The National Park Service invites public comments through June 1st to evaluate the eligibility of the Finger Lakes region as a National Heritage Area. Please share this information widely throughout your networks, especially the links to the project website and the project’s Informational Story Map. Contact Project Manager, Charles Lawson, with any questions you may have.
The study will assess if it is nationally worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use; through designation as a National Heritage Area. The legislation identified the following counties to be considered as part of the study: Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates.
So what would this mean for the Finger Lakes?
- Sustainable economic development – NHAs leverage federal funds (NHAs average $5.50 for every $1.00 of federal investment) to create jobs, generate revenue for local governments, and sustain local communities through revitalization and heritage tourism
- Healthy environment and people – Many NHAs improve water and air quality in their regions through restoration projects, and encourage people to enjoy natural and cultural sites by providing new recreational opportunities.
- Improved Quality of Life –Through new or improved amenities, unique settings, and educational and volunteer opportunities, NHAs improve local quality of life.
- Education and Stewardship – NHAs connect communities to natural, historic, and cultural sites through educational activities, which promote awareness and foster interest in and stewardship of heritage resources.
- Community Engagement and Pride – By engaging community members in heritage conservation activities, NHAs strengthen sense of place and community pride.
AKA, a sustainable Finger Lakes region!
Resources for you:
- An online ‘Story Map’ explaining the study’s purpose, authorities, and a summary of resources within the 14 county study area. The public comment submission portal can be accessed from the Story Map’s “Comment Now” buttons for the project website’s “Open For Comment” tab (see link above).
- A draft narrative summary of the NPS’ research and a detailed list of resources in table format.
- More info on the Finger Lakes study.
- Heritage Areas 101
- Heritage Areas FAQ
Photo Credit: The Ithaca Voice