It may be a secret to some, but New Bedford is home to a national park.

Now in its 25th year of existence, the Whaling National Historical Park covers a 13-block area adjacent to downtown New Bedford. Its staff is headquartered at the park's Visitor Center at 33 William Street.

Associate Park Ranger Lucy Bly visited Townsquare Sunday this week, and said the Visitor Center has been closed for four months while undergoing renovations. The grand re-opening is set for today.

Ranger Bly believes visitors will be impressed with 22-karat gold leaf trim glistening in the main room and much more.

"You would be amazed how many visitors we have from all over the world," she said. "We do our best to show them the nicest face of New Bedford."

The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is more than a Visitors' Center. It's a place where the park and its partners work together to protect and interpret the cultural resources associated with the American whaling history.

The national park also contains stories of global immigration, the Underground Railroad, women's history, art, and architecture.

The Visitor Center at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Park Rangers will offer orientation, maps, and brochures for visitors. Guided walking tours will soon be available. The building is wheelchair accessible and fee-free.

Associate Park Ranger Lucy Bly's Townsquare Sunday interview can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard every Sunday morning at 6 and 11 a.m. on 1420 AM and 99.5 FM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please e-mail the host at

Buildings Featured in the New Bedford Pathways Historical Walking Tours

A series of new app-based walking tours called New Bedford Pathways will teach the unique architecture of New Bedford and stories of the people who have dwelled among it. Here, New Bedford Preservation Society Administrator Pat Daughton, who produced the tours, shares a photo of one stop from each of the tours along with information about the location.

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