NORTH SMITHFIELD – The North Smithfield Heritage Association among the organizations to 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, Mass. headquarters.
The heritage association noted that in Fiscal Year 2022, which ended in October, NSHA volunteers logged 1,615 hours – and some 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, and the IRS values the NSHA’s 2022 hours at $48,450.
“Volunteers are literally worth their weight in gold,” said Richard Moore, BHC’s board chairman.
Two NSHA volunteers, Ed Walker and Al Menard, earned complimentary America the Beautiful passes for working more than 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 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.
The North Smithfield Heritage Association was one of three organizations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to receive the award.