News & Press U.S. Department of the Interior Approves Heritage Area Plan
November 22, 2013
After more than a year of public meetings, stakeholder workshops, and focus group meetings, the Baltimore National Heritage Area crafted a management plan to serve as a guiding document to accomplish the heritage area’s mission: promoting, preserving, and enhancing Baltimore’s historic, cultural, and natural resources. This fall the U.S. Department of the Interior formally approved the 350-page comprehensive management plan, satisfying a key requirement of the heritage area’s federal enabling legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009.
“Approval of the heritage area’s plan is a critical step in ensuring Baltimore’s historic and cultural resources will be around for the next generation,” said Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of the City of Baltimore. “The plan presents a clear vision of how we lift, enhance, and showcase our vibrant historic neighborhoods and world-class museums and attractions.” The mayor was joined last evening by more than 100 heritage area stakeholders at the Top of the World Observation Level at the World Trade Center to celebrate the achievement.
The planning process began in early 2012. In April and October 2012, a series of meetings were held with stakeholders and the general public to gather input on the heritage area and its boundaries, as well as its mission, goals, and programming.
“The community outreach was extensive and well thought out,” said Jacqueline Carrera, President and CEO of Parks & People Foundation and a heritage area board member. “This inclusiveness was very relevant allowing many diverse voices to be heard.”
In December 2012, the draft plan was submitted for review to NPS offices in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and then shepherded through the U.S. Department of the Interior for approval. The approved plan not only serves as a useful tool for the heritage area and its partners, but may also enable the heritage area to secure additional federal funding.
“We are ecstatic that the plan is approved, and we are delighted that additional federal funding can be brought into our city,” said heritage area Executive Director Jeffrey Buchheit. “The heritage area staff and our partners are eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the implementation of the plan.”
The mission of the Baltimore National Heritage Area is to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore’s historic and cultural legacy and natural resources for current and future generations. Visit www.explorebaltimore.org for more information about the Baltimore National Heritage Area.
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