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Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area holds first planning session

Three-county program announces county chair, and grant program

Three-county program announces county chair, and grant program

October 13, 2006

The members of the newly state-certified three-county heritage area met in Hagers-town for the first time as a board of directors.

Tom Riford was selected as chairman of the Washington County Committee.

There were more than 25 people who attended the planning session for the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. The daylong program was held in the Faith Chapel's "Bridge of Life Center." In attendance were county planning directors, tourism bureau directors, historians, attraction and museum leadership, county historians and several others.

The advisory board of directors was announced. The Washington County board members include Riford, Kathleen Maher, Steve Goodrich, Dennis Frye, Al Preston, Kristin Aleshire and Brien Poffenberger.

The day-long "retreat" included mission and goals planning, marketing discussions, heritage area historical inventory discussions, and planning for the upcoming 145th anniversary of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

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Members of the board are from Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties. Each county has a chairperson, and they make up the executive committee of the organization, along with Executive Director Liz Shatto. The board meets monthly, alternating meetings in county locations.

The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area was recently called "Downtown's second chance" in a Herald-Mail newspaper editorial. Upon becoming the 11th certified heritage area in the state, the Maryland Heritage Area Authority praised the Steering Committee of the newly certified area, for its organized and highly detailed management plan.

Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties are joining two dozen area cities in a cooperative effort to promote the region's Civil War heritage. Certified heritage areas are eligible for a variety of grants for marketing, preservation and new construction.

A new "mini-grant" was approved by the group - details about the available grant are listed below. The grant is available for nonprofits, municipalities, Main Street organizations, etc. The first-round of grants already have gained Washington County entities (including Boonsboro and the City of Hagerstown) about $200,000 for various initiatives.

Grants deadlines

The Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area state heritage area, encompassing parts of Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties, has announced the establishment of a mini-grant program and deadlines for fiscal year 2008 grants of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

Mini-grants

Available now through March 30, 2007, the group is offering competitive mini-grants of between $500 and $2,500 to heritage sites and organizations within the heritage area to develop new and innovative programs, partnerships, exhibits, tours, events and other heritage tourism-related initiatives that are consistent with the goals and priorities stated in the management plan.

The mini-grant deadline is rolling, so applications will be accepted through the deadline or until funds have been exhausted. Mini-grant guidelines and applications are available on-line at www.heartofthecivilwar.org (after Oct. 15), or by calling the heritage area office at 301-644-4042.

MHAA grants

Heritage sites and organizations wishing to apply for FY08 non-capital and/or capital grants through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority should begin planning now. Potential applicants must send a representative to attend one of the following grant workshops. Call 301-644-4042 to register:

· Oct. 16, 7 to 9 p.m. - Winchester Hall, First Floor Meeting Room, 12 E. Church Street, Frederick, Md.

· Oct. 17, 10 a.m. to noon., Hagerstown City Hall, Council Chambers, 1 E. Franklin Street, Hagerstown;

· Oct. 19, 1 to 3 p.m., Carroll County Office Building, Public Hearing Room (Room 003/004), 225 N. Center St., Westminster, Md.

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for non-capital projects (planning, design, interpretation and programming) that will encourage preservation, interpretation, and economic development in the heritage area. Capital projects of up to $100,000 are available only within Target Investment Zones that are activated on or before the MHAA meeting on July 1, 2007. Capital grants may be used for acquisition, development, rehabilitation, restoration and pre-development costs. Proposed activities must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies and actions outlines in the approved heritage area Management Plan (available at www.heartofthecivilwar.org).

To review eligibility criteria and obtain the FY 2008 MHAA project application packages, visit www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net under "Forms and Documents." For both non-capital and capital projects, the deadline for submission of draft proposals (mandatory) is Jan. 5, 2007. Applicants submit proposals to their local heritage area grants contact, and are encouraged to discuss potential proposals with local contacts as soon as possible:

Carroll County

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