National Heritage Area

(814) 677-3152

217 Elm Street

Oil City, PA 16301-1412

Designation of a National Heritage Area

Main Benefits of National Heritage Area Designation for the Oil Heritage Region

  • Higher profile and reputation as a National Heritage Area, thus having Venango County and eastern Crawford County be even more of a destination for heritage and recreational travelers.

  • Public Law 108-447, Division J, Title VI as enacted November 20, 2004 designating the Oil Region National Heritage Area Act allows up to $10,000,000 federal during next 15 years, to be matched with Pennsylvania and other local funds to more rapidly implement the widely varied projects to develop, preserve and promote the region’s cultural, recreational, historic and natural resources.

  • Able to receive, upon request, technical assistance from the National Park Service.

Definition of a National Heritage Area

The National Park Service definition for a national heritage area is as follows:

“A ‘National Heritage Area’ is a place designed by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinct landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in them. Continued use of National Heritage Areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscapes enhances their significance.”

The focus is on the protection and conservation of critical resources; the natural, cultural, scenic, and historic resources that have shaped us as a nation and as communities.

National Park Service Criteria for National Heritage Area

The National Park Service has established ten criteria/elements of suitability/feasibility analysis while designating a heritage area.

  1. Area has an assemblage of natural, historic, or cultural resources that together represent distinctive aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition, conservation, interpretation, and continuing use, and are best managed as such an assemblage through partnerships among public and private entities, and by combining diverse and sometimes noncontiguous resources and active communities.

  2. Reflects traditions, customs, beliefs, and folklife that are a valuable part of the national story.

  3. Provides outstanding opportunities to conserve natural, cultural, historic, and/or scenic features.

  4. Provides outstanding recreational and educational opportunities.

  5. The resources important to the identified theme or themes of the area retain a degree of integrity capable of supporting interpretation.

  6. Residents, business interests, non-profit organizations, and governments within the proposed area are involved in the planning, have developed a conceptual financial plan that outlines the roles for all participants including the federal government, and have demonstrated support for designation of the area.

  7. The proposed management entity and units of government supporting the designation are willing to commit to working in partnership to develop the heritage area.

  8. The proposal is consistent with continued economic activity in the area.

  9. A conceptual boundary map is supported by the public.

  10. The management entity proposed to plan and implement the project is described.

National Park Service Criteria for National Significance

The National Park Service has established four criteria for evaluation of national significance for natural, cultural or recreational resources.

  1. A site must be an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.

  2. A site must possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our nation’s heritage.

  3. A site must offer superlative opportunities for recreation, public use and enjoyment or for scientific study.

  4. A site must retain a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate and relatively unspoiled example of a resource.

List of Current National Heritage Areas (49)

Name of Heritage Area Office Location
Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Springfield, Illinois
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Lithonia, Georgia
Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area Augusta, Georgia
Baltimore National Heritage Area Baltimore, Maryland
Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Asheville, North Carolina
Cache La Poudre River Corridor Greeley, Colorado
Cane River National Heritage Area Natchitoches, Louisiana
Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership Grande Isle, Vermont
Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area Princeton, New Jersey
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Easton, Pennsylvania
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Waterford, New York
Essex National Heritage Area Salem, Massachusetts
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Lawrence, Kansas
Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area Sevens, Massachusetts
Great Basin National Heritage Route Baker, Nevada
Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor S. Carolina, N. Carolina, Georgia, Florida
Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Albany, New York
Illinois & Michigan Canalway National Heritage Corridor LaSalle, Illinois
Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Waterford, Virginia
Kenai Mountains-Turnagain National Heritage Area Alaska
Lackawanna Heritage Valley Scranton, Pennsylvania
Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Stoneville, Mississippi
Mississippi Gulf National Heritage Area Biloxi, Mississippi
Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area Tupelo, Mississippi
MotorCities National Heritage Corridor Detroit, Michigan
Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area Florence, Alabama
National Aviation Heritage Area Dayton, Ohio
National Coal Heritage Area Beckley, West Virginia
National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area Mt. Pleasant, Utah
Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Niagara Falls, New York
Northern Plains National Heritage Area Mondan, North Dakota
Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area Espanola, New Mexico
Ohio & Erie National Heritage Canalway Akron, Ohio
Oil Region National Heritage Area Oil City, Pennsylvania
Quinebaugh and Schetucket Rivers National Heritage Corridor Danielson, Connecticut
Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area Homestead, Pennsylvania
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Antonio, Colorado
Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District New Market, Virginia
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area Waterloo, Iowa
South Park National Heritage Area Fairplay, Colorado
South Carolina National Heritage Corridor Columbia, South Carolina
Southwestern Pa. Heritage Preservation Commission Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Upper Houstonic Valley National Heritage Area Salisbury, Connecticut
Wheeling National Heritage Area Wheeling, West Virginia
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Yuma, Arizona
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