Trio Celebrated For 50-Year Legacy Of Regional Land Conservation

May 12, 2015 (Salem, MA) – On Thursday, May 7, Essex Heritage presented its 2015 Essex Heritage Hero Awards to Albert Creighton, Jr., Frederic Winthrop, and Edward Becker. The Essex Heritage Hero Award Dinner paid tribute to these three individuals who, over a span of 50 years, have collectively inspired a powerful land conservation ethos resulting in 25% of Essex County land being permanently protected.

Widely recognized as visionaries and early leaders, the Essex Heritage Hero Award honorees helped transform the business of land conservation from idealism to policies and programs. The advocacy and work of Creighton, Winthrop, and Becker at Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust, The Trustees of Reservations, and Essex County Greenbelt Association, respectively, were highlighted.  The awards were bestowed during a dinner ceremony at Danversport Yacht Club sponsored, in part, by the Institution for Savings. 

“The work of these individuals has generated countless partnerships that have resulted in an extraordinary 80,000 acres of land being saved from development,” said master of ceremonies Nathaniel Pulsifer of Ipswich. “If you have ever paddled, skied, birded, mountain biked or simply walked on publicly accessible land in Essex County, you have likely benefited from the partnerships inspired by our Heritage Heroes.”

More than 300 people attended the award dinner including former Governor Michael Dukakis, state senators Bruce Tarr and Joan Lovely, and state representatives Brad Hill and Leonard Mirra. Among those attending were leaders from numerous local, regional, state and national conservation-related organizations as well as business and individuals.  

Annie Harris, chief executive officer of Essex Heritage, called the honorees “true heroes who have inspired others to care about this region and beyond, and who have worked to improve life for all.”  

Essex Heritage, in conjunction with the National Park Service, presents the Essex Heritage Hero Award. Past award recipients include Wayne Burton, former president of North Shore Community College; Salem mayor Kim Driscoll; Danvers town manager Wayne Marquis; Thomas Leonard, president emeritus of the Essex National Heritage Commission; and Joanne Patton, overseer of Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, and the Patton Family.

Visit for biographies of the three honorees.