Help Clean Up New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

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After cleaning up around the New Bedford historic district, visit the Seaman's Bethel that provided some of Herman Melville's inspiration for Moby-Dick/Kurt Repanshek

Lend a hand and take some pride on May 10 by volunteering at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in Massachusetts to get the park ready for the summer season.

The cleanup day begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs through 12:30 p.m. This annual event, now in its fourth edition, provides the people-power to prepare New Bedford's historic downtown for the busy summer season. The event kicks off with volunteer check-in and registration at 9:30 a.m. at the park visitor center at 33 William Street, downtown New Bedford. Box lunches will be provided to volunteers by the Whaling History Alliance, the friends group that supports New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

The downtown area of New Bedford draws thousands of visitors from around the world each year for its history, architecture, cultural activities, concerts and dance performances, AHA! Events, and festivals.

"This will be a very special year for the national park and the city of New Bedford. Once-in-a-lifetime events such as the Charles W. Morgan Homecoming and the 100th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament are happening along with the many signature festivals, events and programs New Bedford is known for," said the park's acting superintendent, Frank Barrows. "It will be a great day to come out, enjoy some worthwhile work in the fresh air, and re-discover your own sense of pride in the heritage displayed by our beautiful, historic downtown."

The park-wide spring cleanup effort will include landscaping, cleaning, repairs, and other projects both indoors and out at sites like the National Park Visitor Center and the Schooner Ernestina. Many of the projects are family friendly, while others require some technical expertise. To learn more or to sign up for this worthwhile community event, call Emily Prigot at (508) 996-4095 extension 6105 or email e-mail us. Drop-ins the day of the event are also welcome.

After the work is done, explore the Seamen's Bethel and see the pew were Herman Melville, author of Moby-Dick, sat before heading to sea.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America's nineteenth century whaling industry.The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States.