In honor of Black History Month, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is offering free field trips sponsored by M&T Bank and transportation to all K-12 schools in Niagara County.
Following the success of a similar program of free field trips in February 2019, this year the Heritage Center will expand the program into March to accommodate more children, teachers and chaperones.
Christine Bacon, interim director of education at the Heritage Center, said, “Since we opened in 2018, we’ve been looking for ways to bring every student in Niagara County to the Heritage Center to learn about the amazing history right in their backyards. By removing the barriers of cost for admission and the costs of transportation, we can offer our field trips to more youth in our county.”
She continued, “At the Heritage Center, we connect local history to the broader context of the Underground Railroad, highlighting real freedom seekers and abolitionists for whom Niagara Falls was the gateway to freedom.”
Heritage Center staffers said they hope the venue is packed with students in the mornings, but invited everyone in the region to experience the museum and the stories, as well.
Evan Wright, the heritage center visitor services manager, said, “At the Heritage Center, we focus on Black History every month of the year, but we welcome visitors to spend extra time with this history during February. The stories we share at this museum have something in them for everyone.”
Transportation to the Heritage Center from all K-12 schools in Niagara County will be reimbursed by the Heritage Center. The venue can accommodate field trips from 10-60 students, teachers and chaperones. Groups of that size should plan to spend 60-90 minutes on-site. Field trips can be booked from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Schools should book directly with the Heritage Center by emailing [email protected] or calling 716.300.8477.
About the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is a new, experiential museum that reveals authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls, aims to inspire visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery, and take action toward an equitable society.
Open since May 2018, the permanent exhibition “One More River to Cross” features the rich stories of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls, the crucial role played by its location and geography, and the actions of its residents – particularly its African American residents.
The Heritage Center’s immersive exhibits and cutting-edge interpretation affirmatively align with the principles of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, whose mission is to connect the past to modern social justice issues – “to turn memory to action.”