Tag Archives: Blackstone Heritage Corridor

Effective Partnerships and Strategic Volunteering for Businesses

Video interview with Jan Miele of Benchmark Advisory Group. We talked about strategic partnerships, effective volunteering, and Easy Walks. Thanks to Jan and the Benchmark Advisory Group for inviting me back to chat again. https://vimeo.com/295144942

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Along the Blackstone River-Woonsocket, RI

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Along the Blackstone River in Woonsocket, near the MA border. On the left is a remnant of the Blackstone Canal

I had heard of a new section of railtrail at Coldspring Park, off Harris Avenue in Woonsocket, but last we looked, it was not obvious where the trail might be. When we stopped by today, it was easy to find the trail, and quite easy to walk alongside the river for about a half mile, all the way to the Massachusetts line. Continue reading

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Make Your Own Storybook Hike GO! program, Upton State Forest

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Heading out on the trail

September 11, 2018

The concept of a Make Your Own Storybook hike is simple–take a walk together, explore along the way, and come back to write or draw about what we experienced. After a summer hiatus, the Make Your Own Storybook hikes have started back up. This past weekend we visited the Upton State Forest, and were joined by several families with young children, some literate, some not, but by the end, it appeared that everyone had a grand time in the outdoors. We were blessed with terrific volunteers, enthusiastic families, inquisitive children, and cool, overcast skies.  Continue reading

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Ready to “GO!” to the Blackstone Valley

GO! 2018 Leaders_ Carole Dandrade photographer

Some (but not all!) of the many volunteers and staff working to make September the month you decide to “GO!” to the Blackstone Valley

The Blackstone Heritage Corridor has been running their “Go!” campaign each September for the past three years. As they ready the start of this fourth year’s campaign, volunteers who will be running the programs throughout the Blackstone Valley gathered at Riverbend Farm in Uxbridge to receive our instructions. We received distinctive “GO!” t-shirts and hats, and got as many “GO!” brochures as we wished, to distribute throughout communities in the valley. We took a few pictures too!  Continue reading

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Joy on the Bike Path–Adaptive Cycling in Blackstone

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Suzanne was a one-woman cheering squad for riders venturing out on the trail

It was a day of joy as adaptive cycling came to the Blackstone River Greenway in Blackstone for those with special needs of many kinds.  The event was in the planning stages back when snow was on the ground last January. That’s how long it takes to get this many moving parts lined up, making sure everything will run smoothly. And in fact everything did come together. Many of us understand the woman who came back from her ride and said, “My face hurts from smiling!” Indeed, others of us felt the same way from smiling all day. Continue reading

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Make Your Own Story–Rain, Rain, Go Away!

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We were prepared for rain! (Photo, Carol Dandrade)

The threatening clouds kept blowing by, allowing for sunshine to sneak through, but we were mostly prepared. Our “Looking for Spring,” Make your own storybook hike at Riverbend farm was on, regardless of the weather. My partner for this event, Kathryn Parent, was well-prepared. “Here are some umbrellas and ponchos,” she said, laying the items on the table in the visitor center classroom. She admitted, “The umbrellas are from our ‘Lost and Found’ box.” As it turned out, they weren’t needed, but we were prepared! Continue reading

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History of the Blackstone Gorge

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The Blackstone River rushes through the Gorge after heavy rains

The spring group walk promised to provide some history about the Blackstone Gorge. While I have often visited the gorge over the past thirty years I’ve been aware of it, I have never been well-versed in its past. For indeed, the gorge has a past, not just geologic, but a man-made past as well. Continue reading

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Joys of Volunteering Part 2

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Heritage Corridor volunteers getting a private historical tour of the grounds near the Kelly house in Lincoln, RI

As though our recent adventure out to Northampton with the Blackstone Heritage Corridor was not enough, Corridor volunteers were treated to a spring Thank you picnic (during Volunteer week–the timing was perfect!) at the Kelly House in Lincoln, RI, along the Blackstone Bikeway. Somehow we ended up with one of the very few bright and sunny days in a week of near monsoon-like weather, which allowed for a trip along the bike trail for the Bike Ambassadors, a personally guided tour of the area surrounding the Kelly house by Ranger Kevin Klyberg, and a delicious outdoor picnic dinner as well. Continue reading

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The Joys of Volunteering!

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Getting practice helping a person into an adaptive bicycle

I come from a long line of volunteers. My parents often volunteered their time, volunteered their home, made meals for those in need, and simply modeled that when you have the resources to share, it’s a nice feeling to offer a hand when the need is apparent.

Volunteering also has benefits. Sometimes it’s simply creating the opportunity to get to know other like-minded folks who also enjoy spending time helping others. Other times you see that your meager efforts have made a difference. Sometimes you have a chance to get behind the scenes, or understand better what it takes to host an event. I like the chance to do a task that keeps my hands busy while sharing a job, be it painting, cleaning, or making pies or salads with others who have raised their hands to pitch in. Continue reading

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Fun in the Snow–Upton State Forest Make Your Own Storybook hike

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Happy smiles after a walk in the snow at Upton State Forest

I got some questions about whether we would cancel the Make Your Own storybook Hike scheduled for Upton State Forest. There had been (yet another!) nor’easter that had dumped up to 20 inches of snow in some areas, including Upton. But the snow was fluffy, and Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) staff members, Jody Madden and Kathryn Parent, were partnering with us for this event and did an amazing job plowing and shoveling so we could access parking and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) building, where we managed sign-ins and made our own books after our walk. Continue reading

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