The NPS needs our input to find the historic sites, natural resources, towns and history of Revolutionary events in the counties to determine
1) if they warrant a National Heritage Area (NHA) designation (they do!!!!)and
2) which counties of NC to include.
If areas in the two states are chosen as a National Heritage area, then all the revolutionary sites we can identify in those areas can be used to create sustainable economic development though local partnerships and organizations.
The exact composition of groups who can form a partnership is not yet determined. These partnerships can be between non-profits, schools, for-profit businesses and government groups or any combination of these groups which have their basis in telling the story of the American Revolution. Perhaps individuals such as artists or songwriters may become partners with the National Heritage Area in order to promote or create something sustainable for economic development in the NHA.
Some form of coordinating entity to administer the NHA needs to be found which best represents the interests of the people of NC and SC concerning the preservation and tourism promotion of Rev. War sites with the end concern of economic development. Perhaps a non-profit 501-3c corporation can emerge from all of you who comment on this blog over time. I would like to see that happen.
This National Heritage Area then provides financial grants to seed economic development of all types and to improve the quality of life for area residents.
The money to fund the NHA grants comes from the federal government and Congress is charged with appropriating up to 1 million dollars per year for up to 10 years to the NHA for "seed" money for economic development. Congress is NOT required to appropriate any money to a NHA. The NHA is only a link between your great ideas and a funder- the Congress. In return, a certain economic spark creates jobs and the Congress gets its money back in the form of an increased tax base.
Please check out the web site from the National park service. Make your suggestions to document revolutionary activity for specific places in your county to insure your county is included in the National Heritage Area.
Many counties in the Eastern part of the state are not included at this time. Please write the park service and tell them about your site or what your site could become with the addition of NHA funds.
Legislation authorizing the study is called Senate Bill 203.
The suggestions from each county will continued to be accepted until early July and then the books are closed. Y'all pay attention! Wake county, Pitt county and Gates county are places of interest to me personally. What was the history of the revolution in these areas?
PS. If I am the only one submitting details to the Park service, it will have no impact. Congress wants to see your enthousiasm and willingness to serve to grow your own homelands. It will have more impact for you to tell your stories and ask to be included. I hope all NC counties can discover something of significance that happened in their county during the period between 1766 and 1786. I just picked those dates. I think most revolutionary stories should fall between those dates, but share your story anyway even if it is different.