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Stay in the know with NPS heritage and preservation programs:
"Best Practices" Calls
The Midwest Region's NHAs invite all NHAs to participate in their "best practices" bimonthly calls to share ideas. Presenters share information about a successful project or program they implemented within their NHA and answer questions.
The calls are open to anyone working in NHAs interested in sharing and learning. For more information contact Julie McPike at firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Wickens at email@example.com
Management Plan Update:
Approved in Fiscal Year 2013
- Kenai Mountain-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area
Approved in Fiscal Year 2012
- Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
- Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
- Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area
- Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor
- Niagara Falls National Heritage Area
Meetings and Trainings:
Northeast Regional Meeting Schuylkill River Valley
April 3 - 4
ANHA Spring Meeting
Mussel Shoals National Heritage Area
National Main Street Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana
Recent NHA LEGISLATION
H.R.89: To establish St. Croix National Heritage Area
Sponsor: Rep Christensen (VI) Introduced 1/3/2013
H.R.445: National Heritage Area Act of 2013
Sponsor: Rep Dent (PA) and Rep Tonko (NY)
H.R.706 : Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Establishment Act
Sponsor: Rep Cicilline, David N. RI
H.R.770: To amend South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Act of 1996...
Sponsor: Rep Duncan, Jeff (SC) Introduced 2/15/2013
H.R.1004: To establish Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area.
Sponsor: Rep Garamendi [CA-3] Introduced 3/6/2013
S.219 : Susquehanna Gateway National Heritage Area Act
Sponsor: Sen Casey [PA] Introduced 2/4/2013
S.228: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta National Heritage Area Establishment Act
Sponsor: Sen Feinstein [CA] Introduced 2/4/2013
S.371 : Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Establishment Act
Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI]
S.503: A bill to establish the Sangre de Cristo National Historical Park, and for other purposes.
National Heritage Area Program,
Alliance of National Heritage Areas:
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Value of Heritage Areas, By the Numbers
|The report found that National Heritage Areas contribute $12.9 billion annually to the national economy, 148,000 jobs and $1.2 billion annually in Federal taxes.|
National Heritage Areas are not only places of history, cultural and natural wonder, they are also good for the economy, says a recent economic impact study commissioned by the NPS in conjunction with the Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA)and completed by the nationally-recognized consulting firm Tripp Umbach of Pittsburgh.
The recently completed report, titled Supporting Regional Economies: National Heritage Areas and Their Impact, found that the program is one of the Department of the Interior's most cost-effective initiatives.
Heritage areas actively collaborate with local partners to carry out their mission. Along with the goals of cultural, historical, and natural resource protection, heritage area management organizations strive to improve the quality of life in their regions by fostering the development of sustainable economies.
The economic benefits of NHAs are realized in three primary methods: tourism and visitation, operational expenditures, and grant-making and support. Of the $12.9 billion benefit to the national economy, the majority (99%) is attributed to tourism and visitation spending.
NHAs support more than 148,000 jobs of which approximately 94,000 are directly supported by NHAs and 54,000 are indirect and induced jobs. The majority of employment supported by NHAs nationally is concentrated within sectors traditionally associated with visitor spending and travel. Food service, retail, lodging, and amusements comprise the businesses that have experienced the greatest increase in employment due to NHAs in their regions.
"NHAs are places where small investments pay huge dividends, providing demonstrable benefits in communities across the country and in partnership with our national parks." says NPS Director Jon Jarvis.
A longer report that focuses solely on the NHAs in the Northeast Region concludes that the 20 NHAs in this region contribute $5.4 billion annually to the economy. This economic activity supports approximately 66,000 jobs and $607 million annually in Federal taxes.
Click here to read a summary of the NHA Economic Impact Study.
|St. Patrick's Day in Crossroads of the American Revolution |
|Flag carried by Irish American soldiers "Sons of St. Patrick" during the American Revolution.|
Crossroads of the American Revolution is joining with Morristown National Historical Park to explore the role of the Irish in the American Revolution and why St. Patrick's Day was the only holiday celebrated by the soldiers during the winter of 1779- 1780.
Visitors can learn about the life of a common soldier during the winter encampment and how they would have celebrated St. Patrick's Day in 1780. For more information on special tours and events visit: http://www.nps.gov/morr/planyourvisit
Arabia Mountain drives hikers "mad" in March
Invigorating hikes, surreal views, and a rockin' good time are all in store for the first annual "Monadnock Madness."
|Arabia Mountain diamorpha. Credit: Arabia Alliance|
This family friendly event is sponsored by the Arabia Mountain NHA and encourages amateur adventurers to reach the peaks of Arabia, Panola, and Stone Mountains anytime during the month of March. For anyone "mad" enough, there's also an opportunity to master all three monoliths in one day.
Each of these granite peaks are considered "monadnocks", a specific type of mountain that juts out of the relatively flat landscape surrounding it. Arabia and Panola Mountain are cornerstones of the Arabia Mountain NHA and their rich geological history and varied ecosystems create some of the most interesting places to hike near Metro Atlanta.
A recent Atlanta Trails review notes, "The diverse landscape at Arabia Mountain is so beautiful - and sometimes so foreign - it's almost surreal. This wild, rugged granite ecosystem is...a testament to the awesome landscape diversity of Georgia."
This is a perfect time of year to visit as the rare Diamorpha plant has started to bloom, carpeting the rough granite with tiny bright red flowers. Guided tours and sponsored hikes during "Monadnock Madness" will allow participants to get up close and personal with each unique site and draw attention to the NHA ecosystems. As a special bonus, hikers who visit all three peaks in March will earn a custom-designed souvenir which they can wear as a badge of honor.
A kickoff event on March 3 allowed adventurous types to conquer all three peaks in one day during a series of free hikes led by park rangers. Self-guided tours and events continue all month. This hiking adventure is sponsored by the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance and was created in partnership between the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, Panola Mountain State Park, and Stone Mountain Park.
For more details or to view pictures of this year's hiking adventure visit: www.monadnockmadness.com
Mumford & Sons Tour Drawn by National Aviation Heritage Area
Anyone doubting the value of heritage tourism to local economies should come to Troy, Ohio in August. They won't be alone: thousands of visitors are expected to flock here when the Grammy Award-winning Mumford and Sons' Gentlemen of the Road Stopovers tour arrives for a two-day music festival on Aug. 30-31. Featuring Mumford & Sons and several other bands, it's one of only three U.S. stopovers in the band's tour.
Known for choosing out-of-the-way places for its stopovers, Mumford & Sons picked Troy in part because it's the home of the WACO Historical Society, an aviation heritage nonprofit that preserves the history of the WACO airplane company that produced thousands of airplanes in Troy from the 1920s through the 1940s. Mumford & Sons even made a WACO biplane the symbol for its Troy stopover. The historical society's museum and learning center, located on its own grass airfield, will be a park-and-ride location for the stopover.
"The WACO Historical Society is extremely proud that the aviation heritage it presents to the public is helping to draw these major events to Troy and the Miami Valley," said Gretchen Hawk, executive director.
The historical society is one of 15 partners in the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA), the congressionally designated management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area-where the Wright brothers lived, invented the airplane and built America's first purpose-built airplane factory.
The musical stopover is just one of two big events that Aviation Heritage is helping to draw to the region. Troy and WACO Field will also be a stopover location for the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure's (GOBA's) 25th Reunion Tour in June. GOBA, a widely known weeklong bicycle camping tour, typically registers approximately 3,000 cyclists. The WACO Historical Society will offer biplane rides as well as aviation-related family activities. GOBA begins in Urbana, Ohio, where cyclists will visit another NAHA partner's site, the Champaign Aviation Museum on historic Grimes Field-Urbana Municipal Airport, also the home of the Grimes Flying Lab Foundation, a NAHA partner that flies a restored testbed airplane that was used in the development of aircraft lighting systems.
For more information contact Timothy Gaffney at 937.219.8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Community trail-building in the Ohio & Erie Canalway
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." The inherent community spirit of Margaret Mead's saying is hard at work in the Ohio & Erie Canalway community of Tuscarawas County.
|Fueled by determination, volunteers built the 2.7 mile Towpath Trail extension.|
A Clean Ohio Grant enabled the purchase of land for the Zoar to Zoarville connection at the southern end of the 81+ mile Towpath. But there were scarce resources for the actual trail. Fueled by pure determination and a commitment to working together - volunteers joined forces with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC) - one of the Canalway's two NHA Founding Organizations - to build the 2.7 mile Towpath Trail extension. The work was done mostly by hand, on weekends, and with tools brought from home or loaned by local businesses.
"From the start, this project has been an amazing volunteer effort," states Dan Rice, Co-Executive Director of the Canalway. "Whether it was steak dinner fundraisers to buy lumber or showing up with chain saws to clear trees - the people of Tuscarawas County have responded with tenacious enthusiasm to extend the Towpath Trail in their area."
The most recent step in the project: Building boardwalk sections to transverse two 150' stretches designated as wetlands by the Army Corps of Engineers. "We built the frames - 72 of them at 150 pounds each," notes OECC Project Manager George Ebey. "This is an area where people ride horses, so the sections needed to be sturdy," he adds with a smile. "Next, we're inviting the community out to help drill the post holes, move the frames onto tractors, and take them to the Towpath for installation."
"By marshaling local resources to construct the trail, it's resulted in the community feeling personal ownership in a project they've literally hand-built," notes Rice. "At its heart, it's simply a great tribute to the power of community."
New Erie Canalway Video Helps Reach New Audiences
|Erie Canal - Take the Road Less Traveled|
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor produced a video-slideshow to inspire visitation to America's legendary Erie Canal in 2013. Take the Road Less Traveled has been viewed more than 1,000 times since its release on YouTube in mid-February. Testimonials like these are providing good feedback that the video is having an impact:
· New video from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor makes me long to hop on my bike and start across our state!
· Great video! One day I hope to do more on the Erie Canal!
· LOVED the video. Love the Canal...finally AMERICA is embracing one of its most lovely features the way the EU always has.
Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPTnMPnAi4Q
To learn more about the video and software used to produce it, contact Jean Mackay, Director of Communications and Outreach at ECNHC at email@example.com 518-237-7000 ext. 222.
|Blue Ridge Music Trails Project moves forward
Two professionals with extensive experience in music, arts education, marketing and fundraising were selected by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHA) to guide the development of the Blue Ridge Music Trails project, a joint initiative of the BRNHA and the NC Arts Council.
Dale Bartlett, the new coordinator, has years of expertise in organization, planning, tourism marketing and fund development. Bartlett served on the Henderson County Heritage Council, an initiative of volunteers started by the Partnership who created county heritage plans that served as the blueprint for the BRNHA's management plan.
The BRNHA Partnership also contracted with well-known musician Laura Boosinger, who will serve as a consultant on the project and as a liaison with the music community in Western North Carolina.
"We feel that the combination of skills, connections, and experience of these two professionals will serve to bring this project to fruition in the coming months and bolster the rich music heritage of our NC mountains and foothills," stated Angie Chandler, Executive Director BRNHA.
Background of Blue Ridge Music Trails Initiative:
In 2010 the N.C. Arts Council received funding support from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to update the Blue Ridge Music Trails Guidebook, originally produced in 2003, in addition to producing a regional map to the music venues.
Working with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership and community leaders, it was determined that this was an opportunity to focus on Western North Carolina's music traditions to strengthen awareness about the music of the region and enable mountain communities to utilize music traditions for economic development.
"Authentic experiences are important factors in travel decisions and expectations," said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council. "Cultural visitors want to participate in North Carolina's arts traditions and, in turn, they support the artists and communities that sustain those traditions. Our partnership with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area to promote Western North Carolina's music heritage will provide content that is not currently accessible to many visitors by focusing on the places and the musicians that have played a role in making the region a cultural treasure."
The updated guidebook will be available in April. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership will jointly develop a website and take on responsibility for other marketing materials and organizing events that will bring the music heritage of Western North Carolina to the forefront, support area musicians and venues, and strengthen the economic impact of music in this region.
|Reaching High School Students in Alaska |
|Courtesy of the Hope and Sunrise Historical Society.|
The Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area (KMTA) in Alaska is gearing up for what promises to be a busy season of summer projects to enhance and promote the rich and varied resources of the KMTA area including introducing new high school curriculum and field trip grants to provide transportation to KMTA NHA sites. The new curriculum was developed with a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum to meet state requirements. The introduction of new curriculum this spring will be followed up in the fall with possible in-service teacher training.
KMTA's signage plan is poised to launch this summer, introducing travelers and residents to this unique National Heritage Area through welcome and interpretive signs. The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center will launch the interpretive portion of the plan; and the new Nordic ski trails in Girdwood will use KMTA NHA signage templates for interpretation of their newly completed trails. Welcome signs are in the planning stages for several communities.
Following two years of public meetings and input from communities and government entities within the KMTA National Heritage Area, the KMTA Management Plan was approved by the Secretary of the Interior. It is available on the KMTA NHA website: www.kmtacorridor.org
Other successful projects in the past year include:
Dedication of Iditarod Monument. Partners: Seward Iditarod Trail Blazers, City of Seward, Afognak Construction, Alaska Sea Life Center, Seward Community Library Museum, Seward Ships' Drydock, private donors.
Dedication of Seward Mariner's Memorial. Partners: Seward Mariner's Memorial Committee, City of Seward, Seward Rotary, Seward Harbor, Harmon Construction, West Construction, Chinooks Waterfront, Kenai Fjords Yacht Club, private donors.
Manitoba Cabin Restoration. Partners: Alaska Huts Association, State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Forest Products Program of the University of Alaska, Robinson Millwork, local lumber suppliers, H&L Construction, cadre of volunteers.
Lindgren Historic Trapping Cabin Interpretive Program. Partners: Kenaitze Indian Tribe.
Hope Museum Development Coordinator. Partners: Hope and Sunrise Historical Society, and Hope Inc. This project is a prototype of the kind of work KMTA NHA is doing to support museums in developing programs.
|Thoreau Sightings In Freedom's Way
Developed as a pilot program last year, Freedom's Way National Heritage Area is expanding this educational trail-based outreach to five more towns in which Henry David Thoreau walked, botanized, surveyed and lectured.
On January 17th 2013, Henry David Thoreau visited Clinton, MA, as he did one snowy evening at the Bigelow Mechanic Institute, to reprise his lecture "An Excursion to Cape Cod ". Thoreau (Richard Smith) brought to life the shore towns and people he encountered, along with his observations on the ghastly wreck of the St John laden with emigrants from Ireland escaping the potato famine.
Offered in partnership with the Clinton Historical Society, attendees enjoyed when Richard Smith stepped out of character and answered questions on the naturalist's thoughts on industrialization, why Thoreau's ideas inspire people today, as well as to share his extensive knowledge of the 19th-century philosopher and naturalist's life and times.
"It clearly was one of the most stimulating programs we have offered in a long time and as Thoreau stayed in character, our audience did too!" stated Terrence Ingano, Clinton Historical Society.
Leveraging grants and partnerships, six more In Thoreau's Footsteps programs are planned including an Earth Day walk at Mass DCR's Stillwater Farm Interpretive Trail in Sterling, MA, a hike with Wachusett Meadow Wildlife campers, and saunters along the Nashua River at a River Festival in Lancaster, MA.
Using Thoreau's writings and travels, Freedom's Way invites people of all ages to explore, celebrate and care for their trails, greenways, natural places and the environment. Freedom's Way is also convening partners to explore opportunities for programs, bike, river, and rail events, for Thoreau's 250th commemoration in 2017.
|Essex Heritage Advances Regional Trails |
|Cyclists on the Clipper City Rail Trail|
Essex Heritage brings a regional focus to the importance of developing, maintaining and promoting trails to grow tourism and improve the quality of life in the Essex National Heritage Area. New trails are emerging, showcasing the area's spectacular natural heritage, beaches, marshes, wildlife and birds while providing recreational access between resources, town centers, neighborhoods and schools.
Essex was instrumental in developing two regional trails: the Coastal Trails Network and the Border to Boston Trail including over 12 miles of new off-road trails and nearly 10 miles of enhanced on-road bicycling routes. In addition, approximately 16 miles of former rail rights-of-way are being designed for reuse as shared use paths. Several neighboring communities were also inspired to envision new multi-use trails.
Early on, Essex Heritage formed partnerships with trail advocates and local leaders that resulted in public agency participation and critical early funding. The NPS RTCA Program participated and their expertise was instrumental in establishing a project-focused, results-oriented ethic among the volunteers and staff working on these complex projects.
Coastal Trails Network: is an emerging 30-mile system of inter-connected bicycle and pedestrian trails linking coastal features, town centers, neighborhoods and transportation hubs in four communities in the northern part of the heritage area.
Border to Boston Trail: is an emerging 28-mile shared use trail linking eight communities from the New Hampshire border to Boston's North Shore. The rail-trail connects town centers, neighborhoods, schools, parks, recreational facilities and natural areas. It is becoming one of the region's outstanding assets, facilitating safe, scenic, healthy transportation and recreation.
Niagara Falls Interpretive Workshop
The Niagara Falls National Heritage Area partnered with the NPS Harper's Ferry Interpretive Center to develop a Long-Range Interpretive Plan for the area. In January, Toni Dufficy, the lead planner for the NPS at Harper's Ferry, led two workshops in Niagara Falls explaining the process and importance of the development of a Long-Range Interpretive Plan for Niagara Falls to Commission and stakeholders.
| Toni Dufficy, NPS, leads workshop with Niagara Falls NHA Commissioners|
The Long-Range Interpretive Plan will be based on the four themes of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area: Natural Phenomenon, Tourism and Recreation, Power and Industry, and Borderland/Border Crossing. An interpretive theme matrix, developed by Joanne Blacoe from the NPS Northeast Regional Office, is helping create a vision of the interpretive plan for commissioners and stakeholders. The process for developing this plan began with a tour of the area and meetings with partner sites.
In March, Toni Dufficey will return to the area for another workshop with commissioners and stakeholders to develop the recommendation phases of the Long Range Interpretive Plan. The project is expected to be completed in September.
|Commemorating the Great Flood of 1913 |
The Ohio & Erie Canalway invites you to the online launch of the Great Flood of 1913 partnership project. The Canalway and Cuyahoga Valley National Park have been working together with multiple regional partners, national expert Trudy E. Bell and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/ Silver Jackets' Sarah Jamison to commemorate the nation-changing event.
|Photo courtesy of NPS|
"For those who don't know, the Great Flood of 1913 was the flood that changed everything. It ended the Ohio & Erie Canal. The U.S. impact was more widespread than Katrina & Sandy. And, it created heroes in unlikely places and brought a nation together," notes Canalway Co-Executive Director Tim Donovan.
"We've created a regional platform on the Canalway visitor website to share information related to the history, interpretive partner events and efforts taking place in the National Heritage Area to commemorate the Flood," adds Donovan.
The project also provides a teaching moment - allowing organizations to share flood preparedness tips from the Silver Jackets and Watershed Stewardship efforts from the National Park Service. The Silver Jackets program provides a formal and consistent strategy for an interagency approach to planning and implementing measures to reduce the risks associated with flooding and other natural hazards at the state level with Federal agency partners.
To revisit the Great Flood of 1913 in the Ohio & Erie Canalway, head here:http://www.ohioanderiecanalway.com/Main/Pages/106.aspx
Grants Boost Education, Preservation, and Tourism in Erie Canal
The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission recently
|Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and Erie Canalway representatives.|
announced $45,800 in grants to assist nine organizations with telling the story of New York's canals through education, tourism and preservation projects. Congressman Paul Tonko and Congresswomen Louise Slaughter joined heritage area representatives to hand out big checks at media events.
"From bicycling to the Underground Railroad to a museum exhibit, these investments promote tourism and education. But they also reflect our pride in our region, and better our sense of place," said Congressman Tonko, co-chair of the National Heritage Area Congressional Caucus. "I commend the Canalway for their tireless work with local stakeholders and communities along the 363-mile stretch of the Erie Canal that enables us to capture and share stories and heritage expression for generations to come."
"These grants will do more than remind us where we've been -- they will show us where we have the potential to go," said Congresswoman Slaughter. "The Erie Canal reminds us that when we come together to invest in modern infrastructure projects, we all reap the rewards in the end, and we should never lose sight of this as we address the economic challenges of future generations."
Learn more about the projects, visit http://www.eriecanalway.org/get-involved_grants-fund.htm
|National Heritage Areas Gather in D.C. |
|Members of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas in Washington D.C.|
Directors of National Heritage Area organizations gathered for their annual meeting in Washington D.C. to network with each other, hear the reslts for the NPS/ANHA economic report, and meet with their congressional representatives.
The Alliance of National Heritage Areas (ANHA) is a membership organization of NHAs focused on raising awareness of the benefits of NHAs to the public sector and private citizens and fostering educational opportunities and partnerships within the heritage development field.
NPS Director Jon Jarvis was on hand to offer strong support and encouraging words at the Alliance of National Heritage Area's Congressional Reception.
Articles written and submitted by National Heritage Area staff
Edited by Katie Durcan
National Heritage Area Program, National Park Service