Hughesville, MD – After 18 months of intensive research, community engagement, and the work of many partners, the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Feasibility Study will be unveiled on November 17.
The public is invited to attend the presentation of the study and learn more about the nationally important stories and resources of this region. The event will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek, Maryland.
“The feasibility study is a major milestone in seeking designation as a National Heritage Area,” said Lucille Walker, executive director of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area which led the study. “The study explores Southern Maryland’s unique stories that are foundational to our nation. The study evaluates the historic, cultural, natural, recreational and educational resources to make the case for national designation.”
The study area included three counties, Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s, that comprise the state-certified Southern Maryland Heritage Area, as well as the addition of Southern Prince George’s County. “Southern Prince George’s County is essential to include in the proposed National Heritage Area boundaries,” said Walker. “Our documentation of places, significant historical events, and the cultural landscape make it clear that the stories of southern Prince George’s County are the stories of Southern Maryland.”
Following the meeting, the study will be available for review during a 45-day comment period at www.destinationsouthernmaryland.com. When finalized, the study will be submitted to the National Park Service for review. The National Park Service’s assessment, along with any recommendations from the Secretary of Interior, will be reported to the United States Congress.
“Input from the public is a critical part of the process,” Walker said. “Feedback on the study and the continued interest of the public will help inform our work as we prepare to submit the study to the National Park Service and seek Congressional authorization of the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area.”
Hosts for the meeting are the Alice Ferguson Foundation (managers of Hard Bargain Farm) and the Accokeek Foundation (managers of the Colonial Farm at Piscataway Park, a National Park Service historic site). Light refreshments will be available, and current COVID guidelines will be observed.
Funding for the study was provided by the Rural Maryland Council.
Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Environmental Center at Hard Bargain Farm Address: 2201 Bryan Point Road, Accokeek