Are you curious about the three pillars of sustainability? This 1.5 mile tour will visit a few destinations in Holyoke’s Canal District that employ sustainable practices favoring the environment, communities and economic structure. This tour will also explore how everyday decision-making can lessen our impact on the planet and spark discussion what is sustainable and what is not.
Holyoke has striven to build a sustainable system since its incorporation in 1850. Holyoke was one of the first totally planned cities in the United States. The plan included a dam to divert water from the Connecticut River through a 4.5 mile canal system. The canals’ purpose was to power multiple manufacturing mills. The water was released back to the river, continuing its journey 80 miles south to Long Island Sound.
Today, Holyoke’s canal system still functions as it had originally, only its power is harnessed as electricity. In addition to Holyoke’s reliable green energy, many of the 19th century mills are in the process of adaptive reuse. Instead of demolish-and-rebuild, mill building owners are coming up with creative ways to utilize the expansive space the mills provide. From restaurants to artist studios to living quarters, downtown Holyoke is evolving into a new destination showcasing modern innovation alongside its intriguing historical past.
Registration for this tour is required. Please call the park at 413-534-1523 or email Holyoke.firstname.lastname@example.org and include the number of people in your party.
Meet at the Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitor Center at 221 Appleton Street. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Heavy downpour cancels tour.