EMHR Approves Slate of Officers, Representatives

At an annual meeting of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR), members from Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties elected new officers and welcomed three new associates to its 20-member board. The meeting was held on Sept. 17 at the Wyalusing Fire Hall, where guests were welcomed by President Dan Pope of Wyoming County.
EMHR Executive Director Phil Swank presented the annual report, which included an overview of project involvement and funding over the past year. Projects receiving funding since October 2012 included the Wyalusing Community Corporation (WCC) “Front Door to Route 6” initiative, Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau natural history guide, Rail-Trail Council of NEPA feasibility study, Conservation District agricultural viability strategy, Clifford Township Historical Society trail head parking area, Manley-Bohlander Farm pedestrian walkway.
The project in Wyalusing involved the installation of a 450-foot sidewalk and period lighting along Bridge Street and Wyalusing Creek that connects Main Street and downtown Wyalusing to state Route 6. EMHR representatives celebrated the completion of the project with WCC members in May. In September, approximately 30 EMHR associates participated in a regional grants and project Development workshop in partnership with state DCNR staff members and other entities.
EMHR also co-sponsored a 100-mile river sojourn and helped to facilitate heritage journeys by members of the Tuscarora Nation and the Religious Society of Friends.
Swank related details of projects for which funding has been proposed, such as improvements to the Clifford Township Historical Society Museum, the repainting of the Manley-Bohlayer farmhouse, window restoration at the Noxen Depot, a master plan for the Dennis-Perkins Homestead Interpretive Center, and various regional trail enhancements.
In a brief business meeting conducted by outgoing president Pope, EMHR members approved an updated slate of board members and officers. For the next year, the board will be led by President Frank Oliver, Vice President Tom Henson, Treasurer Sandra Wilmot, and Secretary Melanie Norton.
Oliver also represents Wyoming County, along with Sarah Carr, Marion Sweet, new member Rick Hiduk, and County Commissioner Judy mead. Henson represents Bradford County, along with David LaFrance, Mike Lovegreen, new member Scott Wilcox, and Commissioner Daryl Miller. Wilmot represents Susquehanna County, along with Jack Davis, Ed Zygmunt, Bobbi Jo Turner, and Commissioner Alan Hall. Norton represents Sullivan County, along with Dee Tarcza, new member Doug Rider, and Commissioner Wylie Norton.
Members and guests enjoyed a dinner prepared by Chris Woodruff and the staff of the Wyalusing Hotel before learning about the former logging town of Ricketts, which once straddled the border of Wyoming and Sullivan Counties near present-day Lopez. Noted historian F. Charles Petrillo of Luzerne County was the guest speaker who provided a slide show of many photos of short-lived Ricketts that were taken by photographer Randall Douglas, who also documented the histories of other logging and tannery boomtowns in the region, such as Forkston and Mehoopany.
After the presentation, the board reconvened for a a brief session. Since 1998, EMHR has been a state-designated Heritage Area operating under the board and executive director with guidance from DCNR. EMHR is a founding organizer of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and is designated as the the water trail manager of the North Branch National Recreation Trail by the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network of the National Park Service. For more information, interested readers can log on to www.endlessmountainsheritage.org.

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