Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year From The Heritage Corridor!

All of us at the Corridor, commissioners and staff, want to wish our friends, partners and volunteers, a very Happy New Year!   This past year was full of excitement, much of it associated with an all-out effort to get a new National Park created. It almost made it in 2011. Although the park legislation was ultimately not included in the omnibus spending bill Congress passed in mid-December, that is not the end of it. Already, the sponsors of the legislation have vowed to continue the effort and succeed, however long it may take. So please stay engaged, and continue to share your views about a new park with the decision-makers! And don't forget to thank your Senators and Representatives for doing their best.

But, as important as the work related to a new park is, it should not keep us from recognizing all the work that still goes on, every day, throughout the Blackstone Valley: keeping historic sites and museums open even when times are tough and budgets keep shrinking; working with school kids and young adults to spread our story and develop new stewards; pulling out ever bigger tires from the river; still pushing for the WHOLE bike path to be completed; still pushing for a visitor center to be built in Worcester; and still getting more and more people out on the river, the bike path and the trails for some healthy outdoor recreation. We really do not just talk about history, we keep making it.

Thank you for all you do. We look forward to working together with you in 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Volunteers-In-Parks Recognized At Heritage Corridor Event

More than 60 volunteers and their guests gathered at The Pines in North Smithfield, RI recently where they were recognized for their contributions to the Heritage Corridor. Ranger Peter Coffin talked to the group about the role volunteers have played since the Corridor was established in 1986.  “This place was built on volunteers 25 years ago and it will go forward with volunteers to the next 25 years.”  Ranger Chuck Arning added, “We couldn’t do it without you.  You are out there cleaning the river, talking to our visitors, and taking care of this important place day in and day out.”  Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Paul described the contribution of volunteers in dollars and cents.  “You contributed the equivalent of more that $1 million dollars in volunteer labor last year.  You are an amazing group of people.”