New Leader for Patapsco Heritage Greenway

    Patapsco Heritage Greenway, a nonprofit conservation and cultural preservation organization in Central Maryland, is getting a new leader.

    The group’s board of directors announced this week that it has selected Aaron Shapiro to be its new executive director. When he starts on Oct. 1, he’ll replace Lyndsey Baker, who headed the group for 2 1/2 years and recently became executive director of Maryland Humanities, a nonprofit promoting humanities education.

    Shapiro is a former associate professor and director of Public History at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

    “We are extremely pleased that a candidate with Aaron’s expertise and experience is relocating to the Patapsco Valley area. We are confident he will play an important role
    in leading our organization and the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area through the post-pandemic phase of growth and transition,” said Steve Wachs, the board president.

    Prior to his position with UNC Charlotte, Shapiro started and directed the public history program at Auburn University and served as national historian for the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C., where he was involved with a range of public history projects including films, digital initiatives, oral histories, interpretive planning, exhibit development, historic preservation, and heritage tourism. He also served as deputy director of the Scholl Center for Family and Community History at Newberry Library in Chicago, his home town.

    Patapsco Heritage Greenway is charged with preserving heritage and the environment in the Patapsco Valley Heritage Area, which covers portions of Howard and Baltimore counties. It is one of 13 heritage areas in Maryland, which have been set up to support regional cultural, historic and natural resources tourism.

    Shapiro will initially lead the organization virtually.

    “While we have entered uncertain times, the pandemic has also drawn increased attention to the need for preserving our natural and cultural resources for the health and well-being of our communities,” he said. “PHG is well-positioned to help lead this effort.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.