Albert Creighton, Jr., Frederic Winthrop, and Edward Becker Named Essex Heritage Heroes

photo of 2015 Heritage Hero Award Recipients
2015 Essex Heritage Hero Award Recipients (left to right): Edward Becker, Albert Creighton Jr., Frederic Winthrop

Essex Heritage is pleased to announce that Albert Creighton, Jr., Frederic Winthrop, and Edward Becker are recipients of the 2015 Essex Heritage Hero Awards.  A dinner event to honor the special contributions the three have made to the Essex National Heritage Area will take place on May 7 at the Danversport Yacht Club.

Widely recognized as visionaries and early leaders, this year’s Essex Heritage Hero Award honorees helped transform the business of land conservation from idealism to policies and programs. During the course of nearly 50 years, Albert Creighton, Jr., Frederic Winthrop, and Edward Becker have collectively inspired a place-based conservation ethos resulting in an estimated 80,000 acres of protected land across Essex County.

At 95, Albert holds fast to a vision: To have a core area in Essex County delineated as wilderness. Taking root in the late 1950s, Albert’s passion and life’s work is protecting open space.  In the early 1960s, Albert became one of the first board members of the then all-volunteer Essex County Greenbelt Association (“Greenbelt”). Albert’s passion for conservation also led him to co-found the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust.  He has served as a longtime member the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and as president of the Vinalhaven Land Trust in Maine.  Albert is still very active in his own community of Manchester-by-the-Sea and serves as an honorary Trustee of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Frederic Winthrop of Ipswich is a national leader in the conservation of farmland and open space. He has been intimately involved with land throughout his life and has made it his purpose to keep land “the way it should be.” Frederic was among the first executive directors of Essex County Greenbelt Association (1973 -1975), served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture (1975 – 1985), and as  executive director of The Trustees of Reservations (1985 - 2000).  As agricultural commissioner, Fred created the Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program, a nationally adopted program offering compensation to farm owners in exchange for permanent deed restrictions limiting development.

Edward Becker’s work protecting the environment and preserving living landscapes began upon his graduation from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Study.   He joined the Essex County Greenbelt Association as executive director in 1987. During his tenure, Greenbelt has grown from a small organization with a staff of three to one of the most effective and respected land trusts in the nation. A visionary leader, Edward has a direct role in the protection of over 16,000 acres across the county and has worked tirelessly to advance land conservation practice and advocacy.  Edward is the recipient of the prestigious Massachusetts Governor’s Award for Open Space Protection.

The 2015 Heritage Hero Award Dinner will be held on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Danversport Yacht Club beginning at 5:30 PM. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Essex Heritage programs which support the preservation and enhancement of unique places in the 34 cities and towns of Essex County. Tickets are $165 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information visit www.EssexHeritage.org/heroes or call Essex Heritage at 978-744-0444.

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Media contact:
Emily Levin, Director of Special Events & Communications
(978) 740-0444 

Note to Editor:
Essex Heritage Development Assistant Robyn Giannopolo coordinates the Heritage Hero Award Dinner and is available for questions.  Email Robyn or call 978-740-0444.