2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the National Heritage Areas program. Conceived as a way to cross the culture – nature divide, heritage areas stretch beyond political boundaries to tell landscape scale histories and protect regional environmental resources. The areas tell stories that are too big, too gritty, too alive and too expensive to be confined within a traditional national park unit. Yet, heritage areas have been consistently hammered by shrinking federal budgets, questions about the proper role of government, and even their right to exist. Read more about how the LLO plans to mark this important anniversary.
Do you know an undergraduate or graduate student interested in historic preservation, planning, history, public policy, law, architecture or a related field? If so, encourage them to apply to the Preservation Action Advocacy Scholars program, which offers a limited number of competitive scholarships to students interested in attending National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week (March 2-4, 2015) in Washington, D.C. This year Preservation Action has joined the NHA@30 celebration by proposing the National Heritage Areas program as topic for the required advocacy scholar’s essay.
“To me, a cultural landscape is a visually harmonious and fundamentally sustainable landscape that emerges out of the fusion of natural and anthropogenic activities.” – Duncan Hilchey, from interview with the Cultural Landscape Foundation
In rural Northwest Pennsylvania, an effort is underway to link together conservation, recreation and local business development under the auspices of the state’s Conservation Landscapes Initiative (CLI). What do these complex partnerships look like in practice and what can one community reveal about how a CLI functions?
New York’s heritage areas are “partnership parks” encompassing public and private interests as well as partnership between state and local government. The first such effort, RiverSpark, dates to 1977, eight years before the federal National Heritage Areas program began to take shape. In recent years, however, the New York effort has suffered from a lack of funding and staff support.