Watershed Moments in Environmental History: Conservationism and Civic Engagement at Milton Lower Mills

Part of a series : Land, Water, and the Human Geography of Early America: Learning from Places

Focal Skills and Dispositions

Evaluating visual evidence, Inquiry, Empowering informed action


6 PDPs / 1 graduate credit if all three programs in the series are completed


Partnership educators: no cost (other than fee for 1 graduate credit)
Non-partnership educators: $200 (plus fee for 1 graduate credit)

Especially for educators of grades 3-12.

Hello Participants,

Due to an overabundance of caution, we have decided to postpone Watershed Moments in Environmental History until Tuesday, August 24th due to a possible COVID exposure.

We hope that all of you will be able to attend the rescheduled workshop. However, if this is not possible, further resources and an alternate assignment will soon be posted on Moodle.

For those of you who are unable to attend the rescheduled workshop on August 24th and who enrolled in the Place-Based Learning summer series for graduate credit, completion of modified Moodle readings and tasks will satisfy eligibility requirements for graduate credit.

We thank you for your patience in these trying times. It is our priority to keep our staff, participants, and the community safe while we continue to offer high quality learning opportunities.

We look forward to seeing all of you on August 24th at 9am at Milton Lower Mills for our rescheduled event. Please look out for a Google Form later this week, asking you to RSVP for August 24th.

If you have any questions about the decision to postpone this workshop, the rescheduled date, or completing alternative tasks, please contact Primary Source Program Director Daniel Osborn via email at daniel@primarysource.org.

The layers of history in a given place are like sediment built against the banks of a river. No place tells only one story and even a bend in the river holds a wealth of memories, if only we pause to visit and use the tools of inquiry to ask questions and investigate further. Environmental history can bring into focus the under-told stories of the way people interact with the natural world and the implications for ourselves, other species, and the planet. The Milton Lower Falls is a prime example of the stratified layers of history that can be unearthed through place-based learning and studying through the lens of environmentalism and conservationism. Located on the Neponset River, the Lower Mills exists at the intersection of local indigenous history, industrialization, global trade, and the civic action taken in recent years by those looking to restore and repair the natural world. Join us as we visit the Milton Lower Mills with Conevery Valencius, professor of history at Boston College, as we study a place, think about its storied past, and envision its future. With the Lower Mills as our starting place, we will consider the interdisciplinary and action civics possibilities of incorporating place-based learning and environmental history.

Registration Information

Partnership Educators:

Registration must be approved through your school district. Contact your school district’s Primary Source representative with your request.

Non-partnership Educators:

Register using the form below.


Contact Sara Clamage at sara@primarysource.org.

Registration is ongoing until the course is filled.


* Registration is closed *