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Environmental History of the Holyoke Canals
September 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Human technology has been shaping the land and waterways for generations in the Pioneer Valley. On Sunday, September 16 from 10 am to noon, join us for a walk along the Holyoke Canals to learn about their history and impact on our environment.
This guided walking tour will be led by Robert Comeau. Bob explains that the Holyoke Canal System was built to generate mechanical power at low cost for the textiles and paper mills. Tunnels below the mills allowed water to pass through hydro-mechanical turbines that powered looms. We will visit two of the three canals, one spillway, the dam, and some mills on this tour. For the first 100 years the environment was negatively impacted by the canals and mills. Since the 1950’s however there has been great improvements in their interactions with fish and the river water.
This walking tour will cover about 3 miles during the two hour program, and will be mostly flat terrain.
Robert Comeau was a high school science teacher for 15 years and a retailer for the last 15 years. He has led many tours for the past three years on the canal system and Holyoke’s neighborhoods.
This program is free, but registration is required.