About Heritage Areas

An early 20th century view of the Manayunk neighborhood in Philadelphia

A Heritage Area is a region in which residents, businesses, and governments join together to preserve, promote and celebrate their heritage, culture, and natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. Heritage Areas are places where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from a long history of people interacting with their environment.

Chief Robert Redhawk talks with Sojourners about Lenni Lenape cultural traditions

Heritage Areas include sites, communities, landscapes, and vistas that are significant to our local, state, and national history. Individually these places tell an important story about their past. Collectively, they tell the story of an entire region and how each individual community, museum, mountain, and stream relates to each other. When people built roads, towns, railroads, and canals, they built them in response to the environment in that place. Heritage Areas work to preserve and interpret the connections between people and places and celebrate the cultural traditions that are unique to those places.

The anthracite coal fields in Schuylkill County are among the largest in the world

National Heritage Areas are designated by the United States Congress and are managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and a local managing organization. To be designated as a Heritage Area, regions must demonstrate that the people, places, and events that occurred there were and still are significant to the history of the state or nation.

Many organizations, like the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, are working to protect the Schuylkill River

Heritage Areas encourage residents, government agencies, non-profit groups and private partners to collaboratively plan and implement programs and projects that recognize, preserve and celebrate many of America's defining landscapes. Heritage Areas seek short and long-term solutions to their conservation and development challenges by fostering relationships among regional stakeholders and encouraging them to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals. For more information about heritage areas visit the National Park Service website by clicking here.

Link: National Heritage Areas