Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Awards $247,000 to Heritage Organizations in the Four Rivers Heritage Area

Jun 18 2012

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Awards $247,000 to Heritage Organizations in the Four Rivers Heritage Area

ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 18, 2012) – The Maryland Department of Planning has announced that six  matching grants totaling $247,000 were awarded to heritage organizations within Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County, one of Maryland’s twelve certified heritage areas, by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) at its annual grants meeting last Thursday. These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout the state.

MHAA matching grant-funded projects in the Four Rivers Heritage Area in FY2013:

Project Title: Archaeological Examination: The Wilson Farmstead and Hot Sox Ball Field
Recipient: Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc.
Grant Award: $30,000
Location: Galesville, MD

Project Title: Carpenter Shop: Final Phase of Reconstruction
Recipient: London Town Foundation, Inc.
Grant Award: $ 15,000 (Capital grant)
Location: Historic London Town and Gardens, Edgewater, MD

Project Title: Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake Exhibition
Recipient: Historic Annapolis Foundation
Grant Award: $50,000
Location: Downtown Annapolis, MD

Project Title: Heritage Area Management Grant
Recipient: Annapolis, London Town and South County Heritage Area
Grant Award: $100,000
Location: Annapolis, MD

Project Title: Historic Waterfront Warehouse Repairs and Reopening
Recipient: Historic Annapolis Foundation
Grant Award: $22,000 (Capital grant)
Location: Downtown Annapolis, MD

Project Title: Phase II Technology Integration Project
Recipient: Annapolis Maritime Museum
Grant Award: $30,000
Location: Eastport, MD

Governor Martin O’Malley stated, “Tourism generates jobs and revenue in Maryland. One out of every 17 jobs in Maryland is in tourism, with tourism employment providing over $4 billion in wages and salaries. Visitors to our state spent over $13 billion, which generated over $531 million in direct tax revenue in all 23 Counties and Baltimore City. The Maryland Heritage Area Program’s targeted investments help preserve the best of Maryland’s historic sites and towns, unspoiled natural landscapes, and enduring traditions, and in doing so create more livable and economically sustainable communities. I congratulate Maryland’s twelve Certified Heritage Areas and their tourism partners on these awards that will develop and market visitor destinations, support businesses, non-profits, and local jurisdictions engaged in heritage tourism, and help keep Maryland Smart, Green and Growing.”

Heritage Areas are places to experience – see, hear and even taste – the authentic heritage of Maryland in a unique way that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Stories of the people, the land and the waters of Maryland are told in these unique places. Today, 21 Maryland counties and Baltimore City have a State-certified Heritage Area within their boundaries. Each of Maryland’s Certified Heritage Areas is defined by a discrete thematic focus that makes that place unique. These distinctive places exhibit tangible evidence of the area’s heritage in historic buildings and districts, archaeological sites, museums, parks, and natural landscapes, as well as traditional ways of life revealed in food, music, and art. These tangible links not only draw visitors, but also encourage residents to recognize they have a special piece of the American Story to treasure and share with others.

MHAA has invested over $15.5 million dollars into 334 projects throughout Maryland’s 12 certified Heritage Areas under the O’Malley-Brown Administration. Even in challenging fiscal times, Governor O’Malley has supported funding for this important program knowing that heritage tourism is a proven economic engine and a tool for preserving Maryland’s irreplaceable natural, historic and cultural legacy.

“We are grateful to MHAA for the significant funding awarded to our Four Rivers Heritage Area partners. This funding will enhance our ability to provide a quality visitor experience, provide new educational opportunities for our residents and schoolchildren and create more economic development opportunities throughout the heritage area,” said Four Rivers’ Board Chair, Patricia Barland. Four Rivers’ Executive Director, Carol Benson, agreed, saying, “These matching grants will help heritage museums and sites to upgrade services, restore crumbling infrastructure, add interpretive exhibits, and create exciting new programming for the visitor. In challenging economic times, the strengthening of heritage tourism is more important than ever to our local economies.”  The Four Rivers Heritage Area has received more than $2.8 million in MHAA matching grant funding since 2002, for total project costs of more than $9.9 million.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is an independent unit in the Executive Branch of government administered by the Maryland Department of Planning. Since its inception in 1996, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority has awarded approximately $26.7 million in financial assistance and leveraged over $84.4 million in non-state funds for heritage tourism projects and activities statewide.