Ranger Celebrates Milestone at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is celebrating its 25th year in 2021. The organization recently featured a very special ranger on Facebook, who has been involved since before the National Park was established.
“Inside the Mind of Ranger Lucy” gives a voice to one of the most well-known characters of the National Park.
“My name is Lucy Bly. I was born in New Bedford more than three-quarters of a century ago and although I have been lucky to travel extensively around the world, New Bedford has always remained my homeport,” Bly said. “In 1991, I noticed an announcement in the local newspaper that the city needed volunteers for the Visitors’ Center. I thought it might be a fun activity for my retired father. We decided to go together, but it rained cats and dogs the day we were supposed to meet, so I ended up going alone. As it turned out, they needed Walking Tour Guides - and I got hooked!”
When the National Park came into being, all the city’s volunteers reverted to the National Park. In the early days, the park had a superintendent, John Piltzecker, and Michelle Spink did all the administrative work from the Custom House. Volunteers gave their best and the “little park that could” was born.
“Twenty-five years later, retired from the World Language Department at Dartmouth High School, I’ve joined the ranks of seasonal rangers,” Bly said. “I love my community, its rich history, and culture, and I love sharing it with visitors of all ages and from every corner of the globe! Who wouldn’t?!”
Bly also offered a request for how she wants others to continue the legacy of the park in the future.
“My wish for the next 25 years? That the current and future community will love and protect the resources, the stories, and the rich heritage of the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and share them with the future generations,” Bly said.