National Parks and Historical Sites

Adams National Historic Site -- Senator Kennedy secured federal funding to preserve the birthplace of Presidents John Adams and john Quincy Adams, and the mansion known as the “Summer White House’ where four generations of the Adams family lived.

Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor -- Senator Kennedy was instrumental in the creation of the Blackstone River Heritage area with his good friend, Senator John Chafee in 1986. This National Heritage Area offers a glimpse of America as a young nation, and honors the ingenuity and hard work of our central Massachusetts communities.

Boston National Historic Park/ Boston Harbor Islands -- In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Senator Kennedy worked with the delegation to secure hundreds of millions of federal dollars to finance the clean up of Boston Harbor, and passed legislation creating the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

Senator Kennedy secured more than $450,000 to make critical infrastructure improvements to the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area to expand access to persons with disabilities. 

Senator Kennedy has also secured more than $3 million to build a new visitor center for the BHI National Recreation Area on the Rose Kennedy Greenway downtown, to encourage residents and visitors alike to explore the Boston Harbor Islands and learn about their rich history.

The National Park Service is working to develop an expanded modern visitor center with the state-of-the art technology and exhibitions near Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall to create a one central location from which tourists and visitors alike can access all of Boston’s historic sites.  Senator Kennedy fought for $7 million to help make that new visitor center a reality.

Working with the National Park Service, Senator Kennedy secured $3.75 million for structural repairs to the historic Bunker Hill Monument, the 221-foot obelisk that commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Boston African American National Historic Site -- Senator Kennedy secured federal funding to complete restoration of the African Meeting House, the oldest standing African American Church in America

Cape Cod National Seashore -- Senator Kennedy introduced legislation to authorize expenditures for the acquisition of additional acres for the protected Seashore.  When the original act was signed by President Kennedy, it called for the purchase of 27,000 acres.  In August of 1967, while 8,000 acres short of the 27,000 designated as the Seashore, the appropriated funds for acquisition were exhausted.  The 1969 bill, introduced by Kennedy and signed by President Nixon in 1970, appropriated the necessary funds to purchase the entire 27,000 acres, plus additional funding to increase the acreage of Cape Cod National Seashore.

In 1986, Senator Kennedy introduced legislation that extended the charter of the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission to 1997.  Established at the inception of the Seashore itself, the Committee provides valuable input into major decisions concerning the use and management of the shore.  It is composed of representatives from the communities abutting the Seashore, as well as from the county, state, and local governments.  Senator Kennedy once again worked to extend the Commission’s charter in 1998. 

In 1991, one year prior to the 30th anniversary of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Senator Kennedy helped secure a significant funding increase.  The Seashore’s operating budget had not seen a valuable increase in years, and the lack of adequate maintenance and staffing almost led to the closure of several beaches the previous summer.  The $319,000 funding increase was included in the Interior Appropriations bill.

In 1993, Senator Kennedy successfully secured $825,000 for the federal purchase of two parcels of land on Nauset Bay for the Cape Cod National Seashore.  The two privately-owned beach front parcels were put on the market, and Senator Kennedy urged his colleagues to approve the funding to preserve the land for public use.

Also in 1998, Senator Kennedy helped pass legislation that authorized a land exchange sought by the Town of Provincetown and the Cape Cod National Seashore.  The bill, the framework for which was established in 1990 at a meeting Kennedy hosted with then-Director of the National Park Service, James Ridenour, provided for a land swap in which Provincetown acquired seven acres of land within the Seashore boundary where the town’s solid waste transfer station was located, and the National Park Service acquired eleven acres of undeveloped state-owned land surrounded by the Seashore.

Senator Kennedy helped secure federal transportation legislation to continue the development of a Cape Cod-wide system of bicycle trails.  The long-term goal is to complete a contiguous network of trails throughout Barnstable County, connecting the trails of the Cape Cod National Seashore to trails across the rest of Cape Cod.

Senator Kennedy has pushed for acquisition of the 58-acre North of Highland Campground property in the Cape Cod National Seashore.  The Currier family has owned the property for 50 years, but cannot continue to operate the campground.  They’ve graciously agreed to work with the locals and the National Park Service and the Trust for Public Land to keep this property as a campground for years to come.  That work is ongoing.

Essex National Heritage Area -- Senator Kennedy sponsored the legislation creating the Essex National Heritage area and has secured federal funds to support its continued development.  The Essex National Heritage Commission operates educational, cultural, and historic preservation programs throughout Essex County’s 34 communities and has attracted millions of dollars in private sector investment.

John F. Kennedy Birth Place -- This park, which honors the early life of President Kennedy, was established in 1967 with the help of Senator Kennedy and his family. Mrs. Rose Kennedy personally oversaw the decoration of the house so that it was an accurate reflection of how the family lived in 1917. Located in Brookline, the National Historic Site welcomes thousands of visitors every year to learn about our nation’s 35th president. 

Longfellow House National Historic Site -- The Longfellow House National Historic Site was established in 1972 with the support of Senator Kennedy.  Senator Kennedy was also instrumental in securing Save America’s Treasures funding to rehabilitate the building in

Lowell National Historic Park -- Senator Kennedy was instrumental in the creation of the Lowell National Historic Park in 1979 to transform downtown Lowell into the beautiful resource it is today. Senator Kennedy also helped secure over $3.2 million in federal funding for the continued development of the Lowell Riverwalk and the Western Canalway projects affiliated with the Lowell National Historical Park.  The Lowell Riverwalk funding extends the “Mile Of Mills” Riverwalk to Lowell Memorial Auditorium, the Lowell Locks Area, and Middlesex Community College and help spur the redevelopment of the Massachusetts Mills property.

Minuteman National Park -- Created with the support of the Senator John Kennedy in 1959, Senator Kennedy has been a lifelong supporter of the Minuteman National Park.  He was able to secure significant funds to reconstruct the Battle Road, and most recently, he push for the inclusion of Barrett’s farm in the park borders.

New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park – Senator Kennedy passed legislation creating the New Bedford Whaling National Park in 1996, and recently attended the opening of its $6.4 million visitor center.

Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site -- Senator Kennedy secured federal funding to restore visitor services and educational programs to the birthplace of American Iron manufacturing.

Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area -- In 2006, Senator Kennedy was instrumental in the establishment of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.  This area encompasses 29 communities in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut.   The area has 139 properties and historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Massachusetts; Herman Melville’s home in Pittsfield, and W.E.B. DuBois’ boyhood home in Great Barrington


What do you think about Senator Kennedy's work in this area? Has it affected your life? Please tell us about it using the form below.

Your Comments*
Tell Us About Yourself
First Name:*
Last Name:*
Zip Code:*
*denotes required field