News from the Essex National Heritage Area
March 2007

Summer 2007
The ENHC and Hunt's Photo & Video are pleased to present four Photo Safaris in the Essex National Heritage Area during 2007. This year's safaris will feature equipment from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony and fantastic land-, sea- and cityscapes courtesy of the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, Appleton Farms (The Trustees of Reservations) in Ipswich, and Lawrence Heritage State Park. The fourth location is still being considered. Complete information will be available at EssexHeritage.org in April.

  • Senators and Congressmen Support Reauthorization
  • Commissioner Corner: North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Partnership Grant Spotlight: The Whittier Home Association
  • Border to Boston Trail Implementation Plan
  • Congratulations to the Great Marsh Coalition
  • National Heritage Area Highlight: Ohio & Erie Canalway

  • Senators and Congressmen Support Reauthorization

    Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, and Congressmen John Tierney and Marty Meehan have demonstrated their continued support of the Essex National Heritage Area by sponsoring legislation to reauthorize our federal funding. “We are very pleased that the Senators and Congressmen have once again taken a leadership role in championing this legislation,” said Annie Harris. “Filing these bills so early in the current Congressional session may allow this legislation to pass before the end of 2007 which would really be exciting.” Harris also observed that: “This region is very fortunate to have these leaders in Congress. Not only are they personally committed to preserving the heritage resources and assisting the organizations that manage them, but they understand that our economy depends on maintaining and enhancing a strong quality of life here.”

    All Heritage Areas must undergo a periodic re-authorization process which enables them to continue to receive federal funding. Heritage Areas are required to supplement these funds through grants, private donations and fundraising activities. “We commit this federal funding to heritage preservation, grants, trail development projects and education programs all around the county, all of which enrich the quality of life for residents of the Area and spurs tourism that can help strengthen the local economy,” explained Annie Harris. “This legislation is an essential step in ensuring our future as a regional venture for the next decade and in helping to preserve the Area’s unique heritage assets for future generations to explore and enjoy.”

    Commissioner Corner: North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Julie McConchie and Bill Pickles welcoming the Friendship and visitors to Newburyport, August 2006

    Since 2001, the ENHC has had strong tourism sector representation on its Board of Trustees through the active participation of Julie McConchie, Executive Director of the North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and William Pickles, Director of the Maria Miles Visitor Center in Salisbury, MA, who also served for five years as the Chair of the ENHC Visitor Center Committee.

    While the ENHC and CVB have a history of collaborating on advertising and the reciprocal distribution of CVB and ENHC collateral materials, the relationship has expanded in recent years to include partnering in the promotion of regional cultural tourism products, like the the Art Escapes Trail, which was featured on the CVB's EscapesNorth.com as well as EssexHeritage.org. “We’re delighted to partner with the ENHC and continue to develop experiences that appeal to the tourist and resident of Essex County. Look for 17th Century Saturdays to launch in June,” said McConchie.

    The success of the Art Escapes on-line guide, which brought tourists to the sites inspiring the art exhibited in the PEM’s blockbuster show Painting Summer in New England, as well as the tremendous success of the Friendship's visit to Newburyport, were due in great part to this spirit of partnership and co- marketing of the events by both organizations. The ENHC looks forward to continued CVB collaboration with the promotion of the Friendship Sail to Lynn this August.

    Partnership Grant Spotlight: The Whittier Home Association
    Nock Middle School grant project pictures

    The Whittier Home Association in Amesbury recently completed a project funded in part by an ENHC Partnership Grant for Interpretation. Whittier in Amesbury, 1836-1892, Community, Equality and Simplicity is an exhibit which consists of artifacts that contribute to the interpretation of the Whittier Home, opening this spring in conjunction with community wide exhibits planned to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of one of the region’s most famous poets, John Greenleaf Whittier.

    The slate of commemorative events start in late April and extend to the end of 2007. Beginning with talks at the Newburyport Literary Festival prepared by Whittier’s great grandnephew Ben Picard, and continuing through the summer and into the fall with Whittier poetry readings and teas in his garden. The bicentennial programs will celebrate Whittier’s poetry and abolitionist legacy. For a schedule of events click here (pdf).

    Border to Boston Trail Implementation Plan

    The Border to Boston Trail Coalition has released an Implementation Plan for the northern section of the Border to Boston Trail. The plan establishes a comprehensive strategy for developing the 27.8 mile, rail-trail linking the Essex County communities of Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, Georgetown, Boxford, Topsfield, Wenham, and Danvers. The non- motorized bicycle and pedestrian pathway is intended to serve the alternative transportation needs of the eight communities, as well as have public health, economic and recreational benefits.

    Developed by the ad hoc Border to Boston Coalition, with support from ENHC, the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC), the plan outlines the accomplishments to date, presents a strategy for planning, designing and constructing the trail, and identifies funding opportunities. Initial funding for the project was secured by U.S. Congressman John Tierney in 2005.

    The completion of this Implementation Plan brings us one step closer to making the Border to Boston Trail a reality,” explained Annie Harris, ENHC Executive Director. “This is a great example of a regional partnership that has brought together public, private and nonprofit organizations on a project that will contribute to the local economy, offer new recreational activities, and enhance the quality of life in the region.”

    With the implementation plan complete, the next major step for the project is to work with state transportation officials and other stakeholders on creating a design for the entire eight-town trail. For prinatble map of the Border to Boston Trail click here.

    Congratulations to the Great Marsh Coalition
    Merrimack River Eagle Festival logo 2007

    Congratulations to all members of the Great Marsh Coalition for several successful efforts this month! On Sunday March 4, the GMC sponsored a sold-out presentation of the award-winning photography of Ipswich native Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, who has released, Between Land and Sea: The Great Marsh, an amazing collection of black and white photographs of the Great Marsh. A limited number of autographed copies of this book are available through the ENHC. Click here to learn more.

    On March 7, Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles announced a new name for the state- designated Parker River/Essex Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): the Great Marsh ACEC. Known locally for years as the Great Marsh, the 25,500 acres of barrier beach, dunes, saltmarsh, and water bodies cover parts of several municipalities north of Cape Ann, including Essex, Gloucester, Ipswich, Newbury, and Rowley.

    National Heritage Area Highlight: Ohio & Erie Canalway
    Issaqueena Falls on Nature Route in South Carolina National Heritage Corridor

    By connecting the Ohio frontier with New York and New Orleans, the Ohio & Erie Canal helped people and products flow across America, fueling westward expansion, a national market economy and regional industrial might. It also played an important role in the country's economy at a time when the United States was establishing itself as a new nation. Raw materials and products from Ohio could be shipped to the East Coast and supply its growing cities and industries. The United States could rely on its own resources, rather turning to colonial trade routes with Europe.

    Today, the Ohio & Erie Canalway is a National Heritage Area: a place to experience trails, trains and scenic byways, canal towns and ethnic neighborhoods, working rivers and great lakes, industrial landscapes and green spaces. Stretching from downtown Cleveland to the Tuscarawas River Valley, the Canalway extends through Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

    Sat., March 24, 10AM-12PM
    Ecological Landscaping
    Parker River National Wildlife
    Refuge Headquarters
    Newburyport, MA

    Get a headstart on your spring! Join Javier Gil, of J. Gil Ecological Landscaping, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Newburyport where he will introduce an ecological approach to lawn and garden care just in time to plan your own. Learn practical skills to create and maintain a more naturally landscaped environment for your home and family. Javier will present information about soil health, pest management and ecological considerations for selecting environmentally friendly products as well as trees, shrubs and other plant life using native species.
    Explorers: Free;
    Non-Explorers: $7
    Directions & details.

    To RSVP for an event or for information on becoming an Explorer, visit the Explorers webpage or email Sheilagh.

    Did you know...?

    One of America’s greatest poets and abolitionists, John Greenleaf Whittier, was born in 1807 in the southwest parlor of the Whittier Family Homestead in Haverhill, MA.

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