Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News from our National Park Service contact

"The Feasibility Study for a Southern Campaign of the Revolution National Heritage Area (NHA) is drawing close to completion. At present the Cultural and Heritage Museums of York County (SC) has been identified as the best possible candidate for a lead managing entity if an NHA is created. The possible boundary of the potential area is also being finalized. It looks likely that the report will advise that such a National Heritage Area is feasible, given the resources and public interest. It will be the decision of Congress as to what to do next."

The boundaries are still not completely resolved. You can still write your representatives in Congress and educate them about your county Revolutionary history.

Unfortunately for the moment, the budget for National Heritage Areas has been cut and I doubt Congress will fund this very soon. This means everything we can do in the private sector is even more important. Please vote for OVTA to receive funds from the Pepsi Refresh Everything project everyday in March. For instant access see the widgit on the side of this post ------->

Vote for the March in March!!!


Anonymous said...

I just have one question, between the Gullah/Geechee National Cultural Corridor and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, and this new NHA, what is left in the state that is not designated? If everything is designated something in the state, then doesn't that just dilute the message of significance? If every corner of the state is significant, then none of it is. Every part of our country can claim significance for something, and by that logic, shouldn't the whole country be a national heritage area?

Donna said...

Hi Anonymous! The funds for a National Heritage Trail are for a limited period of time (10 tens) to generate a response in the public to support sustainable economic development. And Congress determines exactly how much each area receives in the budget every year. If an area is not doing too well creating economic or cultural value, then Congress doesn't have to grant any funds at all.

In these two cases, two different stories about American life and culture are told. In the case of Gullah/Geechee the story of African-American history is brought to the front. What is happening now is targeted tourism. There is certainly a group of people interested in this heritage who might not be so interested in the Polish-American history in Pennsylvania for example. They have not been spending tourism dollars in the area of coastal SC. Perhaps they have gone to Gettysburg or Harper's Ferry, but they do not know so much about the south. It's an opportunity for SC to benefit economically from its heritage if the people choose to develop it. Usually people interested in these sorts of things at the beginning are not wealthy, just passionate.

The same is true about the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. Did you know that without the militia of the backcountry, or the cunning skills of Gen. Greene outrunning Cornwallis or the bitter fight at Guilford Courthouse, we would not have a USA? Not too much. If you knew about the Greensboro connection, then you probably didn't know about the Morganton connection. Thomas Jefferson himself praised the effort and said without it the Revolution would have been lost. So it's important. It's interesting and it creates a base for new businesses to grow to promote the story.

I'm sure all of America is a miracle. But some people have time and ability and no money. Some people have money and no time. Very, very few people in this land have time, money and passion all at once.

The Parks exist because someone cared enough. As a people, we have valued them in the past. But there are not enough federal employees to manage everything we have, and why wouldn't we want the private sector to do it anyway? Let some grant funding inspire those with time and passion to create something to attract those with money and no time to partner and create something of value for generations to come. If the idea is good enough and the effort is made, then it will stand on its own by the end of the 10 years and everyone will benefit.