May 2 Cleanup Event Slated for Blackstone and Blackstone Canal
Old map of the Blackstone Canal route
This section of the canal runs from the river at the Saranac Dam to the Rhode Island border (and through a corner of North Smithfield, RI). In addition to cleaning up the canal, brush will be removed to expose views of the historic 1851 twin arch St. Paul Street Bridge. The Town of Blackstone will also direct volunteers throughout the historic town for litter removal.
The Blackstone Canal is included in the recent congressional authorization of Blackstone River Valley National Historic Park. According to the bill, the park includes the Blackstone River and the tributaries of the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal; the Blackstone River State Park in Lincoln, RI; the Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark District in Pawtucket, RI; the Slatersville Historic District in North Smithfield, RI; Whitinsville Historic District in Northbridge, MA and Hopedale Village Historic District in Hopedale, MA. In addition, the bill adds Auburn, MA and parts of Providence, RI to the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and authorizes funding for the corridor for six more years.
“Waterford Village will be celebrating its bicentennial in 10 years,” explained Mary Bulso, member Blackstone Historic Commission. “The Blackstone Historic Commission is working towards getting the area ready for the big day. Dave Barber from the Blackstone Canal Conservancy explained that canal improvements are not going to happen overnight, but the cleanup is part of a long term effort.
The meeting point for the cleanup will be at the Blackstone Municipal Center at 15 St. Paul Street, Blackstone. Volunteers will receive t-shirts and a complimentary cookout afterwards.
To register to volunteer, please visit www.tinyurl.com/blackstonecleanup2015.