National Heritage Area Consultant Services
The Southern Maryland National Heritage Area invites
proposals for consultant services to produce a Management Plan as a key step
towards meeting government standards to be recognized as an operational
National Heritage Area.
The Southern Maryland Heritage Area
Consortium (SMHAC) was formed as a Certified State Heritage Area under the
Maryland Heritage Area Program in 2003. The heritage area operates under the
public facing name Destination Southern Maryland. The heritage area
serves Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. The mission of the heritage
area is to enhance Southern Maryland through innovative heritage tourism
experiences, comprehensive cultural and natural resource conservation, and
excellence in educational opportunities. SMHAC is an economic engine, providing
product development and increased economic activity throughout the region
through grants, partnership building, and sustaining regional identity.
Maryland, Inc. partners with the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland
501(c)3 non-profit as their fiduciary to be the local coordinating entity that
manages programs and projects of the state-designated heritage area.
In December of 2022, Congress
designated the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area (NHA). The NHA’s
geographic boundaries include Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties and
southern Prince George’s County. The NHA is a non-regulatory designation made
by Congress to honor and celebrate the region’s contribution to America’s history, while also stimulating heritage-based economic development and geo-tourism in the
Southern Maryland History
Southern Maryland is a region of national
importance. It is in Southern Maryland, for the first time in the Western
world, that religious freedom was codified into law, and this provided the
foundation for religious freedom in the Constitution of the United States of
America. Southern Maryland is where this founding principle, this basic human
right, became law for the first time.
In addition to this primary “first” Southern
Maryland is where the first person of African descent ever served in a
legislature in America (Mathias de Sousa, 1642), where the first woman ever
petitioned for the right to vote (Margaret Brent, 1648), where vital African
American history has occurred, and the region is part of the National Park
Service Network to Freedom. Southern Maryland has first peoples who have
survived and are creating a new legacy (the Piscataway). This region is the
location of the National Religious Freedom Byway, the Star-Spangled Banner
National Historic Trail, the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic
Trail, sites involved with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, WWI
and WWII, and the first NASA Space Missions as well as the National Marine
Sanctuary of Mallow’s Bay-Potomac River.
The Southern Maryland National Heritage
Area seeks a consultant to work with our Executive Director and designated
Steering Committee to develop a National Heritage Area Management Plan that
will provide for the management, preservation, protection, and interpretation
of the cultural, historic, and natural resources of Southern Maryland for the
educational and inspirational benefit of current and future generations.
The Management Plan will provide
guidance to assist the communities, organizations, and citizens within the NHA
in preserving the special historic identity of the region and fostering a close
working relationship among all levels of government, the private sector, and
local communities. The Management Plan will also strengthen the value of Southern
Maryland as an asset by establishing a network of related natural, cultural,
and historic resources, protected landscapes, educational opportunities, and
events depicting the landscape of Southern Maryland during significant periods
in our nation’s history; and establishing partnerships between the NHA and other public and privately owned resources in the NHA that represent strategic alliances and
leverage unique interpretive opportunities
Scope of Work
We are looking for potential
consultants or consultant teams who can provide guidance and assistance in developing our management plan. We expect the planning to include:
- Civic Engagement Strategy through multiple public meetings and community outreach.
- Asset/resource inventories.
- Conservation and historic preservation stewardship and tourism development strategies.
- Interpretive Plan.
- Business Plan
- Communications Plan
- National Environmental Policy Act compliance.
- Additional elements as required by NPS or identified in our planning process.
The selected consultant team shall agree to provide the necessary personnel and equipment to work with SMNHA, Steering Committee,
and National Park Service (NPS) staff to complete the following tasks:
Task 1: Conduct a project meeting with the Director and NPS to:
Review scope of work and confirm project deliverables.
Set communication contacts and procedures.
Develop technical approach/workplan, schedule for site visits, stakeholder and public involvement, project draft submittals, and invoice payments.
Task 2: Visit
existing facilities, infrastructure, local resources in order to utilize
comprehensive overview of regional history and character.
Task 3: Address all requirements of the
Management Plan included in US Senate Bill 1942: https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/s1942/BILLS-117s1942enr.xml
Update asset/resource inventories. Review and build upon the existing resource inventories from the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Feasibility Study (2021). (Download the Feasibility Study here).
Develop comprehensive policies, strategies, and recommendations for conservation, preservation, funding, management, and development of the National Heritage Area. Conduct meetings with Steering Committee members and NPS staff to discuss and decide on content, then draft and revise based on NPS comments, and complete documentation.
Create an Interpretive Plan. Incorporate interpretive themes described in the Southern Maryland National Heritage Are Feasibility Study (2021).
Create a Business Plan. The business plan should identify the SMNHA purpose and role, intended audience, services and/or products, and the identification of partnerships, funding sources and implementation schedule.
National Environmental Policy Act compliance. Work with NPS to prepare any necessary environmental compliance documentation. It is anticipated that the Management Plan will qualify for a categorical exclusion. However, such an exclusion will likely need to be documented and submitted as part of the Management Plan.
Coordinate with NPS staff to confirm all agency and legislative requirements are sufficiently addressed in the Management Plan.
Task 4: Create a communications plan which builds on the contents of the Management Plan.
Create a unifying message and public identity for the NHA that aligns with our existing website https://destinationsouthernmaryland.com.
Recommend ways to position the NHA to the public and clarify the differences between the NHA as a place and an organization.
Task 5: Develop a civic engagement strategy to engage partners and stakeholders.
Develop virtual community outreach strategy that provides opportunities for remote community participation.
Hold in-person public meetings to gather input for the plan.
Consideration should be given to minority and underserved audiences.
Meet with partners, stakeholders, and government entities to gather input for the plan.
Schedule and facilitate public review meetings to present the draft plan and solicit feedback.
Incorporate public comments, stakeholder input, and revisions from NPS.
Be available to participate in media interviews as requested by the Executive Director.
Task 6: Finalize the Management Plan and deliver products in print and digital form to SMNHA and NPS. The digital document should
be in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973 so it is accessible to people with disabilities.
Project Schedule: It is anticipated that this Plan should be developed within
12 – 16 months of start date, with submission for final approval by the NPS and
the Secretary of the Interior within 16 -18 months of start date.
The contract will be negotiated at a firm fixed price based on qualifications. Anticipated cost range: $150,000 - $175,000
The Southern Maryland NHA is a
newly designated National Heritage Area, but the state-based heritage area has
operated as a program of the non-profit Tri-County Council for Southern
Maryland since 2003. We can provide background material from our
many years of developing successful projects and programs. We also have a
variety of partner relationships and Board members and Steering Committee
members who will provide guidance and expertise throughout the process of
developing the Management Plan.
Qualified consultants must be well
versed in project management and have significant experience developing management plans, interpretive master plans, and historic preservation plans similar in nature to that which
is proposed for this project. A summary of capabilities and experience must accompany the proposal, along with a list
of references related to such experience and a summary of qualifications for
key staff for the project. Additional
consideration will be given to the degree of familiarity with Southern
Maryland, and with the history and heritage of the region.
List team members and the role that each will fulfill.
Describe the team’s experience with National Heritage Area Management Plans, regional planning, or with specific components such as community engagement and collaboration, conservation, stewardship, historic preservation, community revitalization, tourism development, interpretive plans, business plans, marketing plans, NEPA compliance, or other relevant potential elements to a NHA Management plan.
Describe the team’s experience working with rural, multi-county initiatives.
Describe your team’s experience, connections, or familiarity with the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area or the communities within our area.
Please send, link, or attach examples of up to three previous planning products, including any NHA management plans or plan components that you have been instrumental in developing.
Describe your team’s process for engagement with our core planning team, and steps toward completing this planning process over the next year.
Provide up to three references and provide contact information.
Proposals should address:
Process for developing the National Heritage Area Management Plan and its contents.
Project schedule which identifies key milestones in the planning process.
Project Management Team experience, qualifications and references, as described
Detailed budget by task.
No more than 8 pages.
Please submit proposals electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposals are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on March 31, 2023
Contact Lucille Walker, Executive
Director, 301-343-2771, email@example.com.
Public Law 116–9 116th Congress: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW- 116publ9/pdf/PLAW-116publ9.pdf (133 STAT. 771-776)
NHA Management Plan guidance by NPS: www.nps.gov/subjects/heritageareas/management-plans.htm
NEPA Guide for National Heritage Area Management Plans (2013): www.nps.gov/subjects/heritageareas/upload/NHA-NEPA-Guidance_4-15-13-FINAL- 2.pdf
Destination Southern Maryland website: https://destinationsouthernmaryland.com