Industrial Landscapes and Canalways - National Heritage Areas

Friday, October 24, 2014: 10:20 AM-11:50 AM
Horizon A (Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center)
Canals transformed the America landscape, connecting emerging inland towns to the maritime cities.  Building the infrastructure required major public/private partnerships, overcoming challenges of geography, and importing a massive labor force.  The canals provided power for mills, moved massive amounts of raw materials and manufactured products, and created national and international markets. The American canal era succumbed to the railroads and the stark realities of the Great Depression.  However, these abandoned transportation systems remained part of the cultural landscape.  Saving the historic waterways inspired many preservation efforts.  Visionaries realized saving the resource/story would require re-inventing traditional management structures.  The ‘new model’ must bring preservation and conservation coalitions together, craft a shared vision that inspires actions by many, and serve multiple agencies that own and control the resources.   In addition, this must all be accomplished at a regional scale.  Finding a way to address these challenges gave rise to the National Heritage Area model.  The first three NHAs evolved from this canal movement.  Today, there are seven NHAs conserving 1,000+ miles of historic canal corridors.  These corridors are becoming tomorrow’s network of trails and blueways connecting population centers to parks and historical sites of national, state, and local importance.  The waterfront towns along the way are experiencing re-purposed buildings and preserved neighborhoods. This is all accomplished by leveraging the collective resources and the partners’ commitment to preserving their shared heritage and sense of place.  The presenters will share how the NHA partnership model is working to preserve this significant national heritage.

Session Chair:
Allen Sachse
10:40 AM
Labor and Environment in Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
Augie Carlino, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area
11:00 AM
11:20 AM
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