Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rally For the Valley on June 1

River Bend Farm Visitor’s Center, 287 Oak Street, Uxbridge, MA will be the venue on Friday, June 1st for “Rally for the Valley” 3:30- 7pm to bring attention to the Blackstone Valley National Historic Park initiative introduced in Congress last October.

Members of Congress from both RI and MA sponsored federal legislation that would create a National Historical Park within the Corridor, forever highlighting the role of the Blackstone Valley in our nation's history, protecting its historic as well as natural resources, and stimulating our local and regional economy.
Help us spread the word about the “Rally for the Valley”

3:30-5:30 Family Fun activities, over 40 vendor tables, kayaking, biking, wagon rides, historic interpreters, visit with Smokey Bear, Orson the Polar Bear and “Paws” the Pawsox Mascot, Children sporting event demonstrations, Polar Beverages will conduct samplings, radio station WCRN is broadcasting live! The Hanover Theatre, will be participating with fun activities to promote the upcoming production of “Mary Poppins”.

5:00 the USAF Band of Liberty Brass Quintet will perform, and the Veterans Inc. Color Guard representing all branches of the armed forces will make a presentation.

5:30 we will hear from our legislators and special guests with live and prerecorded presentations.

It’s all free and open to the public--picnicking is encouraged!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's May! Time To Get Out In The Valley

Spring is a wonderful time to get out and explore.  There are some very special outdoor spots in the Blackstone Valley.  Here are just a few.

Blackstone River & Canal Heritage State Park
Uxbridge, MA
The Blackstone Canal closed in 1868, but intact pieces of the canal remain in this scenic park.  You can take a gentle stroll along the remains of a tow path once used by horses to pull canal boats down the Blackstone Canal.   Or take a longer walk to Goat Hill lock where tall stone walls remain from one of 48 locks that once lifted and lowered boats along the canal.

Blackstone River Bikeway
Woonsocket, Lincoln, and Cumberland, RI
Walk or ride your bike along the 10.5 miles of paved path along riverbanks, through quiet woodlands, and across a scenic marsh via a wooden boardwalk.  A hidden treasure in Northern RI.

Purgatory Chasm State Park
Sutton, MA
If you love scrambling across rocks, Purgatory Chasm is the place for you!  Tall granite walls lead to a deep quarter-mile long chasm.  In some places, the walls rise as high as 70 feet above the chasm floor. 

Lincoln Woods State Park
Lincoln, RI
A lovely pond is the centerpiece to this park.  There are picnic sites, a beautiful meadow, and several walking trails.  Don't miss the covered bridge at one end of the park.  Wildflowers are plentiful this time of year.

Looking for more great things to do in the Valley?
Check out the Explore and Calendar sections of our website.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hachiko Statue To Be Unveiled In Woonsocket

The senior ranking official from Japan’s Consulate General in Boston, Consul General Takeshi Hikihara, will visit Woonsocket as part of a trip to Rhode Island on Saturday, May 19.  At 3 PM that day, the Consul General will officially unveil the new Hachiko statue at the front of the Woonsocket Depot, the headquarters of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.   The landmark building in which the Heritage Corridor operates was featured in a Richard Gere movie called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale.  The movie, which has built a strong following on video, tells the true story of Hachiko, an Akita dog whose loyalty is legendary in Japan.  According to published accounts, Hachiko waited every evening at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo for his owner to return from his job at a Japanese university.  When the man died suddenly while at work and failed to return on the train, the loyal Hachiko waited at the station every evening for ten years until his own death in 1935.  Today, a statue of Hachiko (pictured) is located at the Shibuya train station in Tokyo and is popular tourist destination.  The statue being placed in Woonsocket is a replica of the Tokyo statue. 

In Woonsocket, visitors often stop at the Woonsocket Depot to see the spot where the American film was made.  With the placement of the new Hachiko statue, it is expected that more visitors will be putting the Woonsocket Depot on their "places to visit"  list.   To read more about the statue and how it came to be in Woonsocket, see this article.

The May 19 event is open to the public.  We invite our friends and partners to welcome the Consul General and to see the statue unveiled. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pawtucket Visitor Center Volunteers Sought

The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, working with the City of Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, is seeking volunteers to staff the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center at 175 Roosevelt Avenue in Pawtucket.  Volunteers will welcome visitors to the Blackstone Valley and help them learn about the nationally significant story of the Blackstone Valley.

For many valley visitors, the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center is their first point of contact, according to Valerie Paul, Volunteer Program Coordinator for the Heritage Corridor.  “We are looking for volunteers who are interested in the area and want to share that interest with visitors who may not know a lot about the Blackstone Valley,” Paul said recently.  According to Paul, the Corridor is looking for volunteers for a variety of hours.  “We are especially interested in people who may be available for a regularly scheduled shift or half-shift during the day on Thursdays or Fridays from June through September.  We are also hoping to find additional volunteers who might like to staff the Visitor Center on select Saturdays or Sundays.”  She added that volunteers at the Visitor Center would be members of the Volunteers-In-Parks Program of the National Park Service, a nation-wide volunteer corps working at national parks throughout the United States.

Paul describes the Heritage Corridor as “partnership-based.”  Helping to recruit volunteers for the Visitor Center, Paul says, “gives the Heritage Corridor the opportunity to work with two of our premier partners, the City of Pawtucket and Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.”

Volunteers who are interested in learning more about this opportunity or other volunteer positions in the Pawtucket area can contact Valerie Paul at the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor offices at 401-762-0250 or they may reach her by e-mail at