March 7, 2024 - First State National Historical Park
Some national parks have just one entry and exit point. Others are spread out across entire communities and even cross state lines.
This talk will bring staff together from two historical parks with unique boundaries: First State National Historical Park and Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. First State is made up of six sites located in Delaware, the First State to ratify the Constitution. Blackstone River Valley NHP, a bi-state unit of the National Park Service, is also made up of six separate historic areas. Rangers will discuss some common themes across the parks, with a focus on the groups of movers and shakers who made the country’s First State and birthplace of industry into unique corridors of innovation.
March 14, 2024 - Everglades National Park
Close to 7% of the United States is made of water.
During this program, rangers from two National Park Service sites will discuss how local waterways have indelibly shaped their local landscapes in very different ways. The Blackstone River Valley is known for its use of great waterpower, while the Everglades is home to a complex ecosystem of slow moving, flooded grasslands.
Learn more about these distinctive bodies of water and the people who have called these places a home.
March 21, 2024 - Amistad National Recreation Area
How do people confront challenges with the natural world?
In the 1800s, enterprising mill owners wanted a faster way to move their goods in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Their answer was the construction of a canal that stretched over 40 miles, from Providence to Worcester. Over a century later, people in Texas living near the Rio Grande had a very different challenge with water. To combat periods of droughts and flooding, they built the Amistad Dam. This talk will investigate two very different engineering challenges, from the Blackstone Canal to the creation of a massive reservoir and the making of Amistad National Recreation Area. Discover how these areas—both rich in history and aquatic recreation—have been transformed by feats of engineering.
March 28, 2024 - Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Nearly 5,000 miles separate the Blackstone Valley from the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
On one side of the continent, many people experience some of the worst light pollution on the planet. Far away in Alaska, people come from all over the world to see the northern lights during dark and long evenings.
While the Blackstone River Valley is best known for the ways that people have manipulated the landscape for industry, the waterways in Gates of the Arctic have seen far less interference from human beings. During this talk, rangers will discuss the differences between these landscapes, with a focus an under-appreciated resource: the night sky.
April 4, 2024 - Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Inspiration can strike any time—and anywhere. Discover how national parks share stories about creativity, hard work, and innovation across the United States.
In the 1700s, blacksmiths and carpenters in the Blackstone River Valley created the parts and machines that launched the Industrial Revolution in America.
A century later, in West Orange, New Jersey, Thomas Edison continued this legacy of invention in his home and laboratory. This talk will explore some of the lesser-known figures in the history of technology as well as the famous Wizard of Menlo Park.
April 11, 2024 - Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site
Have you ever been told to strike while the iron is hot?
The building blocks for America’s age of industry were made in workshops and forges along powerful waterways. During this talk, rangers will discuss the development of Saugus Iron Works, the first sustained, integrated iron works in British Colonial America, and the development of Slater Mill, the first successful cotton spinning mill operation in the United States. Learn about the social and economic connections between these two sites and how to best plan your visit for spring or summer.