Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), a state heritage organization, awarded 116 matching grants totaling $5.03 million to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups. The grants fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 13 state-designated Heritage Areas.
Garrett County’s Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage area was awarded $168,483.00 in grants for fiscal year 2022. By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants spark renewed interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors, boosting tourism-related jobs.
“We are very pleased to have been awarded this funding, especially since it’s such a competitive process,” said Kim Folk, Heritage Area & Groups Director for the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce. “The continued investment in the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area has produced development and preservation of historical sites and attractions, as well as created awareness among residents and visitors resulting in greater appreciation of our rich heritage.”
Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area projects funded were:
- Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($100,000) – Management Grant for management services of the certified heritage area with a goal to promote heritage tourism
- Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area ($12,000) – Block Grant for mini grant program through MMGTW Heritage Area.
- Garrett County Celtic Festival ($6,000) – Funds to support programing of the 2022 Celtic Festival
- Garrett College Foundation ($5,483) – Trail studies and trail counters for data collection
- Spruce Forest Artisan Village ($45,000) – Renovation and improvements to the Granary Building on the Little Crossings campus to serve local artisans and visitors.
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area supports heritage tourism in Garrett County through technical assistance and grant opportunities with a focus on heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County. As one of the 13 state certified heritage areas, efforts are made to create public and private partnerships to preserve historical, cultural and natural resources focusing on under-utilized resources fostering a greater sense of community pride.
“Being a state certified heritage area provides us access to funds without which many of the projects awarded would be unable to proceed,” said Folk. “The funding also allows us to promote heritage and cultural attractions in our community and attract visitors to our area.
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area has secured more than $2.1 million in funding from MHAA over the last nine years.
The Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area is a program of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce which provides the one-to-one match for the management and marketing grants. The Heritage Area & Groups Director administers the Heritage Area Program and works with stakeholders by offering technical and grant assistance for heritage related initiatives that preserve valuable heritage resources and enhance tourism in the County.
The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce is the largest professional business association in the region with 600 members representing every industry in the community. The mission of the Chamber is to organize, support and represent Garrett County’s business community in advancing common interests and additionally to promote Garrett County’s hospitality and recreation industry by attracting visitors to the county through comprehensive marketing. The Garrett County Chamber also serves as the Destination Marketing Organization and Heritage Area Management entity for the County.