Photos by Rick Hiduk
Endless Mountains Heritage Region board president Melanie Norton (top) displays mock-ups of interpretive signs for Forksville (left) and Jamison City in Sullivan County. The sign at Forksville was erected in 2018, and the Jamison City sign is scheduled to be dedicated this year. Roof repairs to the Keystone Theatre in Towanda (above) were supported, in part, by DCNR funding through the EMHR in 2017.
As of May 1, the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) will begin accepting applications for its Mini-Grant Program to further projects and programs that support heritage tourism, historic preservation, outdoor recreation, education and interpretation, agricultural promotion, and scenic landscapes or byways in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming Counties.
EMHR will accept applications through Monday, June 3. Winners will be announced in mid-June with contracts beginning on July 1. Applicants may request from $1,000 to $10,000, with each recipient required to provide a 100-percent match. EMHR staff is available to discuss project plans, identify common goals and potential funding sources, and to help form partnerships.
Applications can be obtained by contacting the EMHR office at (570) 265-1528 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Non-profit groups, public education institutions, municipalities and municipal agencies interested in planning and implementing projects serving community or heritage development, historic preservation, or resource conservation/enhancement goal are encouraged to apply.
Successful applicants in the past have received funding for historic preservation projects, outdoor recreation development, special purpose studies, public engagement and educational programming, wayfinding and interpretive signage for trails, environmental conservation, and historic building rehabilitation projects. EMHR has administered such grants since 1998 with the cooperation of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation under the umbrella of the Pennsylvania Heritage Areas Program.
Applications receiving the most attention will be those matching EMHR’s highest priorities, which include interpretive and educational projects that spur economic development and identification of and enhancements to tourist and recreation destinations.
Secondly, the grants review committee will look favorably on efforts to attract visitors to the region’s heritage sites, outdoor recreation opportunities, and historic downtowns; protect and enhance our heritage assets and cultural landscapes; and preserve and promote agricultural growth and deliver authentic experiences of “Living with the Land” in the Endless Mountains.
Community planning projects, such feasibility studies for adaptive reuse of historic structures; comprehensive preservation and conservation plans; and engaging residents and visitors with the Region’s culture and heritage through educational programming, events and tourism promotion are also projects that are sought by the EMHR.
Recipients of mini grant funding in recent years for projects currently underway include the Clifford Township Historical Society in Susquehanna County for a pathway to meander through the Clifford Children’s Garden, Wyoming County Cultural Center for a mural applied to the exterior walls of the Dietrich Theater depicting local history, Wyalusing Valley Museum in Bradford County for architectural and engineering plans for the restoration of the Wyalusing Lodge Hall as the museum’s new home, and the Sullivan County Historical Society for the completion of an interpretive sign for Jamison City similar to that dedicated in Forksville in 2018.
For additional information, call the EMHR office at (570) 265-1528 or stop by at 602 Main Street, Suite 7, in Towanda.
Cynthia and Sherman Wooden take in the many destinations depicted on the Susquehanna County Heritage Attractions that was installed in Montrose by the EMHR in 2018.
In 2017, badly needed reconstruction of the basement walls of The Oldest House in Laceyville, Wyoming County, was funded in part by a grant from the EMHR.