December 16, 2022

 Blackstone River Valley Heritage Corridor’s 2022 Partner of the Year Award


The North Smithfield Heritage Association (NSHA) was one of three organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to recently receive the Blackstone River Valley Heritage Corridor’s 2022 Partner of the Year Award.   Ron Lapierre accepted the award on behalf of the NSHA at the Corridor’s Volunteer Appreciation Night at its Whitinsville Headquarters.  “Volunteers are literally worth their weight in gold!”  remarked Richard Moore, BHC’s Board Chair.


In Fiscal Year 2022 which ended in October, NSHA volunteers logged 1,615 hours.  Some of the volunteers only started tracking their hours in April.  For some matching grants, a non-profit organization can apply its volunteer hours at the rate of $29 per hour as a match for the grant.  The IRS values the NSHA 2022 volunteer hours at $48,450.


Two NSHA volunteers, Ed Walker and Al Menard, earned complimentary America the Beautiful Passes for working over 250 hours each.  The passes provide them free access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. The pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day-use fees) at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


According to Moore, BHC’s Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) volunteers embody the mission of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor to work with community partners to preserve and promote the Valley’s historic, cultural, natural, and recreational resources for current and future generations.