Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Good Evening...Bill Steelman, one of the senior staff at Essex Heritage sent me a copy of this editorial that appeared in today's Boston Globe. As an affiliate of the National Park Service, Essex Heritage was very pleased to see the position offered in this editorial. Funding at the level outlined would be most positive for the entire system, and would be welcomed by the two National Park units in this region. The appointment of a highly regarded career National Park Service to the position of Director would also be welcomed. I felt that editorial as provided by the Boston Globe seemed to be worth sending along to you tonight. Tom Leonard
A champion for national parks
July 29, 2009
A PRESIDENT who spent much of his youth surrounded by Hawaii’s natural splendors should be an unstinting supporter of the national parks. The parks need one badly - and not just because they have been understaffed for years and need $8 billion worth of deferred maintenance. As young Americans get heavier and heavier, the trails and campsites of the parks need an advocate who can help them regain their rightful place in Americans’ vacationing plans.
Even as the country’s population has grown over the last decade, the number of visitors to the parks and other areas administered by the National Park Service has fallen 4 percent since 1999. President Obama has already taken two steps to improve the parks. His budget would increase park spending by $135 million, and he has nominated a respected National Park Service professional, Jon Jarvis, as its director.
Congress can do its part by approving legislation to expand the Public Lands Service Corps Act. The corps offers stipends for work in the parks rehabbing campgrounds, restoring historic structures, eradicating invasive species, and conducting research projects. Participants include young people but also retirees and returning members of the military services, who serve as mentors.
Theories abound for why there have been fewer visitors to the parks. A program like the service corps should help reverse the trend. Not only does it make the parks more appealing to visitors, but it also turns corps members into ambassadors for the parks when they return to their communities. Congress should enlarge the corps and grant the park service the extra funds that Obama is seeking.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Several weeks ago, the leadership of the Essex Heritage Commission met with Congresswoman Tsongas who represents the four most northern communities in the Area. The meeting focused on bringing the Congresswoman current on the activities currently underway in the area and more particularly in the communities she represents. The meeting was most beneficial to all who attended, and we left her Lowell office feeling that the Congresswoman had a greater understanding of the work of ENHC, and that we continue to have her support. That support along with the ongoing commitment of Congressman John Tierney who represents the other thirty communities in the Essex National Heritage Area is essential to our continuing success.
The relationship with the Tsongas family goes back a long way as her deceased husband, Paul Tsongas the former Congressman and United Senator was an early champion of the Essex
. In the late 1980's a meeting was set up by former Sixth District Congressman Michael Harrington to bring the then serving Senator Tsongas to Salem for an informational meeting. As a result of that meeting the Salem Partnership was formed, and then from that initiative the
Essex National Heritage Commission was founded in 1996. All of us that have been connected with the Essex Heritage for these last dozen or so years have always thought that the meeting i
Salem at the Hawthorne Hotel organized by Mike Harrington was the catalyst for what is now in
place in this region.
ENHC Losing a Valuable Staff Member
Today I learned that a wonderful and talented member of the Essex Heritage staff will be leaving us for a most important regional position. Ms Sheilah Doerfler has agreed to become the Operations Manager for Essex County Green Belt in early August. We will miss Sheilah very much, but is is comforting to know that her efforts will be directed to promoting this region for one of our most dedicated partners, Essex County Green Belt. We wish Sheilah all the best and we know how fortunate Green Belt will be to have her talents in their organization.
Hospice of the North Shore Informational Meeting Tonight
This evening I will be attending an informational meeting in Danvers where the Hospice group will be unveiling expansion plans for their site in Danvers. The folks at Hospice do so much wonderful work in this region, and we are anxious to hear of their plans and the timetable for those activities. I will provide more information as the plans are unveiled.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Good Afternoon....The following information is provided to let you know about a great program offered by the Essex Heritage. There is so much to see in this region, and the National Park Service site in Saugus has recently been updated. If you have never visited this site this would be a time to visit, The photo opportunities offered at the "Safari's" are wonderful, and if you have never attended a session, this will be the last chance to participate this season.
Saturday, August 15th
Nikon Photo Safari with photographer Gary Stanley
Capture! Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
7am - 12 pm
Don't miss the last Photo Safari of the season on August 15th! We'll be equipped with the latest and greatest camera gear from Nikon and coached by professional photographer Gary Stanley as we go behind the scenes of the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.
Capture the nation's first fully integrated ironworks from 1646! The site also features seven operating waterwheels that set the reconstructed mills to motion. Walk the scenic one-half mile nature trail consisting of marsh and woodland trails. Follow the path from the visitor contact station to the blacksmith shop and down along the east bank of the Saugus River.
Ready to embark? Photo Safari sessions are open to the public and registration for each event is required. You will receive hands-on instruction from Hunt's knowledgeable technical experts during the session, and also go home with all your images on a free digital memory card and a gift certificate from Hunt's Photo & Video. The cost for each 2009 Photo Safari (5 hour session) is $45 ($30 for Essex Heritage Explorers).
Registration is available online by credit card, or call Emily at 978-740-0444.
|About the Photo Safaris . . .|
Sponsored by New England's largest photography retailer, Hunt's Photo & Video and four major camera equipment companies, the Essex Heritage Photo Safaris provide the perfect blend of historic exploration with modern-day digital photography advances.
For more information about the Essex Heritage photo Safaris, including the schedule for all of the Safari sessions, visit:
|About the Photo Contest . . .|
Calling all Photo Enthusiasts!
All amateur photographers are invited to submit images to the Essex Heritage Photo Contest that capture the essence of the Essex National Heritage Area, or speak to Essex Heritage's role in preserving the historic, cultural and natural treasures of Essex County. Qualifying photographs must be taken in the Essex National Heritage Area and represent one of four categories: "My Space," "On a Photo Safari," "General Images of ENHA" or "National Historic Landmarks."
Enter to win! All submissions are due by October 16, 2009.
For more information about the Essex Heritage Photo Contest, including an entry form and contest rules & regulations visit: essexheritage.org/photocontest/index.shtml
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I write a monthly column for the Community Newspapers in Essex County and this is the column prepared for the newspapers for the month of July. I thought that I would share it with you in this format.
Summer Vacations and Visits to the Region’s Assets
As the summer season approaches and many of us begin to think of vacation plans this might be a great time to present a variety of thoughts and ideas about Essex Heritage programs and the region we serve. There is always so much to see and do in this area, and it can all be accessed so easily. Think about visiting more sites in this area, and learning about the history and the heritage of this region first hand. We have hundreds of partners all across this 600 square mile region, and all of them would welcome a visit from you and your friends and family during this traditional vacation period. Our senior partner in our mission in this region is the National Park Service, and if you haven’t been a visitor at the Salem Maritime Historic Site or the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site recently, make plans to stop by those sites sometime this summer. I am sure that after the visit you will be pleased at what you learned during your stop that is so close to where you live or work.
Essex Heritage Explorers Programs Continue this Summer
One of the proprietary programs that Essex Heritage has instituted that we who help focus this organization is most proud of is the Essex Heritage Explorers Program,. This year the two ENHC staff professionals, Elizabeth Rankin and Sheilagh Doerfler that manage this program have achieved all of the goals that have been established for the program and the membership of the program continues to respond affirmatively to virtually every initiative offered to the very loyal followers. Membership in the program now numbers in the hundreds and innovative and informative programs are offered all though the year. The theme for this summer season will focus on maritime history, and for more information on membership or to sign up for programs contact either Elizabeth Rankin at email@example.com or Sheilagh Doerfler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heritage Hero Event Honoring Tom Costin Jr. of Nahant a Great Success
Essex Heritage and the National Park Service along with a sold out, standing room only crowd recently recognized Tom Costin Jr. as the newest Essex Heritage Hero at a dinner at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. Tributes from friends and family were offered, and special commemorations from our Washington delegation of elected officials were delivered by Congressman John Tierney. The 2009 Essex Heritage Hero provided some timely and humorous remarks about his long career of public service. The permanent Heritage Hero Award that features a replica eagle similar to the one the sits atop the Federal Custom House in Salem was introduced and the award will now be mounted in its permanent home at the National Park Visitor Center in Salem. Essex Heritage was pleased to be able to once again recognize a special individual who has meant so much to the heritage of this region.
Maritime Guide and Essex Heritage Trails and Sails Flyer Makes its Debut
Certainly one of the recurring themes for this year’s Essex Heritage activity and for Trails and Sails is the promotion and interpretation of the maritime history of this region. Towards that end, in collaboration with the North of Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau, and with the financial support of Bank North, 50,000 colorful brochures have been prepared for distribution. The brochures highlight the wonderful maritime resources of the region. Brochures can be obtained at the area’s Visitor Centers, Bank North Branches, ENHC Partner organizations, and on line at www.essexheritage.org.
Thomas M. Leonard is President Emeritus of the Essex National Heritage Commission, Inc., the nonprofit management entity of the Essex National Heritage Area, and can be reached at email@example.com.