Canal Place Heritage Area was Maryland’s first state heritage area and built on the cultural resources of the City of Cumberland like the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and public and private investments to create a cultural tourism destination. The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority will host a public hearing to expand the Area’s boundary and accompanying support to include the historic City of Frostburg.

Maryland has thirteen designated heritage areas, covering a portion of every county in the state and the City of Baltimore. Beginning with the Canal Place Heritage Area certified in 1993, the heritage areas are one of the primary tools used to encourage heritage tourism to Maryland. In heritage areas individuals, businesses, non-profits and governments form partnerships to preserve the best of Maryland’s historic sites and towns, unspoiled natural landscapes and enduring traditions.

Diane Caslow at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Cumberland, 2017.

Diane Caslow at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Cumberland, 2017.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Program also provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to nonprofit organizations and government entities for capital and non-capital projects located within their boundaries. Grants can support projects involving historical, cultural or natural resources, sites, events or facilities. Eligible projects must have must have a clear heritage tourism component.

Because of their efficiency and important role in promoting Maryland’s history and heritage, Preservation Maryland has successfully advocated for funding for the Maryland Heritage Areas Program and offered testimony in support of boundary expansions, including of the Anacostia Trails State Heritage Area.


The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 5pm at City Place in Frostburg to consider a proposal to enlarge the boundaries of the Canal Place Heritage Area to include the incorporated City of Frostburg. Written comments will be accepted through October 10, 2018 and may be sent to Ennis Smith, Maryland Historical Trust, 100 Community Place, 3rd Floor, Crownsville, MD 21032 or ennis.smith@maryland.govThe Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is an independent unit of state government that operates within the Maryland Department of Planning.

More about Maryland Heritage Areas