Four Rivers Heritage Area Awards $16,765 to Non-Profit Organizations in Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County

Annapolis, MD – Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County announces seven new mini-grant awards to local heritage-related nonprofit organizations totaling $16,765.00 for FY2014. The grants will support a new exhibit focusing on the life and legacy of West River watermen, a new website for a small rural heritage museum, new interpretive materials and signage that will enhance the visitor experience at a historic site, and more.

This matching mini-grants program, made possible for the eleventh year through financial support from the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, leverages other funding to assist local heritage related non-profit organizations to create new programs, activities, and events that build upon heritage-based interpretive themes, foster collaborative partnerships, and enhance local cultural historic resources and heritage tourism.

Organizations and projects receiving FY2014 mini-grants include:

Annapolis Maritime Museum for the continuation of the two week, hands-on, Waterman Program, “Chesapeake Champions,” where 2nd and 3rd grade students from local Title I schools can learn maritime heritage and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.

ACT, Inc. (in partnership with the Lost Towns Project) for the creation and implementation of an archaeology-focused community and outreach program entitled, “Archaeology in the Backyard: Discovering the county’s Archaeological Heritage at the Wilson Farmstead” to take place in Galesville, Maryland during Maryland Day Weekend 2014.

Captain Avery Museum for the creation and installation of a new exhibit entitled, “Seasons of a West River Waterman.” The exhibit will consist of 6 moveable panels that will include built-in video monitors.

Galesville Heritage Society for the development of a new website that will strengthen GHS’s virtual organization, management, and partnership development.

Historic Annapolis for the development and implementation of a long-range strategic plan to serve as a guide for board and staff over the next five years.

Historic London Town and Gardens for a series of interpretive and educational signs for the William Brown House and haversacks with educational materials available on a sign-out basis. These signs and haversacks will serve to guide and enhance the visitor experience at the site.

West Annapolis Business Affiliation, Inc. (WABA) and the West Annapolis Heritage Partnership (WAHP), for the research, design, and construction of a three-part project to be debuted on Maryland Day 2014. A lecture will be developed that will focus on the Baltimore-Annapolis Short Line RR, a monograph will be created on the history of the names of West Annapolis Streets, and a brochure will be developed and distributed that will highlight the walkability of the neighborhood of West Annapolis for visitors.

This year, Four Rivers’ mini-grant program funds of $16,765 are fully matched by the grantee organizations, with additional leverage from other sources, for total project funds of $57,439.

Four Rivers’ Executive Director, Carol Benson, has also announced that funds are available for a Spring 2014 mini-grant round in the current fiscal year. Matching mini-grant awards of up to $2,500 are available to qualified non-profit organizations and municipalities within the boundaries of the heritage area, for projects that incorporate regional historic, cultural, and natural resources, collaborative partnerships, and the heritage area’s regional interpretive themes. The deadline for this Spring grant program will be Friday, February 28, 2014. Please visit the Four Rivers website for more details.

Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County, one of Maryland’s 12 certified heritage areas, is a partnership among the State of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, the town of Highland Beach, and local historic sites, heritage organizations, and heritage-related businesses, to encourage economic vitality through historic preservation and heritage tourism. For more information, please contact Executive Director Carol Benson at the Four Rivers office at 410-222-1805, or visit our website at www.fourriversheritage.org.

Alma Cropper Receives Governor's Service Award

Four Rivers Heritage Area congratulates our Coordinating Council member, Alma Cropper, who received a Governor’s Service “Special Honorees” Award this year. Alma H. Cropper has volunteered with the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center since 2008. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors and the Operations Officer for the Center. As an active volunteer, Alma spends more than 20 hours each week operating the Bates Legacy Center, and her efforts to extend outreach services have helped to increase the average of 20 visitors weekly in 2008 to a current average of 120 visitors weekly. She is also an invaluable volunteer on several Four Rivers committees, including the Education and Maryland Day committees. 


This year marks the 30th year a Maryland Governor has recognized volunteers from around the state at a special recognition event.  The 27 recipients reflect the diversity of Maryland and demonstrate its spirit of service. Over the past year, 1.3 million Marylanders helped tackle some of the major challenges facing the state by donating their time and energy. Read a full list here of the Governor’s Service Award recipients.

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Makes Grant Awards of $336,000 to Local Heritage Organizations


Annapolis, MD: Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County joins Maryland officials in announcing 5 grants totaling $336,000 to local non-profits by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA). These grant funds support heritage tourism projects, historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs and activities that expand economic development and tourism-related job creation. MHAA oversees Maryland’s system of 12 locally-administered, State-certified Heritage Areas. Heritage Areas are places to experience – see, hear and even taste – the authentic heritage of Maryland in a unique way that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Stories of the people, the land and the waters of Maryland are told in these distinctive places.

These grants, given for the last 16 years, produce economic activity in areas that contribute to Maryland’s cultural heritage. By supporting capital projects and educational activities, the grants stimulate interest in Maryland culture from residents and visitors. “Tourism is one of Maryland’s largest industries. By investing in initiatives like the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, our state’s cultural heritage tourism continues to impact our economy by creating jobs, generating tax revenue and increasing business income,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “We’re so proud to live in our great state, known as ‘America in Miniature’ since Maryland offers so much for visitors to enjoy.”

Four of our stakeholders received funding for capital grant projects. These projects are:

City of Annapolis, Pedestrian Component of Wayfinding Signage and Master Plan, capital grant award of $65,500

Charles Carroll House of Annapolis, Inc., Capital Repairs to the Charles Carroll House, capital grant award of $35,000

Historic Annapolis, Inc., Renovation of 1 Martin Street: Planning and Development, capital grant award of $45,500

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Inc., Theater Window Restoration, capital grant award of $90,000

In addition, Four Rivers received a Management grant for $100,000, making a total of $336,000 in MHAA funding to our heritage area for FY14. The Management grant to the Four Rivers Heritage Area (ALTSCHA, Inc.) supports activities such as the annual mini-grants program, the annual heritage awards, regional interpreter training, networking meetings for site directors and managers, educational workshops, online resources, and new collaborative initiatives. For more information about Four Rivers, visit our website at www.fourriversheritage.org, or contact Executive Director Carol Benson at 410-222-1805. Please visit http://mht.maryland.gov/grants_heritagearea_FY14Awards.html for more information about the grant awards.