Essex Heritage connects people to places rich in heritage.
By engaging people in our county’s past, we help them forge deeper relationships with the communities, institutions and environments of Essex County, improving quality of life for today and the future.
Our programs achieve this in four ways:
1. We promote discovery of heritage experiences. For example:
– Our annual event series, Trails & Sails offers guided walks, paddles, historical tours, cultural experiences and other adventures that connect people to the spectacular places, history, and heritage of Essex County.
– Our involvement with the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, the 90 mile roadway linking 14 coastal communities and featuring scenic views, historic sites and recreational opportunities, ranges from the installation of Byway road signs and Visitor Center kiosks to the development of a Byway interactive map.
– Our annual Photo Contest encourages photographers of all levels to capture the living landscapes, unique places, and iconic vistas of Essex County.
2. We tell inspiring stories. For example:
– Our preservation of Bakers Island Light Station allows us to present the historic and cultural value of this maritime site while also making it accessible as a vacation destination.
– Our film, Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, which plays daily at the Salem Visitor Center, brings the people involved in the historic event to life through authentic dialog uncovered from scholarly research.
– Our walking tour, Myths & Misconceptions, debunks many of the common false stories around the Salem Witch Trails while connecting tour-goers to the true sites and stories around Salem.
3. We offer learning opportunities. For example:
– Our Park for Every Classroom program supports K-12 educators in creating place-based service-learning projects with their students by working with local partners and utilizing their communities’ natural, cultural, and historic resources.
– Our Future Leaders program employs around 30 youth every summer to work at the two National Park Sites in Essex County while also learning valuable trade-based skills and civic responsibilities.
4. We provide resources to partners who share our mission. For example:
– Our Partnership Grants helps our partners educate the public, enhance facilities and protect endangered places while stimulating community investment through matching grants.
– Our Visitor Center Grants provide critical funding to the 13 welcome centers around Essex County, allowing them to be open & accessible to the 2.7 million annual visitors to this region.