image bar
In This Issue
Discover What We're Made Of
"Civil War in the Borderland" Tennessee NHA
Signs Serve as Connecting Thread for Silos and Smokestacks
Collaboration Key in Mormon Pioneer
Watch a Preview of Lackawanna's 20th Anniversary Documentary
Keeping the Dream Alive: Connecting to Students
Niagara's First Grants Awarded for War of 1812 Bicentennial
Champlain Valley Opens War of 1812 Trail
Milestones Reached in Ohio & Erie
Baltimore Launches New Trails and Tours
Mississippi Hills Visitor Center Opens
Historic Plantation Cemetery Rediscovered in Cane River
Examine the Evidence: Salem Witch Hunt
Mormon Pioneer Heritage Institute Opens
New Ohio & Erie Canalway Visitor Website Launched
Border Wars Conference in Freedom's Frontier NHA
Heritage Areas in the Midwest Region meet in Springfield
ANHA Fall Meeting in Jim Thorpe, PA
NPS Reaches Out to the NHAs to Shape a Strategic Plan
Join Our Mailing List
Upcoming Meetings
Alliance of National Heritage Areas Annual Meeting
Washington, DC 
February 1-2, 2012 
Battle of Shiloh Commemoration, Tennessee Civil War NHA
April 4-5, 2012

National Heritage Area Program,


Martha Raymond

National Coordinator:



Katie Durcan

Assistant Coordinator: 

Heather Scotten
Assistant Coordinator: 

Peter Samuel, Northeast Region: Peter_samuel@nps.gov

K. Lynn Berry, Southern Region:

Sue Pridemore, Midwest Region:

Greg Kendrick, Intermountain Region:

Linda Stonier, Pacific West Region:
Gretchen Luxenberg, Pacific West Region gretchen_luxenberg@nps.gov

John Quinley, Alaska Region John_quinley@nps.gov

Alliance of National Heritage Areas 
Michelle McCollum, Chairman




Join Our Mailing List

Visit National Heritage Areas  on-line


Abraham Lincoln NHA


Arabia Mountain NHA


Atchafalaya NHA


Augusta Canal NHA


Baltimore NHA


Blue Ridge NHA


Cache La Poudre River Corridor


Cane River NHA


Champlain Valley NH Partnership


Crossroads of the American Revolution


Delaware and Lehigh NH Corridor


Erie Canalway NHC


Essex NHA


Freedom's Frontier NHA  


Freedom's Way NHA


Great Basin NHA


Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor


Hudson River Valley NHA


Illinois & Michigan Canal NH Corridor


J.H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley NHC


Journey Through Hallowed Ground NHA


Kenai Mountains - Turnagain Arm NHA


Lackawanna Heritage Valley NHA


Mississippi Delta NHA


Mississippi Gulf NHA


Mississippi Hills NHA

Mormon Pioneer NHA


MotorCities NHA


Muscle Shoals NHA


National Aviation Heritage Area


National Coal Heritage Area  


Niagara Falls NHA


Northern Plains NHA


Northern Rio Grande NHA


Ohio & Erie NH Canalway


Oil Region NHA


Last Green Valley: Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley NHC


Rivers of Steel NHA


Sangre de Cristo NHA


Schuylkill River NHA


Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District


Silos & Smokestacks NHA


South Carolina NH Corridor


South Park NHA


Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage (Path of Progress)


Tennessee Civil War NHA


Upper Housatonic Valley NHA


Wheeling NHA


Yuma Crossing NHA 

Send articles and postings for the National Heritage Area Newsletter to:
Join Our Mailing List

Discover What We're Made Of
New Video Highlights Strengths of the Erie Canalway 


erie sign
Click to Watch the video!

What makes the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor great?


The National Heritage Corridor's new two-minute video slideshow offers a glimpse of the tremendous historic, cultural, and recreational assets concentrated along the canal. What's more, it shines the spotlight on the enduring character of the people who live and work in the Erie Canalway Corridor.


"There's so much here," said Judy Schmidt-Dean, Chair of the Erie Canalway Commission. "The video gives us a way to visually and succinctly convey how both real, physical assets and intangible human strengths are driving positive change and renewal along the canal today."


The Erie Canalway Commission, in partnership with the Erie Canalway Heritage Fund, will use the video to share what the Corridor offers and encourage continued heritage development as a way to spur economic growth.

"Civil War in the Borderland" 
Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial 2011 Signature Event

 By Laura Holder

Tennessee Civil War banner
Students enjoy music and living history experiences at Civil War 150 event.

Over 2,500 participants and schoolchildren attended the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial 2011 Signature Event in September, hosted by Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and co-sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War NHA.


Free and open to the public, "Civil War in the Borderland" kicked off with renowned scholar Dr. Gary Gallagher of the University of Virginia, whose presentation engaged and enlightened a packed auditorium. Speakers including country music star Kix Brooks, Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker, and Heritage Area director and Sesquicentennial Commission co-chair Van West spoke eloquently about the Civil War's impact across the South. 

tennessee fall
Country music star Kix Brooks spoke to a packed auditorium.


The event showed how powerfully the Civil War changed our nation and continues to have an effect in the twenty-first century with music, presentations, and unique living history experiences for children. It followed the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission's highly successful kickoff last year, which drew thousands to commemorate the start of the Civil War's 150th anniversary. The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area is working closely with the Commission to plan next year's signature event, scheduled for April 4-5, 2012 to commemorate the Battle of Shiloh.


The Tennessee State Library and Archives "Looking Back in Tennessee" digitization project provided an opportunity for Tennesseans to have their privately owned Civil War artifacts documented and included in the archives' online database. 

Signs Serve as Connecting Thread for Silos and Smokestacks Heritage Area

silo sign ribbon cutting
To show their affiliation with the Heritage Area, each SSNHA Partner received outdoor signage to identify the site as an official SSNHA Partner Site.


Many visitors and residents alike have been welcomed to the Heritage Area by the words "Entering Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area." These Gateway Signs can be found in five locations along the major highway corridors near the borders of the 37-county region in Northeast Iowa. Now visitors to the more than 100 Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) Partner Sites receive a similar greeting. 


New signs serve as a connecting thread for the Heritage Area's network of sites, while letting visitors know they can discover a piece of America's agricultural story being preserved at the site. The signs also complement current outdoor interpretive signs found at sites and along trails throughout the Heritage Area that share the region's unique story with visitors.


This is a huge milestone for the Heritage Area and would not have been possible without the support of the Iowa Department of Transportation and John Deere Foundation.

Collaboration Key in Mormon Pioneer NHA
Big Rock Candy Mountain trail 


Southern Utah University's 2011 Rural Honors Award recognized a project that illustrates Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area's focus on collaborative partnerships fulfilling the Area's mission. The Candy Mountain Whistle Stop Trailhead project is the result of a partnership between private developers, local county government, regional interlocal government, state government, federal government, a regional resource conservation and development council, and support from Mormon Pioneer NHA.  


"This affiliation developed clear vision, goals and objectives for the area," the award's citation reads. "As a result, the . . . partnership has built a unique area designed to provide a quality experience for the recreating public to access and interact with the land in culturally, historically and recreationally diverse ways."


Such collaboration is becoming known as a hallmark of the MPNHA's efforts.


"They [the MPNHA] seem to be doing great in collaborating with many communities," said Greg Kendrick, assistant regional director for partnerships and external relations at the National Park Service's regional office in Denver.


The award is one of several that have recognized the MPNHA's efforts at developing partnerships that align with the MPNHA's management plan, and that further the NHA Program's goal of preserving natural and cultural resources by fostering community stewardship of the nation's heritage.


Recently, MPNHA received an award from the Six County Economic Development District Board in Utah for the "tireless efforts" of the Area and its director, Monte Bona, which have "greatly enhanced the vitality of the Six-County Region through job creation and retention."

Documentary Marks Lackawanna's 20th Anniversary
WVIA Presents Legacy: The Story of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority
Watch a preview of Legacy: The Story of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority by WVIA

Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area (LHV) 20th Anniversary was celebrated at a gala at the Scranton Cultural Center featuring the world premiere of "Legacy: The Story of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley."


"Legacy," a one hour documentary, explores the culture, charm, and character that make the Lackawanna Heritage Valley a national treasure. Abounding in first-person interviews and historical photos and footage, it tells the story of the creation of the heritage area twenty years ago, and the profound impact that it has had on the life of the region. Woven into the narrative is a sweeping history of the Lackawanna Valley - from the early founding of the Scranton Iron Furnaces, to the bustling years when coal was king, to the current days of economic and environmental renewal.


The film was broadcast simultaneously from the Scranton Cultural Center and on WVIA-TV, the local PBS station. WVIA Public Media Studios, in a unique partnership with the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, also produces the "Extraordinary Journey Series" a collection of original documentaries that tell the stories of the European immigrant groups who settled in Northeastern Pennsylvania.


The DVD is available with a 25% discount for LHV members. To order, visit www.HeritageValleyPartners.org or call April Rogato at (570) 963-6730 ext. 8200. "Legacy" was generously supported by Penn Security Bank & Trust.

Keeping the Dream Alive: Connecting Students to Struggles for Freedom

Program Coordinator Julie McPike talks with a Boys & Girls Club group at the historic Carnegie Building in Lawrence, KS

Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site and Freedom Frontier NHA are partnering to serve at risk youth with the help of a $10,000 Impact Grant. Working with their partners, historic sites, re-enactors, and Topeka, Lawrence, and Greater Kansas City Boys & Girls Clubs, they will create a summer program for at-risk 4th-6th grade students involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs titled: Keeping the Dream Alive: Connecting Under Served Students to Local and National Struggles for Freedom.


This grant will offset transportation costs and meals for 150 students on five day-trips to heritage area sites. Most of these students have never visited a National Park. This program will take them on a journey from the Civil War to Civil Rights as they:

  • debate over extending slavery into Kansas.
  • visit nationally significant places in Freedom's Frontier.
  • learn how segregation ended while struggles for freedom and civil rights continue.

This program can connect them with parks and heritage area sites, and help them become future advocates for history and preservation.http://www.nps.gov/brvb/index.htmwww.freedomsfrontier.org

Grants for Bicentennial of the War of 1812
First Grant Projects for Niagara NHA


Niagara Old Fort
Old Fort Niagara

The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the Commemoration of the War of 1812 grants. The following groups were awarded seed money to commemorate the Bicentennial:    

  • Old Fort Niagara
  • Lewiston Council of the Arts
  • Historic Association of Lewiston 
  • Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council

Each group presented projects that emphasize the history and impact of the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier. Each project is unique in nature and reflects interpretive, educational and tourism related elements. Organizations are required to ensure a three to one (3:1) match of grant funds. Funding ranges from 2,500 to a maximum of $10,000.


Work on the projects begins early in 2012 and they will enhance the local and visitor experience of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area as the region commemorates the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Champlain Valley Opens War of 1812 Trail 

Partnership with Hudson River Valley NHA 


Residents view wayside exhibit "The First Bloody Encounter" of the British land invasion. Beekmantown, NY
In 2012, the communities in the Champlain Valley will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. A decisive American victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814 ended a British invasion, marked the last naval battle of the conflict, and gave the United States a stronger standing for the peace treaty that ended the war. While largely overlooked, the War of 1812 solidified the United States as a sovereign nation, spurred Canadian nationalism, and set the stage for the modern American political system.


The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) worked with partners in New York and Vermont to develop a series of bilingual (English and French) interpretive signs to provide a better understanding of the conflict and its aftermath. Wayside exhibits interpret the British invasion from Quebec and describe the land skirmishes between the King's troops and American forces. Other wayside exhibits interpret the U.S.S. Saratoga, the survey of the U.S./Canadian border following the war, and the lives of African-Americans at the time.


The CVNHP provided translation and design assistance along with complete fabricated interpretive signs-an estimated $1,500 value-at 11 sites. Each new sign includes a "QR code" for use by smartphones. The project was partially funded through a partnership with the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

Milestones Reached in Ohio & Erie Canalway


The 20th Towpath Marathon in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park drew over 2,100 participants from 38 States and Canada this October to the Ohio & Erie Canalway NHA. The course has been described by Runner's World as "one of the most beautiful race courses in America."


Annually, more than 2.5 million visitors find their way to the iconic 81+ mile Towpath Trail running through the heart of the Ohio & Erie Canalway. The Trail follows the historic path where, from 1827 to 1913, mules pulled canal boats laden with passengers and goods. Ultimately, the Towpath will extend 101 miles through the Canalway. 


The collaborative community spirit at the heart of every NHA remains the hallmark of this project. Along the Towpath Trail, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, four county park districts - Cleveland Metroparks, Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, Stark Parks and Tuscarawas County Park Department - and the two NHA founding organizations - Ohio Canal Corridor and Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition - work in concert to build, maintain, and promote the Towpath Trail. Another key partner - the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - offers an innovative "Bike the Trail, Ride the Rail" program - attracting 25,000+ riders this year. 


A milestone was reached with the completion of the Towpath through the city of Akron and was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting attended by its Mayor and more than 100 dignitaries and friends.


 Whether birding, biking, hiking, running, riding on horseback, taking a canal boat ride, or traveling alongside it by scenic rail - the Towpath Trail adds an undeniable energy to the quality of life in Northeast Ohio.

Baltimore NHA Launches New Trails and Tours, New Structure for 2012  
BNHA GPS Ranger Promo
Watch Baltimore's GPS Ranger Promo


 The Baltimore NHA's network of urban heritage trails continues to grow, providing visitors with unique opportunities to dive into the city's layers of history and culture.


  On September 9, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake unveiled the new interpretive "storyboard" panels placed along the Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail. The 1.2-mile trail explores a rich tapestry of African American history. The neighborhood was at the crux of the civil rights struggle and was the city's center for jazz, serving as a backdrop for legends like Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Baltimore's own Cab Calloway.   

Baltimore trail
Mayor Rawlings-Blake unveiled the signs on the Pennsylvania Avenue Heritage Trail. 


This summer, the heritage area also began urban ranger-led guided tours on the Historic Fell's Point Trail. Nearly three centuries of history are embodied in the rustic streets and architecture of Fell's Point, touching upon the War of 1812, shipbuilding, Frederick Douglass, and immigration.


In the 2012 tourism season, visitors to Baltimore can enjoy self-paced, multimedia GPS-guided tours. Available Baltimore Visitor Center at the Inner Harbor, the four tours offer plenty of variety, from a driving tour along the Charles Street National Scenic Byway to walking tours of three of the city's most vibrant and historic neighborhoods.




Baltimore NHA Forms Non-profit 


2012 also bring some new and exciting changes to the Baltimore NHA. After years as a municipal government department, the heritage area will transition into an independent non-profit organization. The move will help the heritage area better leverage its resources, expand partnerships, and take a more active role in historic preservation.

Mississippi Hills Visitor Center Opens
By Terry Wildy, Acting Chief of Interpretation
Mississippi Hills visitor center


On October 7th, Natchez Trace Parkway staff participated in the grand opening of the visitor center for Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area, a 30-county NHA encompassing the natural and cultural resources of northeast Mississippi. Natchez Trace Parkway bisects Mississippi Hills NHA and serves as both a visitor attraction and a travel corridor within the heritage area. 


The visitor center is the result of planning by organizations such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Mississippi Development Authority, and numerous local and regional tourism officials. Natchez Trace Parkway interpretive staff designed several exhibits on the parkway for inclusion in the new visitor center.   


Heritage area staff continue to work with parkway and Southeast Regional Office staff as the Mississippi Hills NHA develops a general management plan. The parkway will continue to support this cooperative effort to introduce visitors to the region's history, culture, recreation, and scenic beauty.  

Historic Plantation Cemetery Rediscovered 


Cane river cemetary
Archeologist work in DeBlieux Cemetery, Natchitoches Parish in Cane River NHA

The Cane River National Heritage Area collaborated with the Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Association to begin restoration and documentation efforts of the DeBlieux Cemetery in Natchitoches Parish.  The Cemetery, established in the mid-1800s was part of the 800-acre Willows Plantation, owned by the DeBlieux Family. It serves as the final resting place for former slaves and their descendants.


The Cemetery became a victim of neglect during the late 20th century and was forgotten until 2009 when the search for a centenarian's grave led to its rediscovery. Shirley Small-Rougeau and the late Bobby DeBlieux initiated a crusade to clean up the cemetery and locate additional graves. Through intense clean up and documentation efforts the team discovered nearly one hundred unmarked graves.



The Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Association

cane river cemetary marker
Recently recovered headstone marker

is energized about the rediscovery and the possible links to additional research avenues in the Parish. Through its research the association believes the site could be the final resting place of influential and historical figures, making it worthy of further restoration and documentation. Cane River NHA believes the cemetery is an important link in the collective story of Cane River's culture and remains committed to the preservation of the region's cultural resources.  


For more information visit The Cane River National Heritage Area.


Examine the Evidence: Salem Witch Hunt
New Documentary in Essex NHA


Essex girls
Images courtesy of Don Toothaker and Essex NHA

Everyone has heard of the Salem Witch Trials which led to the death of 20 innocent victims in 1692. But why did they happen? Who was responsible?


These unanswered questions are still being asked today by the one million visitors who come to Salem every year. Until this October, the National Park Service's Visitor Center in Salem did not have an exhibit interpreting this important story. Now a new, documentary style film, Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, draws on the most recent scholarly research, based on newly discovered records as well as the re-examination of nearly 1,000 historical documents chronicling the prosecutions and trials. 


The 35 minute film was shot at the actual sites associated with the tragic events of 1692, and features actors speaking the documented words of the accusers and victims. Five preeminent scholars speak on camera and provide insights and analysis of the causes, events and aftermath of this tragic period. The scholars are Dr. Benjamin C. Ray of the University of Virginia, Dr. Mary Beth Norton of Cornell University, Dr. Emerson (Tad) Baker of Salem State University, Margo Burns of the Language Center at St Paul's School, and Richard Trask, Archivist of the Town of Danvers (formerly Salem Village),


Essex Heritage NHA was established in 1996 to interpret the same three themes as the NPS Salem Maritime and Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sites and frequently partners with the park on interpretive and educational projects. Essex Heritage produced the film with oversight provided by NPS park historian, Dr. Emily Murphy.



For further information go to www.essexheritage.org/salemwitchhunt/

Mormon Pioneer Heritage Institute Opens

mormon institue
Digital copies of historical documents like these are now at Snow College's Huntsman Library
The academic center of the Mormon Pioneer NHA - the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Institute, one of the Area's "anchor" projects - is up and running on the campus of Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, after being approved by the college's Board of Trustees and the Utah Commissioner of Higher Education.


The Institute will study the role played by Mormon pioneers, help local communities with historic preservation efforts, provide educational programs, and strengthen economic development through heritage tourism. It will also serve as a receptacle for digitized copies of oral and written histories of early settlers.


Through conversations with heritage area residents, Roger Baker, interim director of the Institute, realized the importance of collecting pioneer histories at the Institute. 


 "Every person I talked to . . . seemed really interested in people learning the stories," Baker said.


Snow College students will assist in collecting, editing, and digitizing the materials.

"If students themselves preserve and collect the stories, it's even more significant than someone standing in front of a class and [lecturing about them]," he said. Baker says it is only through saving and sharing these stories that future residents will know and appreciate the area's rich history.


(Read the full article written by Travis Schiffman and Emily Peterson for Snow College Magazine,  www.snow.edu/alumni)

New Ohio & Erie Canalway Visitor Website Launched
ohio identiy

 Check out the new website here: www.ohioanderiecanalway.com

The Ohio & Erie Canalway undertook a comprehensive Brand Identity project as the National Heritage Area approached its 15th anniversary in 2011. The resulting branding strategy centers on two concepts: 


110 Miles. Endless Possibilities. 


There's Always More to Explore at ohioanderiecanalway.com


"We identified the fact that while many of our users were aware of our components, they weren't always aware they were part of a larger whole - through the National Heritage Area," explains Katie Montgomery, Director of Marketing & Public Relations. "The good news we have to tell them - is that there is so much more to experience in areas they already love to visit."


The site is based on resident and visitor interests collected from park partners and visitor centers' feedback.  It is an ongoing, collaborative regional effort with nearly 70 contributors to date, ranging from park partners - Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, and County Park Districts - to local authors, photographers, historians and residents. New features include "Canalway Samplers" - local experts favorite day trips; Questing - a free, new adventure series; Birding Sites - suggested by area naturalists; and more.

In the first two months, the new site attracted half of the visitors of the entire previous year.


The Ohio & Erie Canalway invites you to visit them at the new site or like them on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OhioandErieCanalway

Border Wars Conference

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area


freedeom library

Border Wars Conference  in the Truman Forum auditorium of the Kansas City Public Library

Noted Civil War expert Michael Fellman addressed nearly 300 people in the opening session, I Came Not to Bring Peace, but a Sword: The Christian War God, and the War of All Against All on the Kansas-Missouri Border at the Border Wars Conference, Nov. 10-12, hosted by Kansas City (MO) Public Library in Freedom's Frontier NHA.

The free symposium included papers presented by professors Diane Mutti Burke and Jonathan Earle, and 12 other Border and Civil war scholars. Papers presented by scholars focused on aspects of one of three broad session topics:

  • Making the Border Bleed: Slavery and Politics in Territorial Kansas
  • Sectional Crisis and Civil War on the Western Border, 1860-1865
  • The Border Reconstructed and Remembered

University of Kansas Press will compile papers presented at the conference for publication. Conference partners included University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC), and University of Kansas (KU) history departments. The conference was co-sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities at KU, the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, and the Bernardin Haskell Lecture Fund and the Center for Regional Studies at (UMKC). 

Heritage Areas in the Midwest Region meet in Springfield, Illinois  

The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, the coordinating entity of the Abraham Lincoln NHA and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site hosted the Midwest National Heritage Area Conference in Springfield, Illinois on November 1-3.


Midwest Heritage Area directors, staff and board members attended the 3 day conference. Mike Reynolds, NPS Midwest Regional Director, and Martha Raymond, NPS Heritage Area Coordinator, opened the conference with an enlightening discussion with emphasis on heritage areas further partnering with NPS sites.


A wide variety of topics were covered at the conference including presentations on fundraising and technology updates. The presentations provided the Midwest Region with discussion topics that are so important to the success of a NHA.


The conference not only provided a wonderful opportunity to further develop partnerships and gain information in to the many heritage area programs in place, but also share our successes and discuss the opportunities of collaborating with any and all of the heritage areas located in the Midwest region.

Alliance Fall Meeting in Jim Thorpe, PA

 Hosted by Delaware and Lehigh NHC  

Mine tour
Tour of Mine #9 the longest continuing operating anthracite mine in the country.

 The fall meeting of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas gathered in Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor in October in the scenic town of Jim Thorpe, PA. Attendees were treated to a tour of the region including historic towns, a visit to an anthracite coal mine in the Panther Valley, a restored 1829 Canal Locktender's House in Walnutport, a bike ride on the D&L Trail, and a presentation of restoration efforts at a superfund site at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.


The following day members met at the Historic Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe for a business meeting which included a presentation by the Palladian Group who are working on a National Heritage Area messaging project.

NPS Reaches Out to the NHAs to Shape a Strategic Plan

In mid-October the NPS brought together the NHAs in the Northeast Region to discuss the goals and objectives of the draft strategic plan for the NHA Program. Questions were raised about how the NPS could provide support to NHAs that are facing the sunset of federal assistance in 2012, and whether there is the possibility of a legislative solution.


Assistant Director for Legislative and Congressional Affairs, Don Hellmann was joined by the NER Deputy Director, Mike Caldwell in addressing concerns of the group. Martha Raymond, the National Program Coordinator for National Heritage Areas, reminded the group of Director Jon Jarvis support for program legislation.


NER Associate Director for Heritage Preservation, Planning & Compliance, Maryanne Gerbauckas who is chairing a working group to explore the issues around the sunsetting NHAs presented an update on her committee's progress. Some of the items being addressed are:

  • Making the Case for how NHAs support the Park Service Mission
  • Developing a Plan for NHAs if program legislation does not get passed in FY2012
  • Looking at ways NHAs can continue to access cooperative agreement funds and grant opportunities
  • Reviewing the Cost/Benefit Analyses that have been completed in prior years such as the MGM2 studies

The strategic plan group was urged to include information on how heritage areas can support the work that was defined in the recent Call to Action Plan. Contact Peter Samuel for more information.