Second round of Community Conversations brings over 160 out to contribute ideas

More than 130 people attended the Community Conversations presented by the Sowams Heritage Area Project at the Seekonk Public Library, in Seekonk, MA on March 26, 2024, and Mt. Hope Farm in Bristol, RI on March 27, 2024. Both events were packed with people from the region known as Sowams, the ancestral homeland of the Massasoit Ousamequin, who welcomed the Pilgrims in 1621.

They came to discuss the future of the proposed Sowams National Heritage Area (NHA) and its impact on the nine towns/cities in the NHA study area: Barrington, Bristol, East Providence, a portion of Providence, and Warren, RI, as well as Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, and Swansea, MA.

This was the second of three rounds of public conversations that are integral to the development of an NHA feasibility study, which the National Park Service recommends when seeking designation by Congress as a National Heritage Area. The discussions were organized in a SOAR analysis, focusing on the region’s Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and desired Results.

Highlights of the sessions and a full list of the discussion notes can be found on sowams.org website. The next and last Community Conversation will be in held in the fall when the planning team presents the draft feasibility study for public comment.