Patapsco Valley Heritage Area Mini-Grant Program Recipients

PHG works in partnership with the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Baltimore County and Howard County to preserve, protect, interpret and restore the environment, history and culture of the Patapsco Valley. In support of that mission, PHG’s first round of Mini-Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Benjamin Banneker Foundation will design and install two interpretive signs for the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Oella. The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of Benjamin Banneker, an 18th century African American mathematician, surveyor astronomer, and abolitionist. The first sign will interpret the Park and Museum’s recreation of the Banneker’s orchard and recognize the symbiotic relationship between fruit trees and honeybees. The orchard contains approximately fifty native and heirloom fruit and nut bearing trees and is a living demonstration of how Banneker subsisted on his property. The second sign will interpret the Bannaky House. Constructed in the 1850s, the Bannaky house is the most prominent feature on the Park and Museum property and is symbol of the Oella’s enduring history.

Columbia Families In Nature will bring new programs to the Patapsco Valley. CFIN organizes 2-3 outings per month for its 200+ active families, which emphasize playtime in nature include handson environmental education and conservation activities. The CFIN proposal included; engaging the large and active CFIN community in a series of seasonal outings to different areas of Patapsco State Park with an emphasis on the social and ecological heritage of the Valley as well as development of written educational and website content specific to the Patapsco Valley.

Ellicott City Historic Partnership sponsored the first Veterans Day Parade in Historic Ellicott City. The Parade celebrated the history of Ellicott City, the Main Street and historic byways designations and was the kick-off event of PHG’s hiStory Days event, a week long event that shares the stories of the Valley through workshops, lectures and activities.

EnviroEvents, a Baltimore County based non-profit is sponsoring family biking excursions through the Patapsco Valley State Park. Historic Bicycle Tours of the Patapsco Valley is a series of family events throughout the Patapsco Valley. The events include guides, support staff, box lunch, bicycles and insurance. Organizational partnerships for these events include Catonsville Rails to Trails, Patapsco Valley State Park and Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park.

MORE (Maryland Off Road Enthusiasts) will use funds in support of its “Patapsco Trail Fun Series”. This trail building and maintenance series is held on the last Sunday of the month from March through October and contributes over 2000 hours of “in the field” trail work each calendar year. Maryland Park Service staff identifies trail sections and work is completed to maintain, reroute, and change alignment to create sustainable natural surface trails. All trails are multiuser trail and trail work days are consistently attended by hikers, equestrians, trail runners, park staff and bicyclists.

A second round of Mini-Grants will be announced in January of 2016. For more information, contact The Patapsco Heritage Greenway is one of 13 certified Heritage Areas in Maryland. The Maryland Heritage Areas Program is governed by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) and administered by the Maryland Historical Trust. MHAA provides targeted financial and technical assistance within thirteen locally designated Heritage Areas, each of which has a distinct focus or theme that represents a unique aspect of Maryland’s character. Together, MHAA, the Heritage Areas and local partners support the economic well-being of Maryland’s communities by promoting, sustaining and creating place-based experiences for visitors and residents alike.