Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Baker's Island, Northeast Harvest and More

 Bakers Island Improvements

Several months ago, the United States Coast Guard decided that it was time to turn over the holdings they held on Bakers Island in Salem Sound to another organization in the region.  After a studied process, Essex Heritage was chosen, a license granted and over the last year, ENHC has taken a number of small steps to improve the property around the historic Bakers Island light.  During the summer of 2009, an experienced couple was landed on the island, and they have been living in the keeper’s cottage on the island, and some power and other facilities have been improved to make the property more livable.   Essex Heritage continues to examine strategies to make the site accessible to the public in the future, as the light house and the other facilities connected to the light help tell the wonderful maritime story of this region.  It will still be some time before a final plan is developed, but the improvements made this summer are a first step in that process.

Northeast Harvest Newsletter

Northeast Harvest is a buy fresh local collaboration effort of the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources, the Essex Agricultural Society and Essex Heritage.  A monthly newsletter and a companion web site, www.NortheastHarvest.com was created  to promote the sustainability of our local farms.  The initiative is designed to educate consumers about fresh food locally grown in Essex and Middlesex Counties.   The program also advocates for the sustainability of local farms, and by providing connections between the many aspects of our local farming community.  A major goal of the collaboration is to preserve our environment and rich heritage of agricultural open space.  If this initiative is of interest to you please sign on to the web site to learn more or contact emilyl@essexheritage.org to sign up for the electronic newsletter that will be produced from time to time.

Essex Heritage Senior Staff in Washington DC

Late last year Essex Heritage participated in an evaluational exercise regarding the successes of this initiative since the founding of the Area over a decade ago.   Over the last six months data has been gathered and some of the earliest determinations are starting to be released.  Our Senior staff headed by our Executive Director spend the day today in Washington to begin the discussion of the findings.  We certainly do not expect that any final determination will be released in the near term, but the trip to today helped Essex Heritage to better understand the process.

Hospice of the North Shore Planning Expansion

Last night, my wife and I attended an informational program at Hospice of the North Shore at their Kaplan Family Hospice House.  The Hospice team is planning an expansion of that facility that would increase the number beds available from twelve to twenty.  It is clear from the presentation we heard that the need for this expansion is great.  Over the first four years that the Kaplan House has been opened over 2000 patients have been served at the home.  A groundbreaking for the new wing took place about a month ago, and work is progressing nicely. Hospice of the North Shore is a dedicated organization that provides a wonderful and caring service to this region.  I am certain that any of you wanted to learn more about the services of the organization and their financial needs you can contact them directly at www.hns.org.

1 comment:

  1. All your articles are interesting, but for Jack & I this one is especially so!

    First we (especially I) LOVE lighthouses. For all the years I've lived in Salem and area, I've never gotten out to Bakers Island--- don't have a boat, though now Jack's son does. So maybe..... too bad about the Coast guard, Jack & have have just this summer become members of the auxiliary.

    Whole health and whole foods nutrition are my passions in life, healing from the ground up as they say, so I was very excited to learn about Northeast Harvest. Of course I've known about Local Harvest, which is nation-wide, but this one being of our own region is a wonderful development.

    Finally, I cannot say enough good about the Hospice of the North Shore. Last fall my mother was there, it was serene and beautiful, and wonderfully supportive as we, her family, kept vigil with her as she went Home to God. The need for services are indeed great, and this news of their expansion is good news, very good news!