Perlson honored at scenic byway ceremony with dedication

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Perlson and RLHT’s Executive Director David Miller after unveiling the sign. It was a surprise. (Photo provided)

RANGELEY – The community gathered on the evening of Oct. 6 to celebrate the completion of the Nancy A. Perlson Scenic Turnout and the Rangeley Region Wayfinding System.

Nancy Perlson is well known in the region for her passion for conservation. For 18 years, she was Executive Director of Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust. Retired, she chooses to lead projects like the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway, one of only four nationally designated scenic byways in the state of Maine. Perlson is leading the rewrite of the Corridor Management Plan’s present goals for the coming 10 to 15 years of the plan’s circulation, proposing projects and ideas for improvements and seeking community input.

Perlson is treasurer of the Madrid Historical Society, Advisor for the High Peaks Alliance Advisor, and continues to work with RLHT part-time and many other interests.

The Nancy A. Perlson Scenic Turnout overlooks the Sandy River in Madrid, the Gateway to the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway. The turnout will greet visitors with a kiosk featuring attractions across the region and Interpretive signs sharing the history of Madrid and Atlantic Salmon restoration efforts in the Sandy River, paying special tribute to the iconic buildings that stood there previously.

RLHT staffs Whip Willow Farm Scenic and Height of Land Scenic Overlook during the summer months with Byway Ambassadors. Ambassadors answer questions and connect visitors with experiences, and the Perlson Scenic Turnout will join the list in 2022. Ambassadors connected with over 4000 visitors during the 2021 summer.

Recently installed, the Rangeley Region Wayfinding System features beautifully designed welcome and directional signs to Rangeley’s attractions. ME DOT’s Larry Johannesman and SignWorks co-created and designed the system. The Town of Rangeley partnered to build and install the signs.

Mike Wilson of the Northern Forest Center spoke of NFC’s community partnership which led to the development of the wayfinding system. Sharon Strouse of the National Scenic Foundation presented RLHT with the WAYSHOWING award.

Commissioner of the Department of Transportation Bruce Van Note spoke, saying, “It’s all about partnerships.” Van Note acknowledged Fred Michaud and Larry Johannesman for their contribution to the RL National Scenic Byway and the communities within the region.

“The processes to get to this point enrich our lives together. Today is about recognizing our work together,” stated RLHT’s Executive Director, David Miller. “This project is a testament to the power of partnership and dedication to the common good.” The Franklin County Commissioners, the Franklin County TIF committee, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Maine Office of Tourism, the Madrid Historical Society, M&H Construction, and others supported these projects. This project brought together a list of organizations and individuals.

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