MHT Releases Interim Standards & Guidelines for Architectural and Historical Investigations in Maryland

By Heather Barrett, Administrator of Research & Survey

In mid-November 2019, MHT released an updated version of its Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Historical Investigations in Maryland. This interim document addresses and clarifies existing policies and procedures for documenting historic resources in Maryland and contains several notable changes in requirements for consultants, preservation planners, state and federal agencies who conduct work in Maryland, and anyone preparing Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) forms, Determination of Eligibility forms (DOEs), or National Register nominations. 

New cover of the Standards and Guidelines for Architectural and Historical Investigations in Maryland.

This version is meant as an interim update until MHT’s web-based MIHP/DOE form is released in 2021. Many exciting changes are afoot, which will necessitate substantial revisions to the Standards & Guidelines at that time, including: an electronic review and submission process; a combined MIHP/DOE form; and the inclusion of new fields on the inventory form, such as architectural style/influences, construction date, and materials. The new system will greatly enhance the ability to conduct more detailed searches in Medusa, our online cultural resource information system, and will facilitate comparative analyses of buildings across Maryland, for the benefit of scholars, researchers, and consultants. 

In the meantime, we would like to highlight the significant changes in the 2019 version of the Standards & Guidelines. Overall, anyone producing inventory or nomination forms should pay particular attention to Chapters 4, 5, and 8. The most notable change is to the photo requirement. All grant-funded and National Register projects still require printed 5×7 black-and-white photographs or, now, color  photographs. All other submittals, including for compliance purposes and owner-produced or county-produced forms, may now elect to use either printed photographs or digital photographs embedded in continuation sheets (see Chapter 4, pages 34-35, and Appendix A). The preparer may submit up to 20 images in print form or on continuation sheets and, if providing more than 20 images, then include the surplus photos as digital files only. The inclusion of all image files in TIFF format on an archival CD is still required for all projects. MHT will be uploading all images to a dedicated server. 

Measured drawing of the Eightrupp Corn House at Susquehanna State Park.

Another important change is that MHT now requires a contributing and non-contributing list or chart of all resources included within survey or historic district boundaries (see page 26). The preparer may determine the format of this information. For example, if a district has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the preparer may wish to include a greater level of detail, such as the address of the property, resource type, estimated construction date, a brief description of each resource, and status (CON/NC).  This additional information is a significant improvement because it provides an exact account of what is included within the district boundary and recommends a contributing or non-contributing status based on the integrity of each resource. Many early nominations did not include this information, which is critical in determining eligibility for the State and Federal tax credit programs, as well as various grant and loan programs. Although this practice has become common for National Register nominations in recent years, survey districts rarely include this amount of detail. 

Fieldwork at Blandair in Howard County.

The updated version also incorporates a chapter on guidelines for completing National Register nomination forms in Maryland and an updated chart showing statewide survey coverage, the estimated percentage of buildings constructed prior to 1967, and the number of MIHP forms per county (see page 5). Appendices include an example of the new photo continuation sheet; the Standards for Submission of Digital Images to the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties; and a submissions checklist that underscores commonly overlooked procedures required to accession material into the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. 

We encourage all who are involved in the documentation of Maryland’s historic resources to read the updated Standards & Guidelines for further details. If you have any questions or comments about the content or new policies and procedures, please contact Heather Barrett, Administrator of Research & Survey, at heather.barrett@maryland.gov

Welcome, Zachary Singer!

The Maryland Historical Trust is pleased to welcome Dr. Zachary Singer as Research Archeologist in the Office of Research, Survey, and Registration. Zac will primarily be responsible for maintaining the Maryland Archeological Synthesis Project, summarizing Phase II and III compliance archeology reports in MHT’s library. Zac will also participate in grants management, archeological fieldwork, and will conduct research on collections entrusted to MHT’s care.

Research Archeologist, Dr. Zachary Singer

Zac’s interest in Maryland archeology was first piqued as a student at Towson High School, when he interned with Dr. Bob Wall of Towson University, studying his Paleoindian assemblage from the Barton site. Zac went on to earn his B.A. at the University of Maryland, College Park and gained field experience under the direction of Dr. Stephen Brighton and Dr. David Gadsby. Zac took a hiatus from Maryland archeology to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut where he excavated and analyzed New England Paleoindian sites under the guidance of Dr. Kevin McBride, Dr. Jonathan Lothrop, Dr. Daniel Adler, and the late Dr. Brian Jones.

After receiving his doctorate, Zac returned to Maryland to teach and conduct research, once again, in the archeology of his home state. Prior to joining MHT, Zac taught and conducted research through a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Towson University, as an adjunct professor at Washington College, as a 2016 and 2017 Gloria S. King Research Fellow at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, as a contractual archeologist for Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Division, and as Public Programs Coordinator for the Lost Towns Project, Inc.

Zac’s major research interest is Maryland’s prehistoric occupations with a particular focus on studying the Paleoindian period to refine interpretations of Maryland’s earliest inhabitants. Zac is also keen on collections based research, analyzing (or re-analyzing) artifact collections generated by both professional and avocational archeologists in order to glean information about Maryland’s past.

Zac may be reached by telephone at 410-697-9544 or by email at zachary.singer@maryland.gov.

MHT Awards $300,000 in Non-Capital Grants

9 Organizations Receive Non-Capital Historic Preservation Grants

By Heather Barrett, Administrator of Research & Survey

The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) is pleased to announce the FY 2020 Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grant Program recipients. MHT received over $1 million dollars in non-capital grant requests this year and awarded nine grants totaling $300,000 to Maryland nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions for fiscal year 2020. The funds for these grants were distributed from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Financing Fund to MHT to support and encourage research, survey, planning and educational activities involving architectural, archeological and cultural resources.

Poplar Hill on His Lordship's Kindness (1784-1786) is one of Maryland's most sophisticated Palladian-influenced Georgian houses.
Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness (1784-1786) is one of Maryland’s most sophisticated Palladian-influenced Georgian houses.

The goal of the Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grants Program is to identify, document, and preserve buildings, communities and sites of historical and cultural importance to the State of Maryland. MHT identified several special funding priorities for the FY 2020 grant cycle, including:  broad-based and comprehensive archeological or architectural surveys; assessment and documentation of threatened areas of the state due to impacts of natural disasters and ongoing natural processes; and projects undertaking in-depth architectural or archeological study of a specific topic, time period, or theme. This year’s grant awards ranged from $15,000 to $55,000.

The availability of fiscal year 2021 Historic Preservation Non-Capital Grants Program funds will be announced in the spring of 2020 on MHT’s website. Application deadlines and workshop dates will also be found on this page at that time.

For more information about the grant program, please contact Heather Barrett, Administrator of Research and Survey at MHT, at 410-697-9536 or heather.barrett@maryland.gov.  For information about organizations receiving grants, please contact the institutions directly.

University of Delaware – Regional Project

($48,800 grant awarded)

The project includes a cultural resource survey to document dairy farms and their associated farm structures in Carroll, Cecil, and Frederick counties, as well as the preparation of three brief historic contexts. The work is designed to be the first of a multi-year, statewide project to survey these threatened historic resources.

The upcoming preservation plan for Poplar Hill on His Lordship's Kindness (1784-1786) will address the five-part-plan house, as well as the numerous domestic and agricultural outbuildings on the estate.
The upcoming preservation plan for Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness (1784-1786) will address the five-part-plan house, as well as the numerous domestic and agricultural outbuildings on the estate.

The John M. and Sara R. Walton Foundation, Inc. – Prince George’s County

($55,000 grant awarded)

The project will create a preservation plan for the main house at Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness and some of its most important outbuildings, including the smokehouse, dairy, slave infirmary, privy, pigeon cote, corn crib, garage/chauffeur’s apartment, and granary.

City of Frederick – Frederick County

($22,000 grant awarded)

This project entails revising and updating the Frederick Historic District National Register Nomination (1988), including a detailed and inclusive historic context to meet current standards to address the topics of African Americans, women, workers, immigrants, and LGBTQ histories. The project also involves re-evaluating the existing boundaries with justifications, establishing a period of significance, preparing a contributing/noncontributing map and corresponding list, and updated photography.

Somerset County Historical Trust, Inc. – Somerset and Dorchester Counties

($55,000 grant awarded)

Project work includes the completion of a historic sites survey (Phase III) for threatened resources in Dorchester and Somerset counties.

The Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc. – Location Undetermined

($15,000 grant awarded)

This proposal will partially fund the 2020 Field Session in Maryland Archeology at an as-yet undetermined site in the spring of 2020. The field session provides a hands-on opportunity for laypersons to learn archeological methods under the direction of professional archeologists.

In 2019, the annual Archeology Field Session was held at Billingsley House near Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County. The session provides hands-on opportunities for the public to learn archeological field methods.
In 2019, the annual Archeology Field Session was held at Billingsley House near Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County. The session provides hands-on opportunities for the public to learn archeological field methods.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Archeological Foundation, Inc. – Queen Anne’s County

($30,000 grant awarded)

Pedestrian shoreline and plowed field archeological surveys, shovel testing, excavations, and remote sensing investigations will be carried out on Parsons Island in Queen Anne’s County.  Parsons Island is currently eroding at a rate of approximately 1 acre per year.  A geoarcheological assessment of the island’s exposed shorelines will also be completed, and all data will be incorporated into a monograph on the island’s disappearing cultural resources.

Anne Arundel County – Regional Project

($37,000 grant awarded)

Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Division (AACo) proposes a one-year archeological project to enhance the existing stewardship of the Robert Ogle collection. The collection (donated to the county in 2009) includes annotated quad maps, detailed notebooks, and photographs linking the collections to sites in Maryland. Many of “Ogle’s” sites do not survive, so the collection is the last record of these cultural resources. Funds will be used for the professional curation, processing, and cataloging of the collection, as well as to update Maryland Archeological Site Survey Forms and to produce a final report.

Baltimore Heritage, Inc. – City of Baltimore

($21,200 grant awarded)

Project involves conducting a survey of African American heritage sites in the Old West Baltimore National Register District, resulting in new or expanded Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) forms.

Town of Perryville – Cecil County

($16,000 grant awarded)

This project will involve using non-invasive archeological survey techniques to determine the presence or absence of outbuildings that supported the operation of Rodgers Tavern and the Susquehanna Lower Ferry. In addition, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database will be built for managing previously-collected archeological information, existing utility locations, anticipated construction, and the generation of new maps and analyses.

Baltimore National Heritage Area Uses Increased State Funding to Develop Innovative Neighborhood Placemaking Grant Program

By Ennis Barbery Smith, Maryland Heritage Areas Program Assistant Administrator

In years past, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) has provided up to $15,000 annually to each of the 13 Certified Heritage Areas across the state of Maryland for locally-administered “mini-grant” programs, but starting last year MHAA increased this funding level to $25,000 per heritage. Compared with the larger project grants available through MHAA, mini-grants allow Certified Heritage Areas to support smaller-scale projects, activities, and partners.

A map of Maryland’s 13 Certified Heritage Areas

This funding increase allowed the Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) to design and launch the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant Program, which provides funding to help neighborhoods in the heritage area become visitor-ready and highlight the unique cultural heritage that each neighborhood has to offer. Eligible projects fall into three categories:

  • Navigate Your Neighborhood: Festivals, performances, re-enactments, and events that promote heritage tourism and attract visitors
  • Plan for Your Neighborhood: Planning and feasibility studies for capital projects, vacant lot development planning, and project evaluations
  • Green Your Neighborhood: Projects that promote neighborhood greening activities, environmental stewardship, cleanliness, beautification, and citizen community education

The overwhelming response that this grant program received has revealed a significant need for funding to support these types of projects in Baltimore City. While $25,000 was made available for the program from MHAA, BNHA received requests for funding that totaled over $80,000. The heritage area ended up pulling in additional funding from another source in order to award $27,945 total to seven important projects. Shauntee Daniels, Executive Director of BNHA underscored the importance of the Neighborhood Placemaking Grants, when she explained that “every neighborhood has a story.”

Community members celebrate one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods at the Jonestown Festival, funded in part by a Neighborhood Placemaking Grant. Photo by Will Kirk, courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and Baltimore National Heritage Area

Daniels emphasized that many of the neighborhoods’ stories are centered around immigration: “All of these little enclaves of neighborhoods were brought together and built by people who came here as cultural groups.” She described how the area around the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore, known as Jonestown, is a good example of a neighborhood with an engaging story to tell, but – all-too-often – museum visitors pass right through the neighborhood itself. The Jewish Museum received a Neighborhood Placemaking Grant to help fund the annual Jonestown Festival in 2019, highlighting the neighborhood’s engaging history.

Another view of visitors enjoying the Jonestown Festival, funded in part by a Neighborhood Placemaking Grant. Photo by Will Kirk, courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and Baltimore National Heritage Area

The China Town Collective also received one of the inaugural Neighborhood Placemaking Grants to support their second-ever “Charm City Night Market.”  Steph Hsu of the Collective said, “The Charm City Night Market celebrates the cultural exchange of Asian Americans in Baltimore City…. Thanks to the funding from the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant we were able to expand our possibilities with signage, wayfinding, and lighting, which will include lanterns designed by a local entrepreneur.”

In addition to creating opportunities for visitors, the Neighborhood Placemaking Grants have encouraged collaborations within and between communities across the heritage area. Kim Lane, Executive Director of Pigtown Main Street in Baltimore, offered this insight: “We shared it [the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant opportunity] with our partners in our area, which resulted in conversations that lead to a group of community leaders from Pigtown Main Street, Pigtown, Barre Circle, Ridgely’s Delight and Camden Carroll forming a committee to plan a heritage walk.” 

This newly rebranded and reimagined mini-grant program builds on BNHA’s “Heritage Neighborhoods” goal, which calls on the heritage area to “assist visitor friendly neighborhoods offering heritage experiences” and specifically mentions “emerging heritage neighborhoods,” tasking BNHA with meeting neighborhoods where they are and supporting them in the early stages of becoming visitor-ready.

BNHA is currently accepting applications for this year’s round of Neighborhood Placemaking Grants. The deadline to apply is December 9. Read more about this opportunity on their website.

13 Grants-Related Things that Frighten Us and How MHT is Trying to Make the Process a Little Less Scary

By Ennis Barbery Smith, Maryland Heritage Areas Program Assistant Administrator

It’s October, and many of us working in the historic preservation and heritage tourism fields are offering our annual retellings of the spooky stories associated with the buildings we help steward. Some of us are leading ghost tours and hanging fake cobwebs from eaves. However, the “scary” thing that I’m writing about today is the grants process. It’s not “spooky” scary. It doesn’t go bump in the night, but it is frightening in other ways. Grants can keep us up at night, and by us, I mean both grant recipients and grants managers.

Here at MHT, we have some good news to share about how we’re trying to make the grant reporting process a little less frightening for everyone involved. But, before I get to that, if you’re unfamiliar with grants, you may be wondering “what could be frightening about grants?” I asked some of our grantees and grants managers to share their fears, and here’s a listing of some of their answers:

13 Grants-Related Things that Frighten Us:

  1. Grant Applicant / Recipients’ Fears:
    Writing an entire application thinking you understand the priorities of the funding organization, only to get a rejection letter detailing how you completely missed the mark

  2. Looking through a grant application to see how much time you need to complete it, allotting that time, then realizing later that the final step is five letters of support and the grant is due by close of business

  3. Forgetting your password for the grant portal on the day the grant is due

  4. Manipulating your project budget to fit into the form that has been provided in the grant application, and inadvertently leaving out an important expense in the process

  5. Answering what seems to be the same question on a grant application five times and struggling to make the answer sound different each time

  6. Finding out the grant is reimbursable when you were counting on money up front and your operating budget is tight

  7. Doing the math and finding out that the total money (i.e. staff time) you’ve spent writing grant reports and providing financial documentation is greater than your total grant award

  8. Finding out there are more strings attached to the grant award than you realized, such as being required to purchase a ticket to the funding organization’s event


  9. Grant Managers’ Fears:
    Finding out, in your grantee’s final report, that the entire project has changed without them telling you, and they’ve spent the grant money on expenses that your grant program can’t cover

  10. Finding out that the project contact has literally disappeared from the grantee organization and not told anyone else at the organization about the grant’s existence

  11. Realizing that a grantee who was awarded a historic preservation grant has inadvertently used the money to dismantle historic elements of the building

  12. Seeing that a grantee has not taken the time to fact check their interpretive sign at a historic site, but they have taken the time to include your organization’s logo prominently

  13. Realizing that – out of the hundreds of pages of financial documentation you’ve reviewed – only a few pages relate directly to the grant project

In summary, the grants process is fraught with things that frighten us. While MHT can’t control all of the scary circumstances listed here, we at MHT are making changes to some of the processes within our control: our financial documentation and grant amendment policies.

Those of you who have received grant funding from one of our programs in the past will probably recall scanning and uploading stacks of cancelled checks and invoices each time you requested a disbursement of your grant funding. Over the years, long before compiling this list, our grantees have been giving us feedback about how they sometimes felt they were spending more time documenting their grant spending than actually doing the important work directly related to their projects. During the series of public meetings that MHT held as part of the process of updating the Statewide Preservation Plan, PreserveMaryland II, our past and present grantees echoed these concerns.

We have listened to this feedback, and now we’re making changes:

  1. Less paper to scan and submit: Under our old policies, MHT required grantees to submit both “proof of expenditure” (invoices, receipts, etc.) and corresponding “proof of payment” (cancelled checks, credit card statements, etc.) for all expenses associated with their grant projects. Across all of our programs, we will no longer be requiring grantees to submit “proof of payment.”

  2. Streamlined amendments and extensions: We will now be processing most grant extensions and amendments via email. Grant extensions and amendments, when approved, allow grantees to make changes to the timetables, scopes of work, and budgets associated with their projects.

  3. For MHAA grants, a “spot-check” process: While all Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) grantees must still retain financial documentation of grant-related expenses, only a portion of MHAA grantees will be required to scan and upload their financial documentation as part of their grant reporting. You can think of this as similar to the IRS’s tax-filing system in which the IRS only requires that a portion of audited tax-payers submit documentation for their tax claims.
The Maryland Heritage Areas Program orientations discussed the new policies in September.
Photo courtesy of Lucille Walker and the Southern Maryland Heritage Area

We hope that these changes—and other changes that are more program-specific—will mean that our grantees can complete their reporting requirements in less time and have more time to spend on their projects. The rollout of this new financial documentation policy looks different for each of our grant programs. Please contact the MHT staff person you’ve been working with if you have questions about how this might apply to your grant.

To our grantees, MHT thanks you for all the important projects you’re working on to steward Maryland’s heritage. This Halloween-season, may these changes lighten your workload a little, so you can focus on the important things, like getting that fog-machine in working order or curating the perfect collection of gourds, if you’re sticking with a more restrained autumnal style.

Thank you to the grantees and grants managers who contributed to the list of grant-related fears! If you enjoyed this Halloween-themed blog and you’ve worked in the non-profit world, you might also be interested in this description of a visit to a non-profit-themed haunted house – it’s truly terrifying.

A Summer Exploring Maryland’s History by Land and Sea

A Summer Exploring Maryland’s History by Land and Sea

By Stephanie Soder, 2019 Summer Intern in Maryland Archeology

Having recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies (Archeology), I was excited when I was chosen as the Maryland Historical Trust’s summer intern. I grew up just over the Mason-Dixon border in Pennsylvania and spent about half of my life in Maryland, so I was happy to be back in the state I considered “home”. The MHT Archeology staff wasted no time in throwing me into the chaos of gearing up for the annual Tyler Bastian Field Session that was taking place at Billingsley House in Prince George’s County.

The Author examining a prehistoric pit feature exposed during the 2019 Field Session
(Drone imagery courtesy of Ryan Craun, M-NCPPC).

Though the Billingsley House dates to the 18th century, this 11-day field session focused on finding two 17th-century Native American villages. I was charged with keeping the field lab running smoothly and the site forms organized. Water buckets and toothbrushes came out every day for artifact washing, allowing volunteers to take a break from digging in the heat. Every tenth bucket coming from each unit was water screened through a ⅛” mesh, hoping to reveal small trade beads (and creating quite the mess). By the end of the session, 12 units had been opened, resulting in artifacts ranging from pre-colonial lithics and ceramics to nails, faunal remains, and fire-cracked rock. Thanks to the hard efforts of the lab volunteers, almost all of the artifacts were washed and weighed by the end of the last day.

The remaining time of my internship was split between a variety of projects. I was able to work on projects that met my interests, and though I love to be out in the field, I challenged myself by taking on tasks that I was not as familiar with: Section 106 review and compliance, artifact identification, and remote sensing.

A Late Archaic projectile point recovered at Billingsley (Photo by the author).

Compliance archeology focuses on ensuring that federal and state funded projects limit impacts to the historical integrity of sites around Maryland. Dixie Henry and Beth Cole shared their expectations for compliance reports and gave me federal and state standards for archeology and architectural studies to read. They then allowed to me to review some compliance reports and tag along on a consultation meeting with the National Park Service to mitigate impacts to historic sites while building their new C & O Canal Headquarters. The time I spent learning about compliance has reinforced my appreciation for the work that goes into protecting our historical resources.

My graduate research focused largely on Pacific Islander culture and modern conflict, so getting familiar with artifacts found throughout Maryland was a necessity. I spent much of the second half of my internship in the lab cleaning, identifying, and photographing artifacts from previously completed fieldwork in Janes Island State Park (Somerset County). I then began working on site forms and compiled a report that highlighted research on each type of artifact find. There’s no better way to learn how to complete a task than getting to do it first-hand, and I feel that my time working with the artifacts helped familiarize me with examples found around Maryland and the resources available for identification.

Most of my previous work involved excavation or evaluation with very little training in remote sensing. Under the tutelage of Matt McKnight and Charlie Hall, I learned how to run a magnetic susceptibility meter and a fluxgate gradiometer. Putting what I had learned to the test, we set out for a new site that may be associated with an ordinary dating from the origins of Caroline County. I assisted with using the gradiometer and practiced with the magnetic susceptibility meter. The collected data will help with future work on the site by the Caroline County Historical Society. Out on Janes Island, Troy Nowak put me to work completing a side-scan sonar and bathymetric survey in Maryland waters. With a steady hand and concentration, I learned to follow transect lines while driving a boat in order to collect data consistently. The rest of the week was spent surveying the shoreline and tracking how it has changed over time in order to evaluate potential impacts on historical sites.

The author collecting marine remote sensing data off of Janes Island (Photo by Troy Nowak).

My summer at MHT came to an end far too quickly, but it has been an extremely rewarding experience. It has helped prepare me for a career in Maryland, and I’d like to thank the entire staff at MHT for their guidance, patience, and for providing me this amazing opportunity.

Maryland Heritage Areas Program Highlighted as a Funding Source for Landscape-Scale Conservation

Maryland Heritage Areas Program Highlighted as a Funding Source for Landscape-Scale Conservation

By Ennis Barbery Smith, MHAA Assistant Administrator

When you think of “cultural resources” in Maryland, do you picture buildings and artifacts? And, when you read the phrase “natural resources,” what comes to mind? Perhaps a diamond back terrapin sunning itself in the marsh grasses?

These images are “zoomed in.” When we zoom out and use a landscape-scale perspective, thinking of any of the regions that make up Maryland’s 13 heritage areas for example, cultural and natural resources are intertwined. Historic Districts are often home to streams and dotted with trees. Agricultural landscapes — hemmed in by wetlands, rivers, and forests- – serve as stunning backdrops for nineteenth century barns and farm houses. On Maryland’s shores, in coastal and bay-side communities (like Tilghman Island, pictured below) cultural traditions, the economy, and the built environment are all closely tied with the surrounding land and water.

Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Oyster House on Tilghman Island serves as a working oyster house and a site for environmental education. It has benefited from Maryland Heritage Area Program grants.
Photo provided courtesy of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center

The Maryland Heritage Areas Program (MHAP) staff recently wrote a paper detailing examples of how the program uses a landscape-scale perspective to support a wide range of heritage tourism and education related grant projects: from hiking trails to museum exhibits, wetlands to web resources. Jennifer Ruffner presented the paper in November of 2018 at a symposium called Forward Together. The United States National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS) held the symposium, bringing together an international group of scholars and professionals to discuss the linkages between culture and nature in their work.

Jennifer Ruffner, MHAP Administrator, presenting the paper entitled Stewarding Places and Stories: Maryland Heritage Areas Program as Framework for Conservation

The symposium was held in San Francisco at the Presidio (pictured below), a former army post turned park that includes historic buildings, walking trails, and an unusually high number of rare and endangered plant species. MHAP staff were honored to attend the symposium — especially in this setting that illustrated how the cultural and natural are so often linked, rather distinct.

If you are interested in reading more about how the Maryland Heritage Areas Program supports landscape-scale heritage conservation, MHAP staff’s paper is now available online.

The Presidio’s Infantry Row
A view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Presidio