National Heritage Areas Program
National Park Service
The main task involved compiling a report containing baseline information on the 23 National Heritage Areas. Information collected included: demographics (population, age, poverty, median income); resources (number of NHL and National Register Listings); government (local government units, congressional representation); and summary information for each area (management entity, contract information). This completed report was distributed to Heritage Area directors and other interested parties. It provided quantifiable information to the Heritage Areas field.
My internship taught me about the Heritage Areas movement and related community preservation strategies, the range of heritage resources, and the variation among management structures and goals within the areas. I gained insight into the strategies that make heritage areas workýcommunity involvement, partnerships, education. The experience has helped to shape my professional interests and illuminated historic preservation as one of many tools for community revitalization and historic, natural, and cultural conservation. I continue to work with the National Heritage Areas Program as a graduate assistant, and I am interested in pursuing a position after graduation that involves putting historic preservation into a heritage development context.