Trustees Honored at Essex National Heritage Commission 20th Anniversary Gala: A Toast to the Trailblazers

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
PR Director
617.542.7696 x2123

Katie Marshall
PR Specialist
617.904.5365 x2124

Boston, MAApril 2017 – The Trustees is grateful to announce that it was honored as a Trailblazer at the Essex National Heritage Commission 20th Anniversary Gala on April 5, 2017 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. 

The Essex National Heritage Commission, the non-profit organization that oversees the Essex National Heritage Area and works to save the historic, cultural, and natural places of Essex County, Massachusetts celebrated its 20th anniversary gala fundraiser last week. The organization toasted the ‘Trailblazers,’ identified as “the extraordinary organizations and people who make the Essex National Heritage Area so exceptional.” A total of 131 significant historical, cultural, and natural places in Essex County were nominated by the public, with The Trustees receiving 1st place in the ‘Connecting People to Place: Creating Authentic Experiences’ category. Pilar Garro, Engagement Site Manager at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, accepted the award on behalf of The Trustees.

“The Trustees is honored to receive this designation in the area of ‘Connecting People to Place’ from the Essex National Heritage Commission,” says Pilar Garro. “This award feels particularly relevant as bringing our stories to life has been a major focus of the organization over the past five years. The Trustees recently completed a $26.6 million ”Bringing Our Stories to Life” cultural campaign that has allowed us to create even more unique and authentic experiences at our properties for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
“We are pleased that our voters recognized the terrific work of The Trustees,’” said Essex Heritage CEO Annie Harris. “It is truly heartening to see such a well-established organization continually refreshing itself through new and engaging programs focused on connecting people to place.”
Over 300 local, regional, and state and national heritage-related organizations and businesses were in attendance, as well as former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who gave a toast honoring the Commission. Photos available upon request.
Trustees properties in Essex County include: Appleton Farms and Appleton Farms Grass Rides in Ipswich and Hamilton, the Crane Estate in Ipswich, comprised of Castle Hill, Crane Beach and Crane Wildlife Refuge, Greenwood Farm and Hamlin Reservation in Ipswich, Long Hill and Moraine Farm in Beverly, Crowninshield Island in Marblehead, Mount Ann Park and Ravenswood Park in Gloucester, Stavros Reservation in Essex, The Stevens-Coolidge Place, Ward Reservation and Weir Hill in North Andover, Agassiz Rock and Coolidge Reservation in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Misery Islands on the Salem Sound.

To learn more about the Trustees, please visit

The Trustees preserves and cares for some of Massachusetts’ most treasured natural, scenic, and historic sites for public use and enjoyment. Founded in 1891 and celebrating our 125th Anniversary from May 2016-2017, The Trustees is the first land preservation nonprofit of its kind in the world and the Commonwealth’s largest conservation and preservation organization. With a passion for protecting the irreplaceable for everyone, forever, The Trustees is focusing its renewed mission on connecting more people of all ages and interests to outdoor recreation, culture, agriculture, and healthy, active living using its 116 diverse properties, community spaces, and over 5,000 annual programs as a powerful and compelling platform.  Located within minutes of every resident and visited by 1.75 million people in 2016, Trustees properties span more than 27,000 acres across the state – from working farms, landscaped and urban gardens, and community parks, to barrier beaches, forests, campgrounds, inns and historic sites, many of which are National Historic Landmarks. The Trustees is also a worldwide model and active leader in land conservation, serving as the largest private holder of conservation restrictions of any entity in the state, overseeing the protection of more than 20,000 acres, and working with community’s partners to protect additional land, totaling over 25,000 acres to date. Also leader in the local, sustainable food movement, The Trustees operates five working farms with CSA programs, holds over 2,000 acres of farmland, and is a founding partner of the Boston Public Market, the first all locally-sourced indoor market of its kind in the nation, where it runs all educational programming at the Market’s demonstration KITCHEN and is one of 40 on-site vendors.  Funded by our nearly 125,000 members and supported by many generous donors, partners, and volunteers, The Trustees invites all to get out, get inspired, and find magic in the moment through a Trustees program or property: