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Title: Essex National Heritage Area Appoints New Commissioners and Announces Regional Awards at Annual SPRING Meeting

Location: Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport

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Description: The Essex National Heritage Commission (ENHC) welcomed several state and local elected officials to its annual Spring meeting, held on April 28th at the historic Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport. During the business portion of the session, members elected three new commissioners, announced the recipients of Special Recognition awards and enthusiastically announced the launch of the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway planning initiative.

Opening remarks were given by Newburyport Mayor John Moak who acknowledged the strong partnership forged with Essex Heritage in the areas of cultural tourism and historic preservation. State representatives Michael Costello, who has been active in local trail and preservation initiatives and John Keenan, Chairman of the State Tourism Commission, provided a timely State House update.

New commissioners appointed for a three-year term were: Michael Kozack, Director of Wealth Management, Cabot Money Management; Lindsay Diehl, Executive Director, Wenham Museum; Kate Fox, Executive Director, Destination Salem.

The ENHC Special Recognition Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have contributed to the heritage and vitality of the Essex National Heritage Area.  This year, the ENHC recognized: the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center for its newly renovated facility and ongoing array of engaging community programs; the Using ESSEX History Program, and its collaborative “Teaching American History” grant initiative targeting middle and high school history teachers and its partners, the National Archives & Records Administration, Beverly Public System, Salem State College and Essex Heritage, and for the fabulously successful EagleFest venture, now planning its fourth year and its collaborative partners, the MA Audubon Society, and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and their dedicated staff and volunteer crews.

The Essex Heritage Scenic Byway is a state-designated route connecting 13 coastal communities. Recognized for its historic, cultural, natural, and scenic qualities, the 64-mile Essex Heritage Scenic Byway begins in Lynn and continues through Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and Newburyport. With funding from the federal National Scenic Byway Program and the state Executive Office of Transportation, Essex Heritage has engaged the planning firm Taintor & Associates of Newburyport to prepare a corridor management plan for the byway. Reflecting input from the 13 byway communities and as well as regional stakeholders, the corridor management plan will identify strategies for preserving the byway’s intrinsic qualities while enhancing the byway traveler’s experience.

For more information, please visit the ENHC website at

Date: 2009-04-28