Photo: The Cumbres & Toltec zooms along the tracks in the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area in southern Colorado, one of 55 National Heritage Areas in the United States.
From the National Park Service – National Heritage Area’s blog:
National Heritage Areas are a grassroots, community-driven approach to heritage conservation and economic development. Through public-private partnerships, NHA entities support historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, heritage tourism, and educational projects.
Check-out the NHA 2019 impact numbers:
In 2019, NHAs:
- Leveraged $84.5 million in cash and in-kind support to carry out heritage projects and programs, greatly increasing the impact of the $19.3 million in federal Heritage Partnership Program funding received.
- Engaged 2,674 formal partners and 5,286 informal partners in heritage area activities.
- Benefited from 36,289 volunteers contributing over 475,511 hours for heritage area projects – a $12.3 million-dollar value.
Preserving our Heritage. Across the country, National Heritage Areas and their partners are reviving historic downtowns, preserving battlefields and industrial sites, and sharing our nation’s history through the arts. In 2019:
- 214 historic sites and 13,840 acres of cultural landscapes preserved and maintained, including battlefields. •
- 104 community development projects were carried-out, including streetscape improvement and art projects. •
- 55 collections projects undertaken, including the conservation of artifacts and creation of oral histories.
- 82 historic preservation grants awarded totaling $904,294.
Recreation and Conservation. Through recreational projects such as land and water trails, National Heritage Areas are improving connectivity and accessibility, creating more vibrant and healthy communities. In 2019:
- 154 recreation projects undertaken.
- 567 miles of trails maintained and 95 new miles of trails developed.
- 72 recreation grants awarded totaling $1.2 million.
Conservation activities led by National Heritage Area entities and their partners improve air and water quality and support healthy ecosystems. In 2019:
- 12,858 acres of land restored and maintained via invasive species removal, replanting and toxic site clean-ups.
- 54 conservation grants awarded totaling $601,078.
Educating Current and Future Leaders. Through programs such as Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area’s National History Academy. National Heritage Areas and their partners are providing meaningful and inspirational connections to our nation’s heritage and exploring the qualities and skills of leadership. In 2019:
- Capacity-building assistance provided to 1,162 organizations.
- 302 educational programs were offered.
- 2,700 grants to support educational programs were awarded totaling $2.1 million.
To learn more about National Heritage Areas please visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/heritageareas/index.htm