After the success of “Touring Tomaquag Valley” last Fall, planning immediately began on a second “Joint Effort Tour” with all 5 of the outdoorsy groups in Hopkinton. Last Fall, the Hopkinton Conservation Commission, the Hopkinton Land Trust, the Friends of the Hopkinton Land Trust, the Hopkinton Historic District Commission and the Hopkinton Historical Association, for the first time, all worked unitedly on the same project. We were rewarded with a turnout estimated at between 50 – 60 tour takers, viewing colonial, indigenous and natural history features. (Please see the “Touring Tomaquag Valley” pages.)
This Spring, we will focus on the abundant ceremonial landscapes and individual ceremonial sites of the Narragansett Indians. Because of the importance and content of the sites selected, Lorén Spears, the Director of, and Cultural Educator for the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter RI, joined in our planning. She agreed to speak about the ceremonial nature of the sites, how they were interwoven into the daily lives of the Narragansett culture, both in the past, and in the present day, and the importance of their preservation.
This is a tremendous educational opportunity to “see” a variety of ceremonial sites, and then hear about how these things remain active spiritually in the Narragansett world view.
If you live along the I-95 Corridor, you might consider making the trip to RI Exit 1, and the 2 mile drive to the parking area. As the brochure & photos make clear, the sites visited are well worth the trip!
As a side point, I mentioned to Steve DiMarzo, the RI State coordinator for the New England Antiquities Research Association, about how long it took for all of Hopkinton’s 5 groups to get together on a project. He thought in silence for a few seconds, and then said: “I think Hopkinton is the only city in all of Rhode Island that has achieved this unity of purpose. Hopkinton is the model for the rest of the state about different, but similar groups working together for the ‘big picture’ protection of the outdoors.”
I personally have no knowledge about what other towns are doing.
But I know when we five work together, we all stand a little taller!
To other towns who want to try it: We have different assignments in Hopkinton, which require us to follow different agendas & budgets, but try doing one thing each year together. It means shrinking egos, lowering the volume, and reducing exclamation points, but it’s all for the benefit of the people of your town!