National Park Service offices moving into Route 295 visitor center in Lincoln

National Park Service offices moving into Route 295 visitor center in Lincoln

The Blackstone River Valley State Park Visitor Center off Route 295 near Exit 10 will soon be home to National Park Service offices. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

LINCOLN – The Blackstone River Valley State Park Visitor Center near Exit 10 on Route 295 will soon be the headquarters for the Blackstone Valley’s new national park.

Bob Billington, president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, said the area in the building previously containing The Outpost general store will house the park offices to promote the attractions and organize activities in the area.

“It’s going to be a great, great use for the building,” said Billington.

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, established in 2014, includes various landmarks up and down the Blackstone Valley, including Pawtucket’s Slater Mill.

After it became clear last year that the Federal Highway Administration would no longer allow retail operations in the 10,000-square-foot building, said Billington, officials knew they had to go in a new direction.

The Breeze reported in July that the visitor center was still mostly empty more than a year after The Outpost was forced to shut down. The visitor center is located along the Blackstone River Bikeway.

The National Park Service will take over all of the space currently contained behind a floor-to-ceiling security fence, said Billington.

The building will essentially be absorbed into the National Park Service, said Billington.

“It’s all positive,” he said. “It’s a spectacular building.”

Work should soon begin on revamping the space, said Billington.

With the new National Park in place and fully developed, “a lot of traffic will pull in” at this facility, a spot that offers “wonderful access” to the bikeway, he said.

Volunteers with the Tourism Council will continue to operate its visitor desk until the National Park Service no longer needs them to, said Billington. Volunteers have been welcoming visitors since the facility opened in 2006, he said. The Tourism Council is looking for more volunteers to staff the desk, especially during the winter months. Anyone who wishes to volunteer should call 401-724-2200.

Comments

Why are they moving there ? So ANOTHER Government agency can screw this building more ?????