Heritage Landscape Inventory

Twin Elms Farm - Mendon, Masachusetts
Twin Elms Farm - Mendon, Massachusetts

Blackstone River Valley Heritage Landscape Inventory
Heritage landscapes are special places that help define the character of every community. In the Blackstone Valley, heritage landscapes include the mill villages, farmsteads, cemeteries, parks and river corridors that, through a combination of natural and cultural resources, reflect the region’s history and contribute to its sense of place. In 2007, the Corridor Commission partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and Quinebaug–Shetucket Heritage Corridor, Inc. to undertake an inventory of heritage landscapes in south-central Massachusetts. The program was recently implemented in five communities in Rhode Island, with funding from the Corridor Commission and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission’s Preservation is Local grant program.

In both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island inventories, each of the participating communities hosted a community meeting where participants were invited to identify a wide range of heritage landscapes. Hundreds of landscapes were identified and over 80 landscapes that lack long-term protection were prioritized and documented in greater detail. Consultant teams, working closely with the towns, the Corridor Commission and other project partners, then developed strategies for the protection of these high-priority landscapes. Each community received a report that addresses town-wide preservation issues and provides specific recommendations for the high-priority landscapes. Copies of the reports may be downloaded here:


Rhode Island
North Smithfield

For more information about the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Landscape Inventory, please contact Joanna Doherty at 401-762-0250 or e-mail us

Stone Walls along Grange Road – North Smithfield, Rhode Island

Tools for Protecting Heritage Landscapes
The Massachusetts heritage landscape inventory culminated in a series of preservation planning workshops attended by nearly 200 people, including municipal staff, volunteers and concerned citizens. Topics included how to protect local farmland, revitalize mill buildings and become a more effective preservation advocate. Learn more on these topics by clicking on the links below

Building Support for Landscape Preservation Is there a particular landscape you want to save, a bylaw you would like to see passed or a preservation cause you want to promote?

Keeping Farms in Your Community
Explore what farmers and municipalities can do to preserve agricultural landscapes.

Bringing New Life to Mills
What can municipalities do to encourage the re-use of mills? What attracts developers?

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Northbridge, MA 01588


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