Sowams Heritage Area Project Coordinator Dr. David Weed met with Region 1 National Heritage Area Program Manager Peter Samuel by Zoom on January 13, 2022. This is their second meeting and comes as the Project is about to take on the task of creating a feasibility study in preparation for an application to the National Park Service for designation as a Heritage Area. There are currently 55 Heritage Areas in the United States approved by the National Park Service.
A feasibility study is undertaken to assess 10 NHA evaluation criteria. Broadly, these evaluation criteria relate to the following questions:
- Does the landscape has an assemblage of historic, cultural, and natural resources that, when linked together, tell a nationally important story?
- Do outstanding opportunities exist for improving the quality of the resource assemblage through conservation, recreation, and education?
- Are there ongoing traditions, customs, and lifeways associated with a nationally important story?
- Does an organization exist that has the financial and organizational capacity to coordinate heritage area activities?
- Is there public support for NHA designation and the proposed coordinating entity, and are potential partners interested in working with the proposed coordinating entity on heritage area activities?
Dr. Weed agreed to keep in touch with Mr. Samuel as the process proceeds to create and submit a study for the Sowams Heritage Area in 2023.