ATHA has led or participated in many partnerships to extend the impact of programs.
Two National Park Service National Historic Trails wind through the Heritage Area: the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail (also a certified Scenic Byway) and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Road National Historic Trails. Additionally, there is a regional NPS program that blankets the area called Chesapeake Gateways. Within the Heritage Area, federally-owned properties are open to the public.
Federal Partners: National Park Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, NASA Goddard, Greenbelt National Park, and the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge
Anacostia Trails Heritage Area is a private 501c3 with an agreement with the Maryland Heritage Area Authority (MHAA) to manage the state-certified heritage area in Prince George’s County. We work closely with MHAA and the Maryland Historical Trust, Maryland’s State Historic Preservation Office, to bring cultural tourism and historic preservation funding to the county. ATHA staff represent Prince George’s County on the Maryland Heritage Areas Coalition and the Racial Equity Working Group of the MHAA.
One of the significant benefits to non-profits and municipalities within the certified Heritage Area status is eligibility and access to state heritage tourism funding. ATHA is the liaison and offers development assistance to non-profits and municipalities applying for Capital and Non-Capital Grants from MHAA. It also serves as the distributor of block grants. Grantmaking is a significant tenant of ATHA’s mission.
Significant grants of up to $100,000 are awarded to projects by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to assist in the preservation of historical, archeological, natural, or cultural resources and to support economic development through heritage tourism. ATHA manages local reviews for these grants and has connected dozens of projects with large funding packages from MHAA and other funding sources to support tourism infrastructure and programming. Since 1999, $2,231,517 in MHAA grants have been awarded in the ATHA heritage area, totaling 62 project/program awards to 35 unique grantees
State Partners: Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Maryland Office of Tourism
Prince George’s County, through the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), is a close partner of ATHA. ATHA receives funding from an M-NCPPC Program Charge annually. M-NCPPC is the owner and operator of a significant majority of historic properties and open spaces in Prince George’s County. This investment by the County helps ATHA to meet its state-required funding match. Together, ATHA and M-NCPPC work on public history, trail expansion, and educational and recreational events and programs throughout the county. A specific example of the partnership’s impact is the Sankofa mobile museum and the Dueling Creek trail extension. At the county level, ATHA works with Experience Prince George’s, a non-profit organization that serves as the county’s official convention and travelers bureau.
Regional Partners: Experience Prince George’s County (tourism bureau), Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County Council, Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Commission, Prince George’s County Historical Society, Prince George’s County History Consortium, Washington Area Bicycle Association, Capital Trail Coalition, Port Towns, 4 Cities
Cities & Towns
ATHA receives guidance and funding from an advisory council of elected officials from the 15 incorporated cities and towns within the Heritage Area. These annual contributions are calculated at .25c per resident from Census 2020 and represent the municipality’s commitment to developing and promoting cultural tourism in the region. ATHA staff works closely with elected leaders, town managers, and council members to develop projects and programs eligible for MHAA or Rocket Grant funding. Additionally, ATHA serves as a resource and promotion hub for municipal-hosted meetings, activities, and events.
Municipalities: Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Edmonston, Berwyn Heights, Greenbelt, College Park, Mt. Rainier, Hyattsville, Brentwood, North Brentwood, Riverdale Park, University Park, the Beltsville area, Bowie, Cheverly, and unincorporated areas around Glenn Dale and southern Prince George’s County
ATHA also partners with non-government organizations of all sizes, including Maryland Tourism Council, Prince George’s County History Consortium, Prince George’s Heritage, Prince George’s County Historical Society, Port Towns Community Development Corporation, Gateway Arts District, and many, many, many others. These relationships can take the form of partnerships or grantors/grantees and are all in collaborative service to enhance the attractions and opportunities of the county.
Sites and Organizations: Numerous historical, cultural, and natural resource sites and organizations preserve, document, commemorate, and celebrate the heritage area’s history and culture.
Examples of Successful Partnerships
The creation of a Dueling Creek Heritage Trail Concept Plan with the Town of Colmar Manor with assistance from the National Park Service.
Civil Rights Trail
Supporting the research and design of a Civil Rights Trail in partnership with the County’s Black History Program as well as a team of consultants with expertise in historical research, graphic design, and interpretation.
Anacostia Watershed Society
Working with the Anacostia Watershed Society to promote opportunities for residents to become engaged in waterway restoration and the opening of a trail system.
War of 1812 Commemoration
Joining with history groups to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Battle of Bladensburg.
Art Lives Here
Supporting the “Art Lives Here” program which highlighted the Gateway Arts District in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood, and Hyattsville.