Friday, May 7, 2010

Heritage Hero Dinner Tickets, Highway Signage, Heritage Area Day of Awareness, Danvers Bi-Peds, Right to Farm, Mother's Day Wishes


Essex Heritage Hero Dinner Reminder

Each year one of the premier events offered by Essex Heritage is its Heritage Hero event. In this space previously, I have provided substantial information about the event and the honorees, so I will not spent a lot of time again on a recap, but I am going to remind you the dinner is coming up on May 20, 2010. The three honorees are all most worthy recipients; the venue on the Beach in Salisbury will be spectacular on a late May evening and now is the time to order your tickets for the event. The beneficiary of the evening’s proceeds is the entire region that is served by Essex Heritage, as the revenues raised all go back into the many programs that Essex Heritage offers throughout the year across the region. The price of the evening when one considers the location and the honorees is inexpensive and $100.00 spent will be put to such a good use that Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury will be the place to be on May 20, 2010. Don’t be left out. Call Essex Heritage today at 978 740 0444 or visit the web site at to make your plans to be in attendance that evening.

Essex Heritage Highway and informational Signs

One of our staff members recently returned from a trip to the western part of this country and reminded me how fortunate we are here in this region to have a series of Highway and informational signs to help direct visitors around this region. The “Brown Signs” that appeared in this region almost a decade ago were a godsend for us then and now. In the early days of Essex Heritage those signs were the most distinguishing feature of our existence. Before we had a regular allocation of funding to help in the development of the many and varied programs developed by Essex Heritage now in place across the region, the funds we received and the support offered by the Massachusetts Highway folks to get the signs in place, were the most visible manifestation then of our existence. The funds to develop the signs and to get them installed along Essex County highways were provided by the Congressman who represented the region at that time. The signage then and now provided information on where information for regional travelers could be obtained at our various associated visitor centers across the region. Some of those centers were managed by our federal partner, the National Park Service, and others were offered by state entities or individual communities, but in all cases the centers provided support to the crowds that were now regularly visiting this region. Additional signs were erected on some of the most extraordinary sites in the region, and that established partnerships for Essex Heritage with all of the best know historic locations in the area. The second phase of the Essex Heritage signage program that was designed to provide even more detailed directions and instructions unfortunately never materialized due to funding constraints, but the preliminary design plans still exist and maybe as the economic cycle changes again as it certainly will at some time in the future that secondary signage program can be revisited. Certainly good signage is a wonderful asset to any region and Essex Heritage is very pleased that we have our “Brown” highway and informational signs to keep visitors moving in the right direction.

National Day of Awareness and Rally in Washington for Heritage Areas

A couple of postings ago in late April, I provided information of both a national and local effort to bring a level of awareness relative to the importance of National Heritage Area to both this region and the country. In that update, we noted that a rally was being planned in Washington DC where Heritage Area officials from across the country would gather to hold a press conference and make pertinent announcements about the National Heritage Area Program. The date for that Rally has now been set for June 15, 2010. Plans are now being developed locally at Essex Heritage to have a Trustee and staff presence at that event that will include the participation of many National Elected Officials and the leadership of the Alliance of National Heritage Area. Essex Heritage has agreed to develop plans for a local rally and press conference in this region as a follow up to the national event on June 15, 2010. The date and location of that event has not yet been set, but this is the first notice to our friends, associates and partners that such an event will be held, and to ask all of you to look for invitations to that event soon. The broad based participation in this planned event of all of our valued partners and local elected officials will be critical to the success of the event. In order to insure media coverage of the event broad based participation will be needed to insure that the event receives the coverage we are anticipating. Awareness of the plans to reduce funding for Heritage Areas and other preservation based organizations across the country needs to find its way into the national conscience and this effort will go a long way towards making that a reality.

Danvers Bi-Peds Continues to Provide Timely Information

The monthly meeting of this Danvers Rail Trail support group will be holding a most informative monthly meeting next week on May 13, 2010. The meeting that is held in the Carriage House at Endicott Park this month at 7:00 pm will feature an update on accomplishments and goals of that group plus a presentation on how the Salisbury Trail Group accomplished the creation and opening of the Trail in that community. The Town of Salisbury has generated a great deal of local support for that effort, and has had local officials like Selectman Jerry Klima and Town Manager Neil Harrington on board from the start of the process. .There will also be an update on the work of the Iron Horse Preservation Society that has removed the rails and ties on the roadbeds in Danvers. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the work going on in Danvers relative to rail trail development. All are welcome to attend.

Danvers Finance Committee and the Right to Farm Warrant Article

After a number of meeting the Danvers Finance Committee, that I serve on as a member held its final meetings for this budget year earlier this week. In addition to examining, evaluating and adjusting a tight FY11 budget for the Town several interesting warrant articles were discussed. If the Town Meeting follows the Fin Com recommendation a new by-law relative to the Right to Farm will take effect that will help preserve important open space in the Town. Essex Heritage has always been a champion of the farmer in the region and the changes offered in this proposed by-law that will create a Right to Farm declaration, along with a notification process to Real Estate Buyers, a method to resolve potential disputes will all benefit open space considerations. The preservation of the remaining open space in the Town of Danvers and in other communities in this region is important to Essex Heritage, as our mission statement notes that we stand for the preservation, protection and promotion of the historic, natural and cultural resources of this region, and this proposed by-law change certainly helps with the preservation of important natural resources.

Mother’s Day 2010

Since this is the last post to this BLOG before Mother’s Day, let me remind all of you to take a moment this coming Sunday to wish your favorite Mother a happy day. Both my mother and my wife’s mother have long ago passed on to the next world, and no matter how many times we thanked them for what they did for us, while they were alive it was not nearly enough. So reach out often and say thanks whenever you can.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard

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