Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heritage Area Bill Signed, Trails and Sails, North Shore Elder Services. Local Achievements, Patriots Season Begins


Governor Signs Heritage Area Bill

Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that Governor Patrick has signed legislation that recognizes the importance of Heritage Areas to the Commonwealth. The new bill recognizes Essex Heritage and the other four Heritage Areas in the state as important entities that service the public good, The Governor urges state agencies and departments to consider the Areas in their plans and this also makes possible public-private partnerships and joint projects that advance the goals of Heritage Areas. Those goals are in important issues like environmental protection, heritage resource preservation, recreation, tourism, and trail development. The legislation that is now law was originally filled by Representatives Fennell and was co-sponsored by Senators Tarr and McGee. It was recently re-introduced by Representative Keenan and championed by Senator Berry.

The five Massachusetts Heritage Areas covered by this new law includes the Essex National Heritage Area, the John Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Area, the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area and the Freedoms Way National Heritage Area. National Heritage Areas are congressionally designated in perpetuity and receive an annual stipend of funds through the US Department of the Interior/National Park Service and are generally supplemented by private and foundation funds and in some cases State funding. Essex Heritage is very pleased to see this legislation become law and is looking forward to working with our elected officials on Beacon Hill in Boston and State officials to find ways to implement this law for the benefit of the residents of Essex County.


In my last post, I provided information on the ninth annual Trails and Sails event but neglected to outline some of the specific events scheduled. On the last two weekends in September, Essex Heritage will offer 100 FREE, FUN and FAMILY-FRIENDLY events at 80+ sites that will showcase our distinctive regional heritage. In addition to a number of new events and experiences enhancing the schedule this year, participants can use the new Trails & Sails Mobile website for up to the minute smart-phone access to the event line-up, directions to events, and to retrieve their personal itineraries.

While events will take place throughout the cities and towns of the 500 sq mile Essex National Heritage Area, participants are encouraged to spend some of their time this year along the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway, the 85 -mile coastal route linking 13 coastal communities between Lynn and Newburyport that features exquisite scenic views, period architecture, historic sites and recreational opportunities.

Here is a sampling by just one of the regions where programs will be offered.

Cape Ann is the place to give you a uniquely maritime-spirited adventure offering whale watches, dory rides and maritime explorations. You can also explore how the sea inspired the creativity of architects and artists alike by taking in the Cape Ann Museum’s fine collection of Fitz Henry Lane works, visiting the inspiring Sargent House, and City Hall’s emotional murals. If natural wonders are calling you, join the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust and use your navigational skills to locate geo-caches and natural treasures in the Manchester Wilderness Conservation or take a guided tour around the Babson Farm Quarry at Halibut Point State Park to unearth the granite industry era amidst the breathtaking views from Crane Beach in Ipswich to Mount Agamenticus, ME.

We certainly hope that you will take advantage of these free weekends and it never to early to begin your personal planning for the events that interest you the most. Sign on to for more details.


Over the last several months, I have been working with the North Shore Elder Services (NSES) organization as they are considering me for membership on their Board. If elected at the annual meeting early this fall, I will be one of two representatives along with Joseph Palmer on the board from Danvers. North Shore Elder Services serves the communities of Middleton, Danvers, Peabody, Salem and Marblehead and they offer a group approach as a team of specialists tries to make life easier for seniors and those that care for them. They offer support and solutions on a variety of aging issues. NSES connects older adults with caregivers and professionals with the resources and services needed to solve complex aging issues. For example, The North Shore Elder services in conjunction with the Danvers Council on Aging will be presenting Congressman John Tierney in an informational session at the Danvers Senior Center on August 17, 2010. They also act as an advocate for seniors with our elected officials in both Washington and Boston and actively followed the debate in the US Congress that ended just recently with legislations that prevented cuts in Medicare benefits.

The organization is involved in issues every day that impacts senior adults in this region, and provides a web site at that provides an incredible amount of information. At that site one can also sign up for a monthly newsletter that informs and instructs area seniors and those that care for them. I look forward to participating with this wonderful organization representing Danvers seniors and the Council on Aging and expect that I will learn more an more each day about the needs of senior adults and the resources available to them.


In the last couple of weeks several local people who I regularly interact with have accomplished some pretty sensational achievements and I want to note those actions. Pamela Parkinson, the Executive Director of the Danvers Senior Center recently completed a fifty-mile walk to raise both awareness and funding for Cancer research. I have known Pam for several years since she became the Director of the Senior Center and her energy and enthusiasm for the seniors of Danvers is contagious and I feel fortunate to be working with her on the Danvers Council on Aging. Congratulations Pam on your wonderful achievement.

This past weekend hundreds of bike riders including the two US Senators who represent this state made the ride across the Massachusetts to Provincetown on Cape Cod. The ride has become the biggest single day fundraising event for cancer research in the country. Two gentlemen who I know well completed the ride and they should be congratulated for their effort. Massachusetts State Representative, John Keenan who represents the City of Salem, and Larry Tormey from Danvers and the Danvers Bi-Peds have been long time supporters of and enthusiasts for this event and have once again completed this important ride to raise funds for this wonderful cause. Congratulations to both John and Larry.


On my way back to the cape recently I stopped in Foxborough to view the New England Patriots participate in a joint Training Camp practice with the World Champion New Orleans Saints, and then followed that by watching the first exhibition game on TV between the same two teams. In mid August it is pleasant for me to watch the NFL season begin, and one can always hope that the local team will return to the level of success that they enjoyed in the last decade and bring another championship to the region. In this case much will depend on the contributions of the many first and second year players who were recently drafted and must contribute to a general rebuilding process.

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. Thank You. Tom Leonard

No comments:

Post a Comment