackstone River into the power that kicked off America’s industrial engine.

The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has made it a priority to not only protect and celebrate the history and the beauty of this significant area, we also are investing to ensure that this treasure is available for future generations. Working with community partners, we provide strong leadership to preserve, promote and celebrate the Valley’s historic, natural and recreational resources for all.

Tapping into inspiration from our ancestors, we are determined to take leadership in five key areas to ensure that our mission is fulfilled:

      • Champion for the completion of the multi-use trail
        Even before the national park, the biggest dream has been to complete the multi-use trail from Worcester to Providence, following the course of our beloved Blackstone River. The popularity of the finished sections, largely in Rhode Island, shows how important this space is to all of us. As we learned in recent years, outdoor spaces have become more vital than ever for our physical and mental health. Too many miles are yet to be completed. It will take sustained advocacy by a passionate public, under the direction of a part-time dedicated coordinator, to motivate state governments to deliver on their promises to complete the project so the trail is complete


      • Keep the Corridor history and stories accessible to all
        After four decades, it is critical to replace, update, unify, and add to signs, information panels, digital materials, and heritage center exhibits that provide access for visitors to engage in our stories and history. The corridor provides access to hundreds of opportunities and we must improve the tools to share this important information for visitors with the help of a part-time project manager.


      • Grow volunteer opportunities in the Corridor
        Through our award-winning Volunteers in Parks program, we’ve recruited, trained, and placed hundreds of volunteers each year who are serving as guides, docents, and stewards at dozens of cultural and historic sites, and natural areas. By placing more volunteers at these important locations, we provide more access and support for visitors. We can do this by investing in new tools, uniforms, and training to provide more meaningful ways to be part of the corridor.


      • Increase collaborative resources for community partners
        The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has successfully served as the critical hub for the Corridor by managing resources in the most effective way for our community partners. There are over 60 nonprofit organizations working separately to protect the beautiful and historic Blackstone River Valley, not to mention municipalities and businesses. The impact on our communities is boundless when we put our actions and resources together. By expanding our community partner grants program, we can help our partners create and improve amenities and storytelling to enhance the historic, natural, and recreational treasures of the Blackstone Valley for even more access and enjoyment.


      • Invest in the Blackstone Heritage Corridor Impact
        As our federal support decreases, we are looking to replace that funding gap, and increase our own investment in expanding the important services needed to sustain all of the resources in the corridor. Our strategy is to hire a full-time development director and administrative support to manage much needed fundraising and amplify the impact of our critical services of preserving, promoting, and celebrating the Blackstone River Valley.


    The benefits of all of these initiatives will be far reaching, not only in the present day, but for families and visitors in years to come. Learn more about our efforts by downloading our campaign overview for details right here!