Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization awarded 58 matching grants totaling $2,724,457 to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups. The grants fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 12 state-designated Heritage Areas. By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants spawn renewed interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors, boosting tourism-related jobs.
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area submitted five grant applications and four of those project received funds. Dawn Hein, Director of the Heritage Area said, “While we would have liked to have seen all our proposals funded, we are very pleased that Garrett County faired so well in the process with a total award of $151,324.00. These grants will allow the recipients to create new resources and programming here in Garrett County.”The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the official Management Entity for the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area and also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization for the county. The Garrett County Heritage Director administers the Heritage Area Program and works with stakeholders by offering technical and grant assistance for heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County.
In the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, projects funded were:
Garrett Trails, Inc. with a grant of $12,500 to help to build a trailhead at the Garrett County/Deep Creek Lake Visitor Center in McHenry. The trailhead connects to a network of trails in the Deep Creek area and will feature hiking and biking trail maps on large, all-weather panels mounted to the side of the visitor center as well as a gathering area of brick pavers, a bench and a bike rack.
Casselman Bridge Bicentennial programming, $3,500– The event will be held September 20-22, 2013 spotlighting the impressive Garrett County National Historic Landmark. The event includes speakers, a parade, new interpretive kiosks, Plein Air Painting event, children’s activities and music highlighting the bridge’s history and importance to the National Road.
Garrett County Government: Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) $50,000 – to construct an outdoor amphitheater with seating for up to 1400, a new heritage tourism venue.
Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area $85,324.00 – Management Grant to assist in the staffing and management services of the certified heritage area with a goal to promote heritage tourism.
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area was certified in October 2011 and since that time has worked to establish partnerships and programs to promote cultural heritage tourism. Cultural Heritage Tourism can be defined as traveling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. Heritage Areas offer visitors compelling stories of the people, the land and the waters through historic buildings, archaeological sites, museums, parks, and natural landscapes, as well as food, music and art traditions.Mary