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Feb
18
2020
Positioning the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area for the Next 20 Years

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S BLOG – MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER
By Lowell Perry
February 18, 2020
“Positioning the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area for the Next 20 Years”
A National Heritage Area, is designated by Congress for its unique nationally significant qualities and resources. It is a combination of natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combining to shape a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape. We take a partnership approach to heritage development involving collaborative planning around a theme, industry and/or geographical feature that influenced the nation’s culture and history. This planning strategy encourages residents, government agencies, nonprofit groups and private partners to agree on and prioritize programs and projects that recognize, preserve and celebrate many of America’s defining landscapes.
The story of water and its continuing impact on the people, land, and economy is the key to understanding the history of Yuma, the oldest city established on the Colorado River. The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA) encompasses seven square miles along the Lower Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona and Winterhaven, California, with over 3 miles of contiguous riverfront parks, trails, and 400 acres of restored wetlands. It also includes the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark, the iconic Yuma Territorial Prison (YTP) and Colorado River State Historic Park (CRSHP), and the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, home of the Quechan Tribe.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S BLOG – MARCH 2020 NEWSLETTER
By Lowell Perry
February 18, 2020
“Positioning the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area for the Next 20 Years”
A National Heritage Area, is designated by Congress for its unique nationally significant qualities and resources. It is a combination of natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combining to shape a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape. We take a partnership approach to heritage development involving collaborative planning around a theme, industry and/or geographical feature that influenced the nation’s culture and history. This planning strategy encourages residents, government agencies, nonprofit groups and private partners to agree on and prioritize programs and projects that recognize, preserve and celebrate many of America’s defining landscapes.
The story of water and its continuing impact on the people, land, and economy is the key to understanding the history of Yuma, the oldest city established on the Colorado River. The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (YCNHA) encompasses seven square miles along the Lower Colorado River in Yuma, Arizona and Winterhaven, California, with over 3 miles of contiguous riverfront parks, trails, and 400 acres of restored wetlands. It also includes the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark, the iconic Yuma Territorial Prison (YTP) and Colorado River State Historic Park (CRSHP), and the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, home of the Quechan Tribe.
We would like to thank those of you who have invested, and continue to invest in this important work of restoring, preserving, and maintaining Yuma’s history. In addition to our local efforts to support the YCNHA, we are also engaged in our broad reauthorization in order to keep doing so for the next generation of Yumans, as well as those who travel to our fair city and other Heritage Areas. In particular, please urge your friends, family, and loved ones to support bi-partisan program legislation in both the Congress (H. R. 1049) and the Senate (S. 3217) which will authorize and standardize the designation of National Heritage Areas.
Heritage Areas are a popular program out of National Park Service not only because of the compelling conservation and historic preservation efforts of the now 55 National Heritage Areas spread across the country, but because they are also one of the most efficient programs out of ANY federal department, returning an average $5.50 for every taxpayer dollar invested. In Yuma, that ROI is closer to $10.00 of local, state, and private funding per every federal dollar invested.
So what can you do to continue to Be Yuma’s Future by Investing in It’s Past? Educate your Representatives, Senators, and the U.S. Department of Interior on the value of Heritage Areas, and that their support of H.R. 1049 and S. 3217 at the level of $32 million per year for 15 years would yield significant dividends. Given the aforementioned average leverage of an investment in Heritage Areas, should the U.S. invest that $480 million in educating kids about their heritage over the next 15 years, citizens can expect an on average total ROI of $2.64 billion.
Let them know that you demand it, and your kids and grandkids deserve it! And oh yeah, don’t just tell your elected officials yourselves. Educate your friends, families and coworkers as well by sharing this blog, as well as having them visit: www.yumaheritage.com and https://www.nationalheritageareas.us/.